What is Infighting? Generally, it is a fight at a very close distance. Many fights end up in very close quarters where there is very little room to move and little time to react. You could be in a small room, against a wall, or the assailant has simply closed the distance.
Here are some things to consider with infighting.
Reaction Time. There isn’t much! It is challenging enough to see and defend a kick or straight punch from a long or medium distance. In close, you have less time so strikes are less visible. Uppercuts, knees, and elbows can seem to come from nowhere. As Rory Miller writes, “Distance is time, and with the short distance you rarely, if ever, have time to block. (243)
Striking Range. At such close range, kicks and straight punches are not useful. Effective strikes from this range include elbows, slaps, knees, and yes, head butts.
Self Protect. Keep your hands up, chin down, keep moving. Every time you strike recoil quickly because they are likely striking too.
Grabs and Holds. At this distance, there is often a lot of grabs, clinches, takedowns, etc… You need to learn these and learn how to counter them.
Aggression. Infighting is ugly. You need to fight hard and not give up. Be aggressive!
Weapons? In close quarters a weapon can be used before you realize what his happening. Years ago, a former student was pushed against a car. As he fought back, he felt the attacker punch him in the ribs. About thirty minutes later he realized it was a stab, not a punch. Happily, he wasn’t seriously hurt. Things happen fast!
Your environment. Assaults happen in elevators, public bathrooms, against a car, etc… There are walls, sinks, sharp edges of open car doors that can be very dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings!
Fighting from any distance is ugly. Close distance is the ugliest.In future blogs, we will offer some tips on surviving infighting situations.
Rory Miller, “Techniques for Infighting” in Fighter’s Fact Book 2. Written and edited by Loren W. Christenson. Turtle Press, Washington D.C. , 2007