An index position is nothing more than a stance you assume in any threatening, face-to-face situation you can’t simply walk away from. You’ll recognize when it’s appropriate to “index” because you’ll feel really uneasy and uncertain. Indexing enables you to instantly defend or attack without the appearance of being prepared to do either. Sweet! Two for one!
Indexing is like cocking a firearm. When you cock a firearm, you make it ready to fire, cutting the trigger pressure that you need to fire in half. When you index, you cock your own trigger by mentally committing to a pre-emptive attack in order to protect yourself, if necessary.
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The SPEAR System: Tony Blauer Shows You 6 Self-Defense Moves
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How to Use Indexing in Real Street Fights
Exactly how you index depends on what strike you’re going to attack with. The index for self-defense moves like an ax hand is not the same as the index for self-defense moves like a chin jab. Incorporate whatever you devise as your “go to” index positions into your training by assuming one and then suddenly exploding and striking an impact pad as quickly and powerfully as you can, thus simulating execution of real self-defense moves you’d use in real street fights.
KELLY McCANN COMBATIVES VIDEO
Learn From Combatives Expert Kelly McCann How the Index Position Sets Up Your Self-Defense Moves in Real Street Fights!
I usually default to a hands-up palms-out index position. I move my hands ambiguously in an apparent effort to placate the thug or de-escalate the situation.
I’m actually using the motion like a boxer to keep my arms loose and ready to strike with hard-hitting self-defense moves — perhaps with a face mash! Even though I’m indexed, I’ve already visualized striking my attacker. He doesn’t even realize that I’ve crossed the threshold of whether to attack or not before he has.
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Face Mash! Kelly McCann’s Essential Self-Defense Moves
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"Telegraphing" Your Self-Defense Moves During Real Street Fights
Your index position is supposed to be conciliatory, but watch out for your face revealing your true intent or making you appear threatening. Don’t give the bad guy a “hairy eyeball” by lowering your eyebrows and furrowing your brow. Lose the mean face. Just relax your jaw muscles and eyebrows or, even better, arch your eyebrows up and look hapless.
Speed's the Name of the Game in Real Street Fights
Index positions work because actions are always faster than reactions. If your hands are within reach of your attacker’s face, there’s nothing he can do to defend against your strike when you unexpectedly explode with your self-defense moves.
Do you have any idea what a huge advantage that is and how much control that gives you over uncertain situations? When you index, it’s not a foregone conclusion there’s going to be violence. It only means there may be and you’re prepared to pre-empt it.
A Tale of Two Fighters
Consider two different fighters in separate confrontations. One is skilled in real street fights and trained in combatives, but the other is traditionally trained in the dojo. The street-skilled fighter tries to be avoidant, but he’ll unexpectedly attack his attacker because he’s got an offensive mindset.
On the other hand, the dojo-trained fighter has been taught to defend. He’ll likely wait for his attacker to attack, giving up the significant advantage of action vs. reaction because he’s got a defensive mindset. Unfortunately, on the street, his choice to hold back his self-defense moves may be fatal.
Think of it this way: Although both may hold their hands up to appease, combatives-boy has already mentally committed to attacking. Dojo-dude really is defending. Neither situation may result in violence, but if they did, combatives-boy would have the clear head start in his situation. Mentally, he’s already victimized his attacker.
About the Author of the Source Material:
Kelly McCann is the author of the acclaimed book Combatives for Street Survival and the companion 3-DVD set of the same name. Kelly McCann serves as the president of Crucible, an elite empty-hand and weapons-training facility that provides security support services and trains military, government and law-enforcement operators to do whatever it takes to survive.