5 Ways of Attack – Attack by Drawing

Attack by Drawing: Way of attack popularized by Bruce Lee (Jeet Kune Do) which aims at pushing somebody to make an action. The five ways of attack were part of the last technical explanations of Bruce Lee, very little time before its death.

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities. – Bruce Lee

The attack by drawing can be an attack or a counter-attack which is based on a trap fixed in advance. This kind of attack asks for a certain acting talent. You must convince the adversary that “there is no plan”. You must create situations of vulnerability by the use of pretences, provocations and traps by knowing in advance the reaction of the adversary. When the adversary falls into the trap, you attack. You must aim at the body automatic response. A particular action brings a given reaction. The reaction is then predictable. You must remain vigilant for the action which will follow the reaction of the opponent.

The attack by drawing is like fishing. Our actions and our positioning, is the bait. The reaction of the adversary is the fish biting. Our attack on the reaction of the adversary is the fisherman who succeeded.

The attack by drawing requires a good general knowledge of fighting. The rhythm and the timing must be developed to be able to act with effectiveness. You can draw a huge benefit on the damage with the attack by drawing because the energy of your attack is combined with the reaction of the adversary.
attaque en provocation

At lot of athletes use the attack by drawing in combat sports. Garry Tonon and Jeff Glover use this kind of attack in grappling. Demetrious Johnson, Connor Mcgregor, Anderson Silva and Michael Page are good examples of athletes mastering in the art of provocation (in striking).

The best way to practice the attack by drawing is sparring with different partners. If you always do sparring with the same person, he will easily guess what you are planning. Even if beginners does not control the attack by drawing, they must stay alert not to fall into certain traps. The role of the trainer is to sensitize the athlete with these tricks with which he will be possibly confronted.

There is many ways to fool the adversary to launch an attack by drawing:

  • To open the guard (to leave an opening) – examples: To leave the hands with a wide space in the center to incite an attack in the center, To lower the guard to incite an attack to the head.
  • To leave a target – examples: To advance the front leg to incite an attack with the leg, To advance the hand forward so that the adversary can touch it.
  • To trap with the footwork (leg movement) – examples: To move back to force the opponent to advance and counter when he advances, To advance and move back at once so that the adversary is accustomed to a certain distance.
  • To make calculated mistakes – examples: To move back the awkward manner to increase your opponent confidence when moving forward , Drop our hands after the strikes to leave the head open and incite a counter-attack to the head.
  • Body language – examples: To change level (height) so that the adversary imitates the movement, To make believe be hurt so that the adversary attacks in the same place (acting).
  • Language of the eyes – examples: To look at the body, strikes with the head or to look in the eyes and strike to the body, To look at the feet and to launch a jab (the eyes have tendencies to follow the eyes of the others).


5 Ways of Attack – Progressive Indirect Attack

The Progressive Indirect Attack is an offensive action preceded by a feint or a light strike with an aim of misleading the adversary. The feint or the light striking can be used for creating openings, causing a reaction, creating space or saving time.

An adversary which has a good and compact guard is difficult to reach with a simple attack. With the Progressive Indirect Attack, which is based on the feints, you can lead your opponent to open his guard to block or avoid your strikes. When the adversary opens while following the trajectory of the feint, you can attack the opening. You can make more than one feint, without exaggerating too much.

  • The feints must be convincing and fast to increase the chances to have a reaction of the adversary. The feints can be used for causing a reaction, reducing the distance, modifying positioning and saving time.
  • Striking following to the feint must be on a different line. It must be fast and precise. The rhythm can be broken to surprise and disorganize the adversary.

The Rhythm

When one speaks about rhythm in combat, it is the time intervals between our actions. The rhythm can be given with strikes, movements of head, footwork etc. The rhythm can be regular or irregular. It can also be broken. When you become aware of the rhythm, you can control it and use it with your advantage. You can change your speed during the combat and adjust according to what occurs (to find the good rhythm which favours you compared to the adversary).

During the fight, you can give a regular and slow beat “to hypnotize” your adversary and to study his reactions. When its reactions is analyzed, you can launch a Progressive Indirect Attack with a faster rhythm. (beats / half-beats)

The Distance

The Progressive Indirect Attack is generally carried out forwards. Thanks to the feints, you can not only create an opening but also gain the distance wished to launch the attack which will reach the selected target.

The Feints

There is several types of feints and they have all their utilities. To make an effective feint, it is necessary to be credible, the movements must be realistic.

Here are a few types of feints:

  • Body/Head feints – Feint having for goal to create an opening to the body or the head
  • Shifting feints – Feint having for goal to cause a reaction of the adversary and thus to compromise its position.
  • Eye feints – Feint having for goal to distract and draw attention at a particular place.
  • Technical feints – Feint having for goal to cause a reaction by acting the beginning of a technique and to continue with another thing.
  • Other feints – One can make movements with the arms to confuse the adversary, one can strike completely beside a target to make the adversary move, etc…

Programmed Feint: Consist in feinting the first blow in order to reach a target supposed to be uncovered with the second blow. The one who makes the feint must anticipate the reaction of the adversary.

