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Distancing is the appropriate selection of distance between oneself and a combatant throughout an encounter. Distancing is significant in an altercation as it determines both attack and defence options for all parties involved.[1] Timing and tactics are also important elements of combat which are often used in conjunction with distancing by experienced martial artists.[2]

Distancing is an important concept in all combative sports and arts. It applies to both un-armed and armed combat. In a martial sense, armed combat takes the form of traditional weapons practice. Given the enormous variety of martial arts weapons in addition to the various ranges of un-armed combat, it is possible to divide distancing up into many sub-distances or ranges. Indeed, many martial arts have their own uniques expressions for various distances or ranges derived from those they specialise in.

Distances may be divided up in a number of ways which include various combinations of major and sub-ranges. Although many styles train practitioners at varying ranges, most styles specialise in one or two major sets of ranges.[1]

In a general, most arts describe each of the following ranges (from longest to shortest):[2]

  • Non-contact range
  • Kicking range
  • Punching range
  • Clinch fighting range
  • Ground fighting range

In addition, a great may sub-ranges may be included. One example is the division of the punching range into:[1]

  • Finger striking range
  • Punching range
  • Palm-striking range

All other ranges may also be subdivided in a similar manner.

Many martial arts focus on specific distances. Examples of this are as follows:[2]

See also[edit]