Would you [should you] ever use a spinning backfist in a true self-defense situation?
I’m not talking about a fantasy fight – real violence never looks like a John Wick fight scene!
Would you try it if your life depended on it?
Sure it looks amazing in a sport fight, but don’t forget… these are trained fighters, who have video of their opponents and have trained for this night, often for months prior to the fight. They know the time of the fight, the location, the weight, and the rules.
They can “go for it” because they have ACP!
Trying something like a spinning technique during a truly violent encounter is both risky and foolish.
There are too many variables and too much specificity. It’s a complex motor skill with moving parts and moving targets.
Why risk turning your back and taking your eyes off your opponent? (Remember we’re not discussing/considering sparring or competition like the highlight reel above.)
With that in mind, how am I going to sell you a startle flinch spinning backfist???
Glad you asked.
Today’s lesson is really for martial artists who have already developed the spinning backfist.
This lesson will show you how and why you can deploy it during a personal defense scenario.
In the SPEAR System®, there are 3 standard flinches we study and practice converting.
1. Flinching from a distance: There’s a micro-flinch, but the threat is far enough away that the hands come up to protect the head but can “push away” the danger because there is time and space.
2. Flinching within arms reach: Again, there will be a micro-flinch (there always is), but because the threat is much closer (think sucker punch, grab, shove), we don’t have time to drive the hands fully Outside 90.
3. Flinching from an extreme close-quarter threat: This is typically an attack that really surprises you from your blind spot.
It’s this third flinch where today’s lesson comes into play.
The 3rd flinch variation we teach is also referred to as the ‘Oblique Flinch’ because it refers to the angle of attack.
When a sudden movement from the oblique angle triggers a flinch, the body will twist away from it.
This rotational movement happens with all the flinches, but it’s the close one through the blind spot that generates the greatest rotation, as the body tries to recoil from the attack.
You can see this movement in sports pictures where players are anticipating impact. And there are those funny flinch videos online like the one below.
*Remember the coolest thing about the flinch is it’s non-conscious. When it happens it’s because your situational awareness has been compromised. This is a key insight.
Here’s a great picture that showcases all three flinches.
The top row is what we call the Protective SPEAR as the arm has a chance to extend.
The woman in yellow is in a similar state. She’s pushing away the danger but she’s much closer to the danger so her arms aren’t extending.
👉What’s important and valuable to remember about the SPEAR System’s approach to weaponizing the startle flinch is that these positions are organic and dynamic – they are not fixed or complex motor skills. They expand or contract based on the proximity of the danger.
That’s pretty interesting.
See the guy in the blue shirt?
This is flinch #3, the ‘oblique flinch’. The rotation is pronounced and had he been standing, spinning might’ve been an option to control balance – as counterintuitive as that might sound.
Again, this lesson is for practicing martial artists who have already developed a spinning backfist.
For years we’ve always said, “The SPEAR System® is a bridge to your next move.” I meant it.
Martial arts & self-defense are different.
But there is a definite intersection where both work together to make you or your students safer. And that should be the goal of the serious practitioner or trainer.
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