What To Look For

These are aspects you can look for, and use to create, or be aware of, that are positive and move you in the direction of useful methods.

Naturally Occurring

Instead of those problem areas that have already been listed, what we need to be looking for are solutions that are reasonably natural for people to learn.

In my personal experience, the best sources of application can be drawn from movements that are similar to what they have already learned or performed regularly in day-to-day living and that can be quickly recalibrated for another use.


This is the opposite of complexity, which has very little capability to adapt to variables. So then adaptability and simplicity are often the other side of the coin.

Many of us think that because a thing is simple that it is probably not as good as something that is more complex, but in reality, the opposite is quite often true.

If you’ve not heard of Occam’s Razor here it is in summary:

“Occam’s razor is the problem-solving principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions.”

To fit this to our training we want to think of movements as solutions. As a result, the simplest of movements tend to be the right ones, particularly in the face of complex movements or techniques.


Scope of possibility is also a key thing to look for. You don’t want a host of answers that work only in finite situations. Instead you want to look for movements or methods that apply in the broadest scope of situations.

We have to assume that we will not be the one setting up the scene or choosing the situation, particularly when dealing with predators. They are the masterminds of the scenario. They have often picked the environment and orchestrated the situation.

As such, you must have a limited response mechanism that we can adapt and that is fairly natural so that it is easy to maintain. By having this trifecta of a solution in movement or method you should have the answers you need for the vast majority of problems you would likely encounter.

But these are not the only ways to reduce complexity. There are ways that we already know but that we sometimes forget that we know when under great stress.

Create Space

First, remember that complexity works in both directions so reducing complexity for you also reduces the possibility of an attacker using complex attacks.

As a result, one of the most efficient things you can do is to create distance between yourself and any kind of violence, which is fairly obvious right? If you’re in the next county personal protection is not complicated, just keep being in the next county.

But let’s think about this more closely.

In face to face violent encounters proximity equals potential complexity. When you are body to body with someone, throws, locks, strangles, pinching, biting, striking, kicking, takedowns, and grappling can occur, but the further you move away the less those types of attacks are a realistic possibility.

And, let’s also not forget that you can’t use those types of defenses/counters either.

When dealing with a single attacker, creating distance is the same as Funneling (see Funneling) or simplifying potential threats.

What Do I Mean?

For example, circular striking really only works when you are well within a certain range. Kicking only works when you are within a certain range. Grappling, joint locking, throws, strangles, etc. only work when you are in close proximity.

The further you move away from a potential threat or attacker, the more only simple attacks work. Circular attacks become more linear. The angles themselves are reduced to variations of straight.

And of course any time you add distance you add time to respond.

Create space whenever you possibly can.

Use Acute Angles

In the same way that distance forces a curve to straighten to reach it’s point, a curve increases the distance from point to point and thereby “creates” time.

To that end, keep your feet moving. Keep your feet moving and use your hands to redirect the attacker. And when possible do both. If you do this well and move at acute counter angles to the attacker, not only will you be able to counter attack by flanking, but you’ll also cause them to have to adjust to continue to attack. Anything off of the straight line of retreat is good but acute angles or greater are best.


Coach Sean

(From the currently being developed book on Guerrilla Silat)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.