Adaptive Feint: Consist in evaluating the reaction of the adversary when the feint is thrown and take the opportunity to attack the openings.


Here is a short list of Progressive Indirect Attacks

  • feint jab, lead hook
  • feint jab, outside low kick
  • feint jab, side kick
  • feint jab, feint jab to body, overhand
  • feint jab to body, rear uppercut
  • feint cross, rear high kick
  • feint outside low kick, low kick on rear leg
  • feint outside low kick, rear super man punch
  • feint lead push kick, jab
  • Look the feet, jab
  • feint spinning back fist, spinning back kick

5 Ways of Attack – Immobilization Attack

The Immobilization Attack is an offensive action made possible due to the immobilization of one or more members of the adversary.

In martial arts, one speaks about immobilization when an action which makes it possible to control the movements of the adversary. It limits the opponent number of attacks and creates openings. The immobilization can be of short time (fraction of a second) or it can also be maintained (to prevent the adversary from getting clear). The unfavourable combatant who is immobilized can be more foreseeable and can also compromise his balance. He is thus more vulnerable.

The first stage for the execution of The Immobilization Attack is to find the good distance.

In “Striking Mode” and in “Clinch”, one must reduce the distance with an aim to immobilize an element of the adversary to attack it. Feints are very good tools to reduce the distance with a maximum of security. One can immobilize several parts (the hands, the legs, the head, the body…). In the phase of “Grappling”, the attack with immobilization is more frequent. The distance being already reached, the goal is to maintain the position with an aim of exerting a control which will limit the defense of the adversary.

The Immobilization Attack in Striking

  • The method of attack with the most popular immobilization in my opinion, in stand up stance, is the “Trapping” or “Hand Trap”. The goal of the “Trapping” is to wedge or remove a weapon of the adversary to prevent it from attacking and creating an opening or an opportunity. Vasyl Lomachenko is a boxer who frequently uses “Hand Trap”.


  • To catch the leg of the adversary is another popular way to carry out an attack with immobilization. One wants to catch the leg of the adversary when it launches a kick and to strike back with an offensive action while he is in balance on a foot.


  • In the Clinch position, there is a lot of techniques of immobilization attack. The best techniques of immobilization in clinch are those where one is able to control the two arms of our adversary, with only one arm.


The Immobilization Attack in Grappling

The Fighting on the Ground brings more possibilities for attack with immobilization. Contrary to the stand up game, one can make use much more of his body to control an element of the adversary. Especially used for the “Ground and Pound”, it is not impossible to use the attack with immobilization to carry out a submission or to improve your positioning. One can also use the “Trapping” when one is in “Full Mount”.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the one which, in my opinion, became the Master in the art of the attack with immobilization. With its great force and its background in Sambo, he have a great control on its adversary.

5 Ways of Attack – Single Direct Attack

The Single Direct Attack is an offensive action carried out from point A to the point B, contrary to a combine attack (Attack by combination, Progressive indirect attack…). The Single Direct Attack can be done in a straight line or in angle by using the principle of economy of motion and simplicity.

Body Angle  VS Striking Angle

It is necessary to differentiate the angle of the body and the angle of the strikes.

  • The angle of the body is your positioning compared to the adversary.
  • The angle of the strikes is the trajectory of each blow.

Single Direct Attack in a straight forward motion

The Single Direct Attack is the easiest way to carry out an attack. The body is in a ready position (neutral angle) with a stable position. The angle of the body is neutral but the strikes can come from various angles (the jab and the cross in a straight line – the hooks on a curved line …). The blows are launched from the initial position without fancy footwork. To be effective, the timing and the distance will have to be perfect. The attack must “not be telegraphed” to add an element of surprise. The rhythm and the precision are elements to be controlled to perform the Single Direct Attack.


Single Direct Attack in a straight forward motion – Jab


Single Direct Attack in a straight forward motion - Outside Low Kick

Single Direct Attack in a straight forward motion – Outside Low Kick


Single Direct Attack in an angle

Once the simple attack direct in a straight forward motion is learned, one can now change the angle of the body while attacking. The angle can be created in several ways:

  • While advancing – When you attack while advancing, you decrease the distance between you and the adversary.
  • While moving back – When you attack while moving back, you increase the distance between you and the adversary.
  • With a step on the side – While moving on side, it is probable to see openings in the guard of our adversary.
  • With a pivot – the pivot obliges our adversary to be readjusted. It enables us to attack in angle and to give us time to do it.
  • By modifying the level (height) – With a light forward tilt and by folding the knees, the punches are launched starting from a different height. By modifying the level, it can also help us to avoid a counter-attack of the adversary.
Single Direct Attack in Angle - Jab

Single Direct Attack in Angle – Jab


Single Direct Attack in angle - Outside Low Kick

Single Direct Attack in Angle – Outside Low Kick

Certain ways of creating the angle of attack can be combined. example: I can advance and modify my level at the same time…

Balance and positioning are the key behind the Single Direct Attack in angle. The distribution of the weight must be considered (the weight of the body in the center or on the side).

The ideal position is the one which offers you a better potential of attack compared to the potential of attack of the adversary. In other words, it is preferable to strike from a position where the adversary cannot strike you.