Silat – Retreating Forwards

Retreating Forwards