fighting ranges

Nearly everyone knows the four ranges of combat: kicking, punching, trapping and grappling. In this story, a veteran jeet kune do instructor discusses his preferred ways for addressing three ranges you might not have thought about.

Nearly everyone has heard of the four ranges of combat: kicking, punching, trapping and grappling. They are perhaps most often associated with training in jeet kune do, in which students seek to acquire different skills from different arts to prepare themselves to fight in any situation. Yet there's another set of ranges — only three this time — in JKD training. They are the high, middle and low ranges. If you train to strategically use them, you can transform yourself into a smarter fighter and your opponent into a blithering fool who gets taken out of commission more quickly, more easily and more efficiently.

Fight Smart

Physically, Bruce Lee was not a big man. At about 130 pounds, he had to make sure his techniques and strategies were the most efficient and realistic ones known. JKD-concepts instructor Ralph Bustamante is in the same boat.

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Practitioners of the Korean art of hapkido claim to be privileged to study a style famed for its powerful kicks, varied hand strikes, effective trapping-range techniques, and versatile joint locks and throws. Does it effectively cover all four ranges of combat?

Most martial artists now realize that all fighting takes place at specific distances, which are commonly designated as kicking, punching, trapping and grappling range. Many also have learned that proficiency in only one range does not guarantee success in a street fight because real confrontations can flow from one range to another in the blink of an eye. Therefore, students often look to other styles for supplemental skills that their primary art does not teach. For example, a boxer may decide to study savate for kicking, wing chun kung fu for trapping and judo for grappling. Yet hundreds of thousands of martial artists around the world see no need to search outside their own system for these techniques. Practitioners of the Korean art of hapkido claim to be privileged to study a style famed for its powerful kicks, varied hand strikes, effective trapping-range techniques, and versatile joint locks and throws.

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