At its core, military unarmed combat is a system of techniques, strategies, and tactics that allow soldiers to defend themselves and neutralize threats without the aid of their primary weapons. It encompasses defensive and offensive techniques, creating a fascinating balance between them.

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Yet, there’s an ongoing debate in this sphere. What’s the right balance between defensive and offensive maneuvers? Should military training focus more on self-defense or mastering offense techniques? 

These questions might seem complicated, especially if you’re not a seasoned military strategist or a combat sports enthusiast. But, don’t worry, we’re going to break this down in a way that makes sense even for the layman.

Understanding Military Unarmed Combat

Here’s the scenario: You’re arguing with a friend over a board game. Things get out of hand, and suddenly, your friend raises their hand as if to slap you. 

Instinctively, you put up your hand to block the slap, maybe even push your friend away. That’s the essence of unarmed combat: reacting to threats and responding to ensure your safety.

Now, when we take that into the context of a military setting, the stakes are higher, and the techniques more advanced. Rather than just blocking a slap, you might be dodging a knife or disarming an attacker with a  firearm. 

Soldiers train to strike, grapple, and even incapacitate an opponent using their own body weight. It’s not about being the strongest or the fastest; it’s about being clever, efficient, and survival-oriented.

Striking a Balance Between Defense and Offense

Think about driving a car. You can’t just focus on moving forward while on the road. You want to reach your destination, which requires accelerating and overtaking when necessary. 

But equally crucial is your ability to brake, slow down, and steer clear of potential hazards.

If you’re always on the offense, constantly pushing the accelerator, you might get to your destination faster, but you’re also more likely to get into accidents. 

On the other hand, if you’re too defensive, cautious, and continuously tapping the brakes, you’ll probably avoid accidents, but it’ll take you forever to get anywhere.

Military unarmed combat works on a similar principle. A soldier can’t solely focus on launching attacks or only concentrate on defensive maneuvers. 

Instead, they need to strike a balance. They must know when to attack, defend, and alternate between them. This understanding allows a soldier not just to survive but also to neutralize threats on the battlefield effectively.

The Importance of Defense in Military Unarmed Combat

You know when you’re walking down a busy street and see someone heading straight towards you, wholly absorbed in their phone? 

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What do you do? You could stand your ground, risk a collision, or adjust your path slightly to avoid them. If you’re adept, you might gently steer them aside as you pass, using their momentum to keep you both from bumping into each other.

That’s a lot like defense in military unarmed combat. It’s not just about withstanding the blows. It’s about evading, deflecting, and manipulating the opponent’s momentum to your advantage. 

You could block an incoming punch or sidestep a kick. Or, like on the busy street, use an opponent’s momentum against them, deflecting their attack and leaving them off balance.

So defense isn’t about just standing there and taking hits. It’s about being proactive and clever with your reactions, always looking for the best way to keep yourself safe while setting up your next move.

An Often-Overlooked Element

But an often-overlooked element of defense: mental readiness. Soldiers must remain calm under pressure, quickly evaluate their situation, and make split-second decisions. 

Being mentally agile allows soldiers to ‘read’ their opponent and anticipate their next moves, adding an extra layer of defense.

Offense: More Than Just Punching and Kicking

Moving on to offense, we’re talking about more than just throwing punches or landing kicks. 

It’s about strategically targeting vulnerable spots on the opponent’s body – a swift knee to the gut, a punch to the throat, a hit to the back of the knees. These offensive techniques can swiftly incapacitate an opponent and end a confrontation quickly.

But like defense, the offense also requires a mental game. A soldier must identify the perfect moment to strike, where to strike, and how to do it without leaving themselves open to counterattacks. 

It’s not about who strikes first but who strikes smart.

Finding the Balance in Military Unarmed Combat

So where does this leave us? The delicate balance between defense and offense in military unarmed combat depends on various factors. 

The soldier’s physical condition, level of training, and personal combat style will play a part. So too, will the nature of the threat, whether a sudden ambush or a drawn-out fight. 

The environment can also affect which techniques are most effective; fighting in a confined space requires different tactics than in an open field.

What’s clear is that well-rounded training in military unarmed combat should arm soldiers with a wide range of defensive and offensive techniques. It gives them the flexibility to adapt to a host of combat scenarios.

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Ultimately, it’s not about favoring defense over offense or vice versa. Instead, it’s about harmonizing the two, much like the ebb and flow of a dance. Those who achieve this balance aren’t just survivors; they are victors.