If you watched as the US military prosecuted the last two major campaigns in the war on terror (Afghanistan and Iraq) you saw an incredible improvement in both the efficiency and effectiveness of this war machine.
Both campaigns were won quickly with minimal loss of US life and nominal damage to non-military targets (compared to previous campaigns of this size).
Why? Mainly because of improvements in one major area - TARGETING. In fact, targeting improved so much over the first Gulf war that battles were often won using far less overall firepower.
The ability to target is a skill highly prized by the military because it ends conflicts quickly - with better results and less danger to our troops.
Yet the lack of this same element - targeting - is one of the major flaws I see in combat sports and martial art training today.
The push to increase speed, power and endurance through various conditioning methods continues to evolve in these disciplines while targeting takes a back seat. Yet nothing gives a combat athlete more return on his speed, power and endurance than improved targeting abilities.
Striking a specific target on your opponent can instantly end a full-contact competition, significantly weaken body parts in a grappling match and dramatically improve scores in “point” fighting.
Still, to truly understand the necessity of targeting, we must explore the realm of life-or-death asocial criminal violence.
In A Life-Or-Death Struggle,
Targeting Isn’t Essential. . . It’s Critical
When face-to-face with an asocial predator hell bent on using violence against you, your response MUST be immediate and effective. And unquestionably the #1 way to survive unavoidable criminal violence is to be the one “doing” the violence.
In a life-or-death confrontation nothing changes to your favor until you cause an injury to the other guy. I’m not saying you’ve got to be the first to hit, or even the first to move. But I AM saying to control the outcome you MUST be the first to cause injury!
And the most effective way to use violence as your survival tool? That’s right - it’s hitting targets on the other guy that result in “objective” injuries. Just so we’re clear: an objective injury is one that NO one questions has occurred. It’s like the “linebacker crushing the quarterback’s knee from the side” injury. As you watch the quarterback’s lower leg fold up the ‘wrong way’ - a la Joe Theisman - you don’t ask yourself whether or not he’s feeling pain. It doesn’t matter. He’s clearly injured.
And causing injuries is not difficult. There are 73 different areas of the body providing nearly 200 different targets that will result in this type of injury. Deliver just one and your assailant can do nothing but react to the trauma from that injury, giving you another window of opportunity to deliver additional injuries to other target areas. All you do is repeat this sequence until the he’s non-functional and no longer a threat to you.
A Roadmap To
Using Violence As Your Ultimate Survival Tool
Inside the chaos of a violent life-or-death struggle, targeting provides you a clear roadmap, one you can count on every time. It completely negates the need to be bigger, faster or stronger than the other guy. With education in proper targeting of the human body and an understanding of the “no rules” format on the street, you have a perfect opportunity to create injury and destroy an assailant.
Plus, there’s another often overlooked advantage. Often in asocial violence, bigger, stronger and faster criminals are brazen in their attacks on others since they have no real fear of their ‘victims. ’ That’s a big mistake and huge opportunity for you.
One of my favorite stories involves a 77-year-old woman who was attacked by two, 30-year-old, 200-pound thugs brandishing weapons. She is a society lady living in a wealthy suburb of London.
As her driver opened her door, the thugs attacked from behind the hedges where they hid. The first one struck the 66-year-old driver in the back of the head with a lead filled leather sap, dropping him instantly. The second attacker came around to the woman and placed a knife in front of her at chest level. Before he could utter a word, the woman lifted her stiletto heel (it’s kind of cool that a 77-year-old still wears stilettos!) and stomped it into and through the top of this knife-wielding punk’s foot. He dropped the knife, screaming as he reached for his impaled foot. While he reacted, she grabbed him at the hips and jammed her knee into his groin.
The reaction from the two blows she delivered caused such a dramatic response from the ‘knife-man, ’ the other guy assumed this woman must have a weapon and took off running down the street. Meanwhile, the guy she’d injured stumbled back into the hedges, dropping into a fetal position where the ‘bobbies’ found him 10 minutes later when they arrived.
When asked why she resisted she stated that it was very clear to her these predators had no problem hurting elderly people as evidenced by the vicious attack on her driver. She saw the top of the foot and decided regardless of everything else she could hit that target, and did so with 100% intent.
Clearly, had this been some kind of ‘competition’ the thugs would have ‘won’ hands down. But in the chaotic world of random, asocial violence, exploiting a targeting opportunity can make all the difference.
How You Can Use Targeting
To Win More Often At Combat Sports
You’ve seen the effectiveness - and absolute necessity - of targeting in lethal confrontations.
But what about sport competitions? Is targeting too violent? How could a combat athlete benefit from the more than 200 targets on the human body if the goal of competition is simply to beat your opponent - not maim, cripple, or kill?
The answer is found by looking at the huge number of mixed martial art and combat sport athletes attending my live Target-Focus™ Training bootcamps.
Each comes away with a greater sense of how to deal with asocial violence, how to deal with weapons and multiple attackers and how to use violence as their ultimate survival tool.
But what is truly amazing is how each tells me they are now much more aware of the myriad of LEGAL targets (for their sport) they never knew existed on the human body!
Armed with a practical knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and combined with lots of application time on the mat, these competitors now have the ability to exploit weaknesses in their opponents and WIN competitions. They all credit, 1) better focus during competition and, 2) the capacity to see more options via their newfound “targeting” education.
Some have gone on to win competitions doing simple strikes such as a punch to the lateral side of the neck (nerves attacked provide a quicker KO than a choke hold) or by applying complicated leg locks by striking nerve targets in the legs to weaken their opponent’s structure. All are more efficient on the mat, using LESS strength and speed to get much better results. This not only helps end their competitions faster but most importantly allows them to extend their combat careers through reduced wear and tear.
One particular TKD competitor spent nearly a year improving his targeting without performing ANY traditional TKD training. Yet when he returned to competition a year later, he easily won a national gold medal in his class, attributing his focus on hitting targets as the key difference.
In another case, a fencing athlete won his Masters division decisively once he attended Target-Focused Training sessions. He found he had clear objectives with his targeting and his focus on creating an injury rather than scoring a point. It needs to be pointed out, he did not injure his opponent; he merely used that approach in the competition - with impressive results.
“All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. ” - Arthur Schopenhauer
It’s funny. I sometimes hear ‘Gurus’ deride targeting, calling it “unreliable, ” often stating, “Humans react differently to pain. ”
This of course flies in the face of the wealth of information from medical journals on how trauma affects specific areas of the human body. It also requires an open look at how to get the most out of your training time.
Often old dogs hate learning new tricks. And a lot of these ‘gurus’ have a hard time with change.
The way I see it, in combat sport competition you may be able to ignore proper targeting - just as long as you are ALWAYS bigger, faster, and stronger than the other guy.
But in true, life-or-death, asocial criminal violence you can’t afford NOT to be a student of targeting. The stakes are far too high.
Tim Larkin's Target-Focus Training system shows you how to use targeting to defeat any sociopathic criminal intent on causing bodily harm - regardless of your size, speed, strength, age, sex, athletic ability or previous experience. Learn more about TFT by visiting his website at http://www.targetfocustraining.com