Combative Anatomy is the study of how to stop a human from performing a violent action in the shortest amount of time using anatomy and physiology. With Combative Anatomy, there is no consideration of pain or psychology, just mechanics.
Combative Anatomy applies to all interpersonal combat including open hand combatives, impact weapons, edged weapons, and firearm. You notice that these are listed in the order in which man began to use them. At contact distance, the root of all interpersonal combat is the open hand, it just holds different tools.
Law of Extension- in order for someone to attack at contact distance, they have no choice but to extend themselves to you. The arms, and legs, and then the head. It is their attack that allows us to defend.
Structural System- comprised of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendon. This is the frame of the body and what attaches it. The base of the structural system is the skeletal system. The skeletal system consists of two parts, the Axial Skeleton comprised of the skull, spine, and ribcage, and the Appendicular skeleton, comprised of the limbs, shoulders, and pelvis. The Appendicular skeleton is our focus, most specifically the elbows, and knees. Being hinge joints, they only bend one way. Targeting them is a priority in Combative Anatomy. Crushing the elbow will limit the attackers ability to hold a weapon or attack with that arm. Knees are the weak link in our base. Crushing the knee will limit the attackers ability to walk/stand, and uses their hips to generate force. The elbow is most efficiently attacked from the rear of the arm, just above the joint at the insertion point of the tricep. The knee, from the side, targeting the ACL. Even under stress, damage to the hinge joint is easily identified.
Central Nervous System- comprised of the brain (computer) and spinal cord (power strip). The Central Nervous System is electricity. Because of ritualized combat, we usually fight attackers head on. In most cases, this puts the spinal cord out of reach. However, at contact distance, the head/skull/brain is an obvious target. The slightest bump to the head will at least cause the eyes to slam shut and disrupt the processing of information needed to fight. Striking the Frontal Lobe interrupts thinking, problem solving, planning, and some parts of movement. All very necessary to fight. Striking the Occipital Lobe (rear of brain) impairs vision. It is hard to fight what you cannot see. The best way to attack the CNS is with open hand strikes to the side of the head, or slamming your attacker backwards into a vertical surface.
Circulatory System- comprised of the heart, arteries, and veins, the circulatory is the plumbing of the body. Causing trauma requires it to be punctured or cut which necessitates the use of a weapon. Although trauma to the circulatory system is more likely to cause eventual death than trauma to the structural or central nervous systems, it is often the slowest to have an effect on the ability of the attacker to keep going. Puncturing the circulatory system with en edged weapon or a bullet is just like punching holes in a drum filled with water. Depending on where the drum is hit makes all the difference in how long it takes to empty. Even in the best case scenario, this is very slow.
Think of the human body as a house getting a roof put on. There are workers on the roof. The fastest way to stop the workers is by knocking one or more of the walls in (structural). The second fastest is the Central Nervous System (electric) all the power tools just stop. The slowest way is to turn off the plumbing (Circulatory System). Without plumbing, the work may continue for some time. With out a roof to stand on or electricity to power the tools, work cannot continue.