Offensive Expectations

January 18, 2024, Bangkok

I recently wrote a blog called, Body Reactions Expectations, it is about how in some systems there is an understanding that; I strike him this way and he will respond in that specific way and then I continue etc. The idea being that you can predict how people will respond to your strikes and based on that you have a planned follow up to this sequence of events. I argued against this saying that you can never predict how one will react, one might be a mountain climber and have super strong legs, another might be a car mechanic and have super strong arms etc. Never, ever, have any expectations, as Bruce Lee wrote, it is a mistake to anticipate the outcome of an engagement (Tao of Jeet Kune Do)

Today I want to discuss another kind of expectations; offensive expectations. This is when an instructor presents a situation, a grab, a choke, a hold, a hug or a punch, and then he will say something like, "Now why is he doing this? He is doing this because he intends to ...pick you up, trip you, knock you down, throw you around etc". In another words, there is a certain expectation of why the person has attacked you or grabbed you in a certain way and therefore what he intends to do next. 

I prefer to take a Zen approach. When he grabs me, I never have any expectations as to what will happen next. I have no idea. Rather, I must simply deal with the situation as it is. I am not going to come with a response based on what I assume, believe, expect, him to do next. For example, if he grabs me in a front bear hug. I will not say - he is grabbing in a bear hug because he plans to ...lift me up, or trip me over, or whatever. Rather, I just say, he grabbed in a bear hug, I will deal with this now. This is not an investment where I am trying to guess if real estate will go up or town, if the stock market will go up or down. I will not base my self-defense on a belief or expectation of what the attacker wants to do. He is not a professional athlete with a sports background, he is a street thug, and I don't know his rules, his street experience. If he grabs me in a bearhug I defend against the bearhug, not the expected lift or trip. The future is unknown, each person is different, I do not know his training background. I take the Zen approach, just deal with what we know, here and now. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

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