Control and Dominance Theory is an extensive topic. The basic approach is to look at controlling yourself, your opponent, and the space and time in which the interaction occurs.
- By controlling the dimensions of the interaction, space and time, you lay the groundwork for controlling the opponent. Close and open the gap between you and your opponent.
- By controlling the opponent , body and mind, you succeed in dominating in the encounter.
- By controlling yourself, body and mind, you do the groundwork for controlling the opponent.
For yourself and your opponent, look at ways to control the mind, and ways to control the body.
Control of Dimensions of Space and Time
By controlling space, you are able to control the confrontation. Control of space can effectively buy us time. In defence, increase the distance and the opponent takes longer to reach you. In attack, move to the closer position to attack and he has less time to defend.
By controlling space, you give yourself a significant edge. There are drills for learning how to maintain an optimal distance for doing a technique. All training is done with this consideration in mind. Keep the correct distance, with the correct orientation, and at a level (height) matching that of your opponent. Each technique has its particular requirement for positioning, and this must be mastered.
By evading, you create space and buy time. By guarding, you close-off potential targets. By blocking, you stop an attack from proceeding along a particular trajectory in space. By shielding, you preserve distance from your opponent.
Examples of controlling space:
- positioning yourself at the correct level by slumping to get lower than your opponent.
- positioning yourself at the optimal distance by stepping appropriately.
- positioning yourself with suitable orientation (hips, feet) by stepping appropriately and twisting your hips.
- positioning yourself with the best foot placement by stepping appropriately.
- protect the target by blocking with your arms or your legs.
- protect the target by putting up a guard with your arms.
- protect the target by shielding against the attack with your hands or forearms.
- protect the target by sticking to the blow and keeping it under control.
- protect the target with evasion by stepping, ducking and weaving.
By controlling time, you are able to control the confrontation. We try to control the pace of the encounter. We learn to move with the correct rhythm, and to do so with a blindingly fast tempo. We improve in this regard through:
- repeated practice with the correct form
- increasingly live training (see Appendix D – Aliveness in Training)
- coaching on rhythm and timing
- forcing yourself to move faster
- working on improving reaction time.
The control of time can effectively give us space. In defence, move at the right time and your opponent will not reach you, or be delayed in reaching you. In attack, move at the right time and you will reach your opponent.
Examples of controlling time:
- controlling the rhythm to achieve synchronization by moving with your opponent.
- controlling the rhythm to get the correct timing by moving when you need to move.
- controlling the tempo to move at an appropriate speed by learning to go very fast.
- decreasing your reaction time to reduce the time to make a correct decision by training in increasingly live situations.
- decreasing your reaction time to reduce the time to move by training to move explosively.
- decreasing your reaction time to reduce the time to perceive the attack by keeping the eyes open and looking.
Control of Opponent
Clearly controlling the opponent is the essence of the confrontation. We can do this by controlling them physically, the body, and we can do this by controlling their mind. The first is more reliable. The latter is less well understood, and harder to teach. Below are some ideas on this.
Control Opponent’s Body
The techniques used to control the opponent’s body are discussed elsewhere in this document. They represent the physical art.
Control Opponent’s Mind
Clearly controlling the opponent involves controlling the opponent’s mind. We want to impair their ability to defend, and to weaken their aggressive intent, perhaps even get them to run away. The five pillars of attack discussed in the section on the physical part of the art are really designed to do this. We can work on the opponent’s perceptions, their ability to process information cognitively, and on their emotional state. See Appendix A – The Original Five Pillars by Dom Lopez and also look at Appendix B – Detailed Examination of the Pillars.
Various emotional reactions can be expected in a confrontation. Although the mechanism of control of your opponent’s emotions is probably the least reliable means of control, you may still be able to exploit feelings of fear, anger, resignation, dominance-submission, demoralization, approach-avoidance, panic and related things to your advantage.
Note, I have run-off attacking dogs by yelling and charging at them. Sometimes, seeming to be fiercer will work.
I imagine that in many cases, the display of a weapon, and the projection of intention that you would use it would work to get an assailant to back down. I did this once, however, nothing is guaranteed.
Perceptions and Motor Control
You can disorient your attacker by mean of visual, vestibular, kinaesthetic, and proprioceptive systems. Superior speed, off-balancing, blinding, stunning, and constantly changing your targets can all be used to disturb your assailant’s perceptions and control him.
If you can mis-direct and confuse your attacker; he will be easier to control. You may be able to verbally confuse, cause a mental stutter with a reduction in reaction time, by saying or doing something incongruous.
Control of Self
Clearly you must control your-self in the confrontation. You can do this by controlling yourself physically, your body, and do this by controlling your mind. The first is more well understood. The latter is less well developed, and harder to teach, but is essential. Below are some ideas on this.
Control Your Body
By controlling your body, you are able to control the confrontation. The techniques of the art involve learning to control your own body effectively. Then use this to control the opponent. Train the right techniques in the right way, in order to dominate. Learn with a mixture drill, live training, and coaching. Here are some general considerations:
- Learn the techniques of the art
- Control evasiveness by weaving and moving fluidly.
- Control mobility to weave and move fluidly.
- Control sticking to a blow as found in the practice hubad lubod and corridas.
- Control yielding appropriately to manage force as found in the practice hubad lubod and corridas.
- Control the bio-mechanics appropriate amount of tension and stretch to optimize performance including reaction speed.
- Control the bio-mechanics elasticity for store of energy to store energy and allow a power and velocity increase.
- Control the bio-mechanics of a secure yet mobile base to insure a good platform for delivery.
- Control the bio-mechanics of alignment of the joints by setting the correct angles and relaxing appropriately.
- Control the bio-mechanics of balance by keeping above your base.
- Control the bio-mechanics of connection amongst parts of the motion to increase whole body motion.
Control Your Mind
Clearly controlling yourself involves controlling your mind. You want to retain your ability to defend, to turn on your own aggressive intent, and prepare yourself to fight back savagely and effectively. You must preserve your fully functioning perceptual and motor skills under stress, your ability to process information, and your emotional equilibrium as much as possible. You will need to learn to manage adrenalin coursing through your system in order to do this.
Various emotional reactions can be expected in a confrontation. Although the mechanism of control of your own emotions is essential, it is difficult to avoid feelings of fear, anger, resignation, submission, demoralization, panic and related things..
Perceptions and Motor Control
You can be disoriented by means of visual, vestibular, kinaesthetic, and proprioceptive systems. If your perceptions are disturbed, it will be easier for your opponent’s attacks to succeed, he will be able to control you.
If you can avoid being mis-directed and confused, you will be able to defend more successfully. If you are confused, suffer a mental stutter, you will have a delayed reaction time. You must think clearly in order to effectively think about what is happening. One the action starts, you will do very little thinking, but if you keep your wits about you, you will increase your odds.