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Straight-Blast Rushing without the Punches

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Straight Blast Rushing Without The Punches: Part 1

by Keith Pascal

At a certain point in a martial artist’s development, he or she starts collecting tools — useful strategies, tactics, and techniques.

Knowing how to interrupt an attack with a stop kick is a good example of a “useful tool.”

One of the most useful punching tools is a series popularized by Bruce Lee — the straight blast. It’s a fast barrage of punches that really puts you in control of the altercation. It does a good job of panicking the opponent and putting him or her on the defensive.

What if you could achieve the exact same effect WITHOUT punching?

No kidding.



Basic Straight Blast Elements

First, let’s examine what goes into a normal, everyday straight-blast sequence:

A straight blast requires a fast set of punches. Since the punches have to be fast, you need to start with your fists close to your target … in front of your body.

The timing of this series has a very rapid beat; to get the rapid-fire effect, you put the punches close together. Often, this translates into vertical punches with the rear punch retracting no further back than the elbow of the other hand, or maybe even less … it’s common for advanced straight blasters to draw their fists back no further than mid-forearm (in relation to the extended arm).

In a regular straight blast, you could be defending or attacking. If you are defending, then you create an opening in which to counter with the barrage.

If you are the attacker, you still punch through either a found or created opening to a target on your opponent’s body, but instead of responding, you initiate.

This is straight blasting in a nutshell. Of course, seasoned practitioners add an almost necessary element to their sequence….


The Blast Benefit for Those Who Know How

You can definitely straight blast the enemy while both of you stand there, and you can also fire off your flurry of hits while you have your opponent up against a wall. Both of these are what I call static punching.

Rather than punch your enemy while he or she is against the wall, I think one of the straight-blast’s best benefits is its ability to get your opponent TO a wall. In other words, straight blasting is excellent for forcing someone backwards.



Note: If you have problems generating power with your punches or lack the moves that would force a big attacker backwards, then check out:

How to End the Fight with One Hit. It’s worth it:




You cause panic as you rush your evildoer with a boatload of punches. Your opponent has to retreat; there is no other option with so many hits flying in. Each punch gets closer, because you are running at your enemy.

If you have ever experienced racing someone backwards with your attack, then you know how good it feels. It’s very satisfying, wouldn’t you agree?

How would you like to achieve this effect without even having to punch?



Reverse Engineering The Straight Blast

To be able to force someone back with a similar result, I suggest you reverse engineer the straight blast. Let’s run through the process together:

We start with the end in mind….

In the last stage of the straight blast, we want to blend into a non-hitting move. After all, our goal for this exercise is to be able to rush our opponent backwards to a wall, quickly, WITHOUT hitting. So, at some point, we have to stop hitting. This makes sense, right?

Think about the point that you reach the wall: Do you want your hand at your opponent’s throat? Do you want a palm on your attacker’s chest? How about a horizontal forearm pushing against your opponent’s upper arm?

Think in terms of a shove where you maintain contact. Where and how do you want to shove your opponent?

The next stage involves reversing the sequence a little more. Figure out how you are going to morph from your blasts to your end shove.

Will your fist open into a palm strike and then continue to push?

Will you reach around to his arm and grab after your punch?

Will your last straight blast punch “drift” up to the throat and turn into a grab after the hit?

The connector between the punch and the shove is the next stage back.

From this point on, it’s a matter of practicing punching and then segueing into the control.

The magic key to this technique is to practice by shortening the amount of punching on each repetition of the sequence….

Maybe the first time, you straight blast your partner all the way back to the wall. The second time, you transform to the control three steps before the end.

Then move to the half way point; you punch to about mid distance from the start to the wall. Switch into the control without stopping. Make it a seamless blend.

Eventually, work to the point that you only need a punch or two to start your opponent retreating, then you continue the advance with, say a throat grab, and rush him all the way back to the wall, holding the throat the entire time.

And now, for the icing on the cake …


Magical Moving Without Even Punching

Okay, so it isn’t quite magic, but still, it’s amazing the control that you can exert …

Now, the objective is for you to eliminate all punching. No straight blast, at all.  Now, you are in search of moves that get your opponent moving backwards. Preferably, you want techniques that allow you to maintain contact during your advance to the back wall.

One example is the simple wrist lock. Any time in the fight that you feel yourself effecting a wrist lock, adjust the pressure, so that you can push your opponent towards a wall. Maintain the lock, exert pressure on your opponent’s joint, causing pain, and force him or her back.

You could do the same routine with an arm bar, but in this case, your opponent would be facing the wall, and you’d be rushing him head first toward your destination. Crunch.

Besides locks and arm bars, think of any moves you know that cause your enemy to lose balance. Keep in mind that with a teetering opponent, he or she may completely lose balance and fall down, before you control him or her to the wall.

Be prepared for this. Don’t accidentally tumble into and over your fallen foe.

Continue the lock to the ground and control your enemy facedown in the dirt. In my book, a floor or ground is just a horizontal wall.

Maybe instead of punches, you employ a series of eye jabs, to get the meanie moving. Again, practice reducing the number of jabs by bridging into the control move that will shove your attacker backwards.


Making The Control Practical

The key to making this tactic work is to practice the transition from the move that starts your opponent moving backwards to the position that will control him her her to the wall.


I suggest that you begin with one technique that gets the opponent moving. Then practice changing to different shoving points. So, maybe you blend first from a wrist lock to a throat shove, the next time from a wrist lock to a chest push, and finally from a wrist lock to a double shoulder slam … all of the moves forcing your enemy backwards to the wall.


If you are interested in what to do once you get your opponent to the wall, or how and why to add back in some punches along the way, then read this follow-up article:




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