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An attack is when you actively try to score upon or injure the opponent. In an attack, you are the aggressor, which means you are responsible for happens as a result of your attack. If you injure an opponent, it is assumed you meant to cause the injury. It is then up to you to show evidence to contrary, such as showing it was an accident or it was due to a mistake made by the opponent.

Attack methods

  • Direct. Attack the opponent quickly with a single technique, such as a back fist, jab, and front kick.
  • Combination. Attack using a combination of strikes, such as jab-cross-hook or front-round kick.
  • Drawing. Intentionally leave an opening in your defenses to draw the opponent into making a predictable attack so you can counterattack.
  • Immobilization. Trap one or more of your opponent's possible defenses, such as an arm or leg, and then attack.
  • Indirect. Feint an attack, wait for the opponent's reaction, and then continue with the same attack.

Avoiding attacks

Avoid attacks if possible. If unavoidable, then block them. It takes less energy to avoid than to block. If you must block, it means you are well within the opponent’s attacking zone where avoiding may not be an option.
  • Avoiding is less painful to you than blocking and it's less tiring.
  • Avoiding serves two purposes: you get fewer bruises or injuries than from blocking and you frustrate your opponents since you won't stay in one place and fight them.
To avoid attacks, evaluate your range from your opponent (your kicking range), evaluate your opponent's range from you (his or her kicking range), and determine in what direction and by how much you need to move. Don't move more than is required, it wastes energy and limits your counterattack options. Be careful when avoiding, some people have a poor sense of range and don't get clear of the attack; some even move the wrong direction.

Attack mindset

You don't get points for blocks, you only get points for attacks (or maybe from your opponent breaking the rules); so, follow every block with an attack. Keep an attacking mindset. When everything you do is an attack, your opponent must be defensive all the time. With an attacking mindset, you tend to see more openings to attack.

Most sparring flows between attack and defense. Sometimes it seems as if the fight is choreographed; one person attacks and the other blocks, then the other person attacks and the other blocks, etc. Keeping an attacking mindset allows you to tip this flow in your favor. By attacking more than your opponent does, you will increase your chances of scoring.

When attacking:
  • Attack with power. Even in a no-contact match, a powerful technique may blast through the opponent's defense and score.
  • The best time to attack is when the opponent:
  • Is about to attack.
  • Has completed attack and is starting to retreat.
  • Is moving backward.
  • Has just blocked your first attack.
  • Has stopped moving.
  • Loses concentration.
  • Is exhaling or just finished exhaling.
  • Is off-balance.
  • Is changing stances.
  • Is protecting his or her eyes.
  • Alter attacks to fit the situation. Don't get lock into completing a planned attack; be ready to change it as the situation changes.
  • Always attack with full force. Even in feints and fakes; you want the opponent to believe the attack is real.
  • The attack should be a surprise to the opponent. If they are ready for it, it will probably fail
  • Don't use complicated attacks if not needed. KISS; keep it simple stupid; the more movements, the more chances to fail.
  • Change the timing sometimes. Attack, hesitate, and then renew the attack.
  • Attack with a frenzy. Never allow the opponent to react.
  • Attack the arms and legs to weaken them, then finish the opponent. The late, great Italian-American professional boxer, Thomas Rocco Barbella, better known as Rocky Graziano, used to pound his opponent's arms until his guard dropped and then knock him out.
  • Keep wrists locked during punches. If you don't you may sprain or break one.
  • Use low kicks in the beginning. Restrain from using jumping or flying kicks until the opponent has weakened.
  • Choose your attacks carefully. For every attack, a target; for every target, a reason; and for every reason, a purpose.
  • Attack an attack. Attack when the opponent is ready to deliver his or her attack.
  • Attack the soft spots. Attack vital areas, not hardened areas.
  • Fit the punishment to the situation. Sometimes you may want to teach the opponent a lesson.
  • Think ahead. Use one attack to set the opponent up for another attack one to two moves later.
  • Use a safety triple. A "safety triple" is when, in a combination, the first and last attacks are in the same place. For example, in a punching attack, one jab to the head will probably be blocked but it will draw the opponent's guard upward. If it followed with a quick reverse punch to the abdomen, the second punch may get in before the opponent's guard gets back down, but it will probably be blocked, as the opponent will naturally bring his guard back down. A third jab back to head will probably score since the opponent's arms are moving downward and it takes time to stop the downward movement and start back upward.
  • Adapt to the opponent. The type of attack you use is determined by the opponent’s defense.
  • Use combinations. Use compound attacks, not "off the wall" single attacks.
  • Don't leave it hanging. Withdraw the attacking arm or leg quickly back to guard
  • Consider the angles. Consider all directions when attacking, including attacking from angles.
  • Retreating attacks. Train to attack while moving backward as well as forward.
  • Consider the alternatives. Train for each attack sequence to have multiple outcomes.
  • Freeze the opponent. Force your opponent to make to go rigid for a moment and then attack.
  • Don't be pushy. Do not put so much of your body into a technique that it becomes a push.
  • Stay fluid. The presence of both linear and circular movements implies continuous motion. It would be counter-productive to stop the hands to move the feet or vice-versa. You should strive to make your attacks a non-stop flow of action, not single, jerky attacks.
  • The perfect attack. The perfect attack is a blend of:
  • Strategy
  • Opportunity
  • Judgment
  • Deception
  • Timing
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Accuracy
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