Hand-To-Hand Combat: What Makes The Difference Between Professionals and Amateurs?

Author: S.Vlasov
Excerpt from the book “Green ghosts. The Kadochnikov group of 1984”

Alexey Alexeevich Kadochnikov individual technique of hand-to-hand fighting is really impressive. When I was near him during trainings, I was all eyes watching his work.

He behaved freely and openly shifting his feet softly, crouching a little bit and bending his body; he manipulated his hands scantily and economically making his opponent literally fly around him and constantly run into his elbow or knee.

Alexey Alexeevich’s ability to spontaneous power splash, when he turned from a calm person into a strong fighting machine in the twinkling of an eye, was astonishing.

I noticed more than once that he didn’t gaze fixedly at the opponent while carrying out technical actions; his head was bent forward a little bit, glance was defocused, his popping eyes were bloodshot and his pupils were parted and directed down.

All my observations naturally made me search for answers to the arising questions. And I received answers immediately right on the spot.

Alexey Alexeevich’s ability to spontaneous power splash, when he turned from a calm person into a strong fighting machine in the twinkling of an eye, was astonishing

Alexey Alexeevich’s ability to spontaneous power splash, when he turned from a calm person into a strong fighting machine in the twinkling of an eye, was astonishing

Once, Alexey Alexeevich came to my office and because of my curiosity I asked him a question that seemed at that time vital to me. As always I received the answer immediately.

Consequences were like from a hurricane that blew over the office. I felt the impact from all the things that were there. I was cut, stabbed, strangled, beaten and finally crucified on the sharp angle of a heavy, pre-revolutionary office safe.

Only many years later having got an opportunity to immerse myself in the ‘simple for me’ part of the information, I found some prerequisites to answers that worried me, but at that time only the “beating” determined my mind.

Hand-to-hand fighting as a process is conditioned by some features of a person’s perception of the environment.

Nowadays, many authors interpret this by an example of learning how to drive a car.

  1. In the beginning, a person’s attention is concentrated on the feet, pedals and gear-lever; he doesn’t see or notice what is going on around him (“tunnel vision” effect).
  2. Next, when feelings from movement of the car coincide with hands and feet motility in operation of the lever and pedals, there’s a change (enlightenment, afflation) in the person’s mind; his angle of view broadens to the sight of the road, signs, and he doesn’t pay much attention to the pedals and lever (“peripheral vision” effect).
  3. The next metamorphosis happens when all actions of a driver (motility) correlate with the road situation and movements of the car, i.e. driver’s motility comes to a reflex, subconscious level, thus a driver and a car are integrated. The steering wheel becomes a continuation of the hands, pedals are a continuation of the feet, and only then there is a moment when you can think about something different, about the tactics and strategy of driving. Thus, due to hours of everyday and long-term practice there is a feeling of free, liberate driving.

There is a similar interpretation in the work of Takuan Soho “The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom” but it was written some hundreds of years earlier.

Takuan Soho - a major figure in the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism

Takuan Soho – a major figure in the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism

…”If the beginner knows nothing about either his body posture or the positioning of his sword, neither does his mind know what to be attached to. If a man strikes at him with a sword, he’ll simply meet the attack thoughtlessly.

But when a person studies some technique, knows what a correct stance is, in what way a sword should be grasped and where to put his mind, his mind ‘stops’ in many places. Now, if he wants to strike at an opponent, he should consider all the things carefully. 

But, later, after many years of practice, neither the postures of his body nor the ways of grasping the sword are weighed in his mind. His mind simply becomes as it was in the beginning when he knew nothing and had yet to be taught all of the elements, one by one…”

Alexey Alexeevich formulated the basic principles of hand-to-hand fighting in the following way:

"Technical actions happen in dynamics with constant and following adjustment in space and time. I take the opponent’s strikes softly in the same plane with the turning of my hand or a weapon, while taking a step with half-step and breathing out, and now I’m ready to respond to the attacks.

I use inertia of my opponent and add acceleration. I shift the center of gravity and my opponent doesn’t cope with it. You don’t have to answer force with force, but feel the distance and direct your opponent.

Holding of contact at the point of contact, as the center of the axis of rotation of the weapon or the opponent himself provides directing of the opponent not with force, but with a system of levers with the minimum expense of energy”

The self-defense technique of A.A. Kadochnikov includes the following:

  1. At the moment of attack the defender relaxes his body in a way “strain – relaxation”;
  2. He then breaks the force system of the attacker using the point of contact as a fulcrum and rotating of system elements of one’s body and the body of the attacking person;
  3. Due to the degrees of joints’ freedom he chooses the distance and removes the center of gravity of the attacking person over the bearing area of his body.
  4. The method from point 1 differs with fact that a defending person in breaking the force system of an attacking person provides development of conformity of linear and angular speed of skeletal elements of both bodies, interacting at the point of contact.

But as Takuan Sōhō said …“to really understand the words of a wise man, they should be chewed, but not swallowed without reflecting”…


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