The time between realizing an attack is imminent and your defensive response may be fractions of a second, says Kelly McCann. It's what you practice long before those milliseconds that may make all the difference.

How fast is your processor? No, this isn’t the place to find information about personal computing — but it is the right place to talk about personal confrontations. I’m asking how fast you recognize potential threats and process threat information. A lot of people evaluate their “street readiness” based on their hard-skills prowess and allocate far less training time to developing the “soft skills” that are so useful immediately before an attack. The most obvious soft skill, of course, is situational awareness. It’s a cumulative alertness to threats, environment, movement and anomalies. Those anomalies are called pre-incident indicators, the visually unlikely circumstances that collectively indicate an attack could be imminent. Being adept at quickly determining threat potential — without looking like you’re about to implode — is invaluable on the street. It’s one of the few things I (grudgingly) use the new-age term “empowering” to describe. Gawd.


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All right, no epiphany there, but what about in the seconds preceding an attack? Having used your situational awareness to identify a developing threat, what the hell are you supposed to do? What’s the most efficient use of your time when you can’t avoid a physical confrontation and find yourself tensing up and saying, “Uh oh, here it comes”? How good are you at multitasking? Let’s go by the numbers to make this easier (and it’s not easy). Kelly McCann's Threat-Processing Tips — #1: Avoid Paralysis Don’t be a deer in the headlights. A biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources suggests, “They (the deer) don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.” Truly, if you’ve ever seen this happen to someone, it’s amazing — the word “dumbstruck” comes to mind. To avoid this, think about (and embrace) the fact that you could be attacked. It’s not too hard — people are attacked every day, so why not you? Second, visualize yourself successfully dealing with an attack. Not obsessively, mind you, but you should internalize, visualize or just own that you will defend yourself and think about what that means in some detail. If you don’t, look for a salt lick instead of venturing out on your own. Kelly McCann's Threat-Processing Tips — #2: Profile the Potential Attacker Yeah, I said it. Profile the threat (potential attacker) for weapons. And quickly. How? Find his hands ... anything in them? Is either hidden from view? Notice any unsightly bulges? A weighted windbreaker pocket? An outline under his T-shirt? Any of these might add up to a much bigger issue for you. Knowing or suspecting that an attacker might introduce a weapon into a physical altercation is critical to your success — whether it drives you to get the hell out of there, act pre-emptively or pull out all the stops if it does go to blows. Kelly McCann's Threat-Processing Tips — #3: Position, Position, Position Where are you in relation to the attacker? Take immediate action to put yourself in the most tactically advantageous position relative to escape avenues, improvised weapons, and physical obstructions you can put between yourself and him. If you’re this deep into feeling threatened, you obviously don’t need more information, so don’t wait for it. You don’t necessarily have to attack at this moment, but you certainly need to move into the next mindset: Kelly McCann's Threat-Processing Tips — #4: Become the Predator Assume the predatorial mindset and run through the if-he-does-this-I’ll-do-that scenarios in your head. You’re much more likely to take effective action when you’ve visualized it before an attack — even if it’s only milliseconds. Shut out the distraction of hope and don’t think you can wish yourself out of the situation. It’s literally up to you at this moment. Kelly McCann's Threat-Processing Tips — #5: Pre-Emption If you know it’s coming (applying the “reasonable man” standard), waiting any longer just means the attack will fully manifest and your opportunity to disrupt it will be lost. This is tricky. You’ve got to feel that you’ve seen enough to warrant the pre-emptive use of force in self-defense and that you’re in fear for your life. The time to startle your attacker and derail his momentum is now. Don’t half-step. Your initial attack will define the threat he feels and trigger his own fight-or-flight response. Make sure he feels the need to flee. None of this is formulaic. None of it is absolute. You’re always at risk of making the wrong call. To minimize the chance of that happening, spend as much time thinking about the circumstances in which you may have to use force as you do thinking about the use of force itself. Incorporate it into your training by devising drills with ambiguous triggers. Become an expert at discerning reliable pre-incident indicators. Perhaps most important, remember that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. About the Author: A former officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Kelly McCann has studied and taught combatives for 25 years. His company, Crucible, provides training to U.S. government, law-enforcement and military personnel. For more of Kelly McCann's hard-hitting combatives instruction in print and on video, check out these best-selling products:
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The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

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When it comes to grappling arts most people have heard of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Sumo. The dynamic art of Shuaijiao, though it is not as well known as the others, should be.

What is Shuaijiao?

Shuaijiao (also spelled Shuai-Chiao) is a Chinese martial art that is approximately four thousand years old. Shuaijiao was born in a time of warfare long ago when to fall on the battlefield meant likely to never get up, and in that spirit, the curriculum of Shuaijiao focuses on throwing in a variety of ways. It is a standup grappling style, meaning that although there are hip throws, leg sweeps, and hand techniques, like many other arts, there is no ground grappling. The goal of Shuaijiao is to end up in a dominant position standing.

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ONE Championship's first event of 2021 is on the horizon as the company returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for ONE: Unbreakable on January 22.

In the main event, bantamweight kickboxer Capitan Petchyindee Academy challenges ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi "Babyface Killer" Ramazanov for his crown.

The Thai challenger has a chip on his shoulder for this contest. Capitan mentioned that he wants to prove all of his doubters wrong with a title-winning performance on Friday in a video detailing the matchup.

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