Web of Knowledge

by Dennis Conatser (2007-10-26)

In studying the nature of an attack, you must learn to (1) identify, define and classify the types of encounters you may find yourself in; (2) thoroughly scrutinize the various methods in which weapons (natural or otherwise) can be employed; and (3) instinctively determine your choice of action in successfully combating the numerous types of encounters with which you may be confronted.

When identifying the nature of an attack, you must first ascertain whether trouble is (1) eminent in the ENVIRONMENT you are entering; (2) then anticipate the possibility of an encounter; and (3) eliminate the element of surprise. Although the type of action you encounter may surprise you, you would, nevertheless, be prepared to instinctively utilize your knowledge regardless of the predicament. Again, at this stage, strategy and plans for defense and offense are not thought of consciously -- they occur naturally.

Defining the predicament involves classifying and categorizing the various types of attack. Utilizing this approach makes classification a useful tool when you are categorizing and defining the attack. Answers are more appropriately geared to attack situations when they are categorized into topics such as:

  1. Grabs and Tackles
  2. Pushes
  3. Punches
  4. Kicks
  5. Holds and Hugs
  6. Locks and Chokes
  7. Weapons
  8. Multiple Attacks

While these categories become extremely helpful in defining the attack, they, nevertheless, are general categories. Specific detailing is needed since there are numerous methods of executing the techniques listed in each category. In the determination to classify and categorize the various types of attacks in a logical and systematic order we were prompted to create the WEB OF KNOWLEDGE.

Web of Knowledge

In Ed Parker's words,

"The idea for the WEB OF KNOWLEDGE came to me thirty two years ago in Hawaii as I observed a spider constructing a web. As I watched the spider meticulously build this ingenious trap for his survival, I attempted to parallel the principles of this construction with the learning of the Martial Arts. From this design created by our Supreme Being, I pondered about how it could be used as a beneficial trap: a trap that would be an aid in retaining Martial Arts' knowledge. Surely, if a web is primarily a trap to ensnare victims, why couldn't a similar structure be used to ensnare knowledge? As I began to develop the concept, I pondered about topics that could be studied. What knowledge was the web to contain and what order of priority would it follow? Would the topics of study vary from one belt level to another? If so, what belonged where? Such unanswered questions did not make it easy to create and organize a progressive plan utilizing a WEB OF KNOWLEDGE. Through trial and error, I arrived at what I thought to be an equitable solution. I categorized the web into prime topics of concern and arranged the course into what I considered progressive."

Web of Knowledge

The Web is prioritized according to the degree of difficulty in handling an attack:

1) Grabs and Tackles -- The beginning student should have a good chance against a grab where the opponent does not instantly plan a punch. Without an immediate follow-up, a grab is basically inactive.

2) Pushes -- Because of the forward momentum of pushes, they require more timing than grabs, but not as much as the required timing for a punch.

3) Punches -- Still a greater degree of timing is required to defend against a punch due to the faster speed and force of a punch.

4) Kicks -- Not only do kicks require timing, but they have potentially greater power than punches -- thus making them more dangerous.

5) Holds and Hugs -- These in turn are more difficult because of the restriction of body movement and the limited number of available weapons and targets. There is a real danger of being taken to the ground.

6) Locks and Chokes -- These are more dangerous than Holds and Hugs as they have the potential of causing broken limbs and even instant death.

7) Weapons -- The timing and power associated with weapons easily rates them as being the most difficult to handle. Your opponent has a range advantage with a high probability of serious injury or death.

8) Multiple Attacks -- Defense against multiple attacks requires skill and strategy. Being attacked by more than one opponent increases the probability of serious injury or death and, therefore, should be viewed as being equivalent to a single attacker well versed in the use of a weapon.

Careful examination of the techniques required in each of the belt levels will reveal that the topics listed above are in the exact order in which they are introduced to you. While all belt levels follow the same sequence of topics, there are noticeable omissions of attack sequences. The omission of various attacks within the sequence may be due to the frequency of different attacks. Lower belt requirements may stress more grabs, punches, hugs, or holds since there is a greater probability of encountering these types of attacks rather than kicks. Secondly, beginners are not equipped to make kicking techniques work because of their limited experience.

Besides understanding the relative difficulty and danger of various attacks, you should explore related usages for the Web by visualizing and categorizing the various attacks according to direction, method, path, dimension, and angle of delivery or execution. For example, a punch might be delivered with a left or right hand, in a linear or circular motion while employing a variety of methods. Such methods of execution may:

(1) create straight, hook, or roundhouse punches; (2) employ related methods in the form of a cross, jab, uppercut, chop, rake, or thrust type punches; or they may require (3) delivering punches with the rear or lead hand while in a stationary position, shuffling, or using a step through maneuver; or (4) by using combinations of the same. All methods of punching, grabbing, pushing, etc., and their combinations should be studied. The greater your knowledge of existing methods, the greater your repertoire of knowledge -- all Of which lessens your chances of being surprised. All motions that have been discussed may be compatibly inserted into the UNIVERSAL PATTERN.

In time you will learn that a specific technique used for a right hand grab may be suitably or identically used for a right hand push or punch. It may require altering the timing of your action, but you, nevertheless, would still employ the identical technique pattern. When the structure of a technique allows for identical use against each of the types of linear motion mentioned, spontaneity is proportionately increased. There is no hesitation in deciding which technique to use, you simply respond to the action without deviating from the prescribed pattern. The substitution of a knife, however, would undoubtedly alter your technique pattern. Sophisticated strategy would be needed to control your opponent's actions. Naturally, logic should always dictate your need to alter, reduce, expand, or substitute your movements to increase your chances of success.