Strike (Dǎ 打)
Strike (Dǎ 打) - at it’s root, Mantis Boxing is a style of stand-up grappling. However, we need tools to get to the clinch and then throw; especially against an active and violent opponent. The style includes strikes and kicks to either knock out the opponent, or Enter (Jìn 進) to a grappling position in order to facilitate a throw/trip/takedown.
Strike is good keyword to remember when we are engaged in grappling against another high level grappler. At times, we can forget that a strike is available, succumbing to the common myopic infirmity of ‘Target Fixation’.
3 Methods of Strike
Strike to Damage
Softening the opponent with any one of, or combination of the strikes found in Mantis Boxing. These include fist strikes such as, Forward Punch, Reverse Punch, Hook Punch; Circle Punch, Uppercut; Backfist, Scraping Fist, Whipping Fist, and Chopping Fist. Other options are Open-Hand Strikes which include: Thrust Palm, Eye Plunder, Ear Claw, Throat Claw, Spear Hand, Slant Chop, and Groin Slap.
Strike to Enter/Bridge/Connect
A basic bridging tactic for crossing Critical Distance is to strike on my way in. This occupies my opponent while I enter, rather than walking in and eating a punch. In order to successfully cross into enemy territory, we use ‘bridging tactics’.
A bridging tactic is a tool or method to occupy or distract our opponent in order to bridge the gap from out of range, to where we can land our attacks. There are a variety of methods in Mantis Boxing to achieve this, such a 3 section step, and double kick, but a rudimentary and base level bridging tactic is to strike upon entry.
Strike to Connect, to Stick, to Hook, then Clinch
Within striking range we decide to reach out and try to grapple our foe by getting our hooks on their neck/arms. This gives our opponent an opportunity to strike us, as they are no longer occupied.
By striking first, we engage our opponent’s limbs if/when they defend, and then transition from connect to stick. Upon sticking, we begin to hook, and then clinch. This provides a staged execution of reaching the clinch using strike, instead of being knocked out in our attempt.