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Self Defense/Why is dodging by 7 and 8 angle attacks stepping to the right is better positioning escapes? Wouldn't it be more situation?


QUESTION: To bring up an image from your Street E and E.

As the image (which I scanned from your book into my PC) states, you said dodging attacks coming from 7 and 8 angles by moving to the left makes it easier to counter attack while moving to the right makes it easier to escape.

I don't understand this at all. All your previous illustrated movements to escape other angle attacks make sense because you're still moving the same direction, just the positioning of the feet is the prime factor for counterattacking or running away.

But in your illustration above, it seems like you're moving  the same exact way either side. Not even a subtle change of foot movement.  So how exactly is moving right leaves you better positioning to escape as oppose to left? I mean 7 and 8 attacks are coming from the same basic direction so left or right doesn't seem to matter.

Going hand in hadn, even if there is a grain of truth in what you said, wouldn't it be situational? I mean if I was in a room with more space to my left, wouldn't stepping left be better for escaping? If I was in a room where a pillar is on the lft of me wouldn't it be easier to counter attack by stepping right?

ANSWER: Three reasons. All of them having to do with most people being right handed.

First is assuming the attacker is right handed. That dodge to your left puts you in what is called outside gate.  That means you're on the outside of his right elbow. This limits his ability to do a follow up attack with his left (especially if you check/trap his right arm).

Second most people are better using their right as the power hand than their left. Positioning to your left 'cocks' you right (again, this works better if you've used your left to check/trap his right)

Third, while positioning yourself on the outside of his elbows is called outside gate, positioning yourself inside his elbows is 'inside gate.' (Imagine holding an invisible box in your arms; that's inside gate.) Inside gate is basically a killing zone.

You DON'T want to move into his killing zone. What you DO want to do is put him inside yours.

If you move in such a way that he's in your inside gate, but you're out of his that's a safe place to counter-attack from (although you may be able to also run). Again assuming right handed attacker, you move to your left and you create these conditions.

If however, you move to your right, you're now in a situation where you are most likely just trading damage. That's because you're both in each other's inside gate.

While it is possible to stay safe operating from there, you seriously have to crank up your offense. No six or seven hit stuff (trying to beat the hell out of him). The guy has got to be down and done in two or three moves. Otherwise you're just trading damage.

Now the really bad news. Most people can't do that. Even their best attempts at increasing their force means they're standing there too long, taking damage AS they're trying to get all offensive.

Basically I was telling people to get the hell out of there -- especially if there's weapons involved. Do you really want to be standing in his killing zone when he's got a weapon? Yeah, you can try, but from there -- for most people -- keeping on moving is the better option. This especially if you slip out past his weaker left (which gets you out of inside gate)

As for the variables, as a friend of mine says "Violence is high speed problem solving." I tell people that it's also problemistic and mutable.

Problemistic in that things change, you can't accurately predict what's going to happen or what the circumstances will be, variables are always changing -- but you can make calls about what things are most probable, what are possible and what are real snow ball chances in hell.

Mutable because something as simple as which lead the guy is in determine what attacks are most likely. And that changes in him just taking a step.

The environment also dictates (notice I said better, not best) sometimes you don't have room to move to outside gate, so you have to go inside.

Such is life.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am wondering though outside of bizarre circumstances, why is moving into his inside gate leaves better positioning for escape? I mean since you mentioned right now moving right would be inside his arms, I don't understand why you recommend dodging to the right if you intend to escape. Wouldn't it be better to just move to outside his elbow (stepping left) when attempting to escape (especially since as you rightly state most people are right-handed)?

Mostly it's to encourage people to KEEP on moving through inside gate instead of trying to stand there and fight.

If they want to stay and counterstrike --which many do -- it's safer to do it from outside gate.

You evade and try to stop and fight there inside gate's the worst place possible. So saying 'it's better for escape' encourages people move out of the kill zone.  Which -- hopefully-- turns it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is after all a book about escape, not staying there and fighting.

And BTW, if the guy is right lead, if you shove him  -- AS you run -- perpendicular to his stance integrity, he falls over easier.

But you're now talking about how complex and variable aspects that could happen in every situation. "But what if he's in a left lead but striking with his right arm?"

Well then the angle of your shove has to be different, an angle that is possible, but harder to do.

That is why I said "Better" not "Best."  There are just too many variables to make an absolute statement. Yes you can fight or escape form either position. But the better option from inside gate is to disengage and haul ass.

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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