The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 5

“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

5. The Angle Lines To Cut the Distance: There are three directions to cut the distance on your opponent. You want to cut the distance and cross your opponent’s line by using the boxing footwork. There are other ways that can be used also, but the basic angles of entrance are the fundamentals:

a. Straightforward: Here you go straight at your opponent. When you decide to come in this way, you are exposed to the fullness of your opponent’s offensive; very important that you get your shoulder’s up, protect your shin, hands up and go in nice and tight.

b. Opponent’s blind side: This is moving behind whatever leg he has in front of him on his sparring stance.

c. Opponent’s horizontal zone: This is where you turn your opponent’s 45-degree fighting stance into a horizontal stance. It is the opposite side of the blind side. Here you also have to take extra precautions in terms of protecting yourself.

What about when the lines are gone? Fight with all you have; adapt, improvise, don’t give up and get back to your centerline as soon as possible. Fighting is not pretty. Be ready to face the ugliness of fighting with great bravery. These centerlines are applicable to stand-up fighting.

As a side note, with the popularity of MMA fighting we must be prepared to fight on the ground. On the ground some things change; always be prepared to know some basic things that can protect you on the ground. Don’t let the ground take you by surprise.

I hope this article helps you in any way. If you have any questions, opinions, disagreements or want to add more insight please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless you all!

Sensei Angel Casiano

The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 4

“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

4. The Line Between You and Your Opponent: Have you ever heard the expression: Do not cross the line? That is the line that separates you from your opponent. The game of stand-up fighting requires that you be well aware when someone crosses that line against you. This is the line that involves the red-zone: the place where either opponent can receive a strike. You must cross your opponent’s line from time to time as you engage in offensive attacks. You can’t win by just standing there waiting for your opponent to attack; there is indeed a place for that as you can counter, but in the ring you must show the judges that you are fighting to win. You must be smart, but you must be aggressive and attack. A good offense makes a good defense as the one attacking is keeping the pressure on the other. As you attack remember to always protect yourself; make sure that your techniques are flowing out of the center of your body. Keep the distance short when throwing hooks and upper cuts and always return to Point-A. Do not drop your hands in the red-zone. When your opponent crosses your line you must do one of two things: attack in whatever way you can to upset whatever he had in mind or get out of there. Don’t make it a habit to stay in the red-zone too long. Come in by crossing your opponent’s line, throw a few combinations and get out. As you cross that line it is extremely important that you go the extra mile to protect yourself; you don’t want to be a victim of a lucky punch.


The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 3

“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

3. Your Own Center Line: At the same time that you are making yourself aware of your opponent’s centerline, you must protect your own for the sake of keeping a strong fighting stance, which will give you a strong centerline.  A strong centerline is the result of a good solid fighting stance. It is imperative that you learn to educate your legs. If your legs are not moving correctly, you run the risk of sacrificing your own balance. A good fighter will take advantage of that by attacking your own centerline and in result, throwing you off balance. Your feet should be separated from each other just a little wider than your shoulders. Your body should be side ways in a 45-degree angle using the opponent’s centerline as reference. Try not to have your feet in a line in reference to the opponent’s centerline as that will limit the usage of your backhand and rear leg. There are times when it’s appropriate to be completely side ways if you are setting your opponent for a spin side or hook kick. You must be sneaky so that your opponent will not notice. No matter what your opponent does, you must fight to keep a solid stance; do not fall apart when attacking and do not fall apart when being attacked!


The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 2

“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

2. Your Opponent’s Centerline: Your opponent’s centerline is the line right in the center of your opponent’s body depending on how he is standing in front of you. If he is standing directly facing you with both legs horizontal to you, his nose should be your point of reference to divide him in a half.  You must divide your opponent in half by using your front hand and front leg. Even as we kick and punch in different angles and positions; and we must be ready to do so, we do our best to attack our opponent’s centerline. The more we attack our opponent’s centerline, the more opportunity we have to keep him off balance. Keep movement going; the more you move, the harder it will be for you to get hit. Move in a circular motion; however, just don’t move just for moving’s sake, keep dividing and attacking the centerline. Also movement could take a lot of energy; if you do not have the physical conditioning to move like the great boxer Muhammad Ali, keep your upper body moving and use the basic boxing footwork for movement.


The Science of Stand-Up Fighting



“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

            Energy and strength are vital in the life of any sport. What good is it for any active athlete to be skillful in whatever sport they engage in without the cardiovascular conditioning and strength to endure?


At the Summer Olympics, for example, we see sprinters having to go through a qualifying heat and a semi-final round before they are able to compete for medals in the finals. It is vital for these athletes to run hard enough to qualify, but not so hard that they wear themselves out. They must be smart in how they use their energy.


In the animal kingdom we see how wild animals also treasure energy; preservation and good usage of energy is vital to their survival. A poisonous snake does not go around shooting its venom and killing just for show; their venom is used for protection and to kill to eat.


In Full Contact Stand-Up Fighting the same principle of preserving and using energy effectively applies. There can’t be any concept of preserving energy without keeping in mind the lines of combat. Without at least a basic knowledge of these lines of Combat and how to approach each one, we will just be moving without direction and purpose; we will be indeed, wasting energy.


It is important to point out that all of these lines function as one; they must come together in stand-up fighting. They have a different value, but all of them have individual purpose. We also must point out that fighting is unpredictable; we don’t always know exactly what our opponent is going to do, so we must adapt, create quickly and be able to protect ourselves in cases where we have lost any one of our lines. We must quickly put ourselves together, attack and return to the proper usage of these lines.  These lines of combat are as follow:


  1. The Emotional Centerline: It is very common to see fighters wearing themselves out within the first thirty seconds of fighting. They find themselves so exhausted that they eliminate any possibility of victory. We must remain calm in the midst of all the chaos; people screaming, the intimidation games, etc. To keep our emotional centerline entails “the ability to remain focused by applying what we learn in training, being able to improvise as needed, listen to and execute our instructor’s guidance during the fight.” Keeping the emotional centerline does not mean that you will not get nervous; but in the midst of it all you can stay focused. I have seen great fighters and athletes in general that are unable to deal with the stress of fighting and they fall apart; this centerline is perhaps the most important one. Without a good usage of this line we will lose sight of the rest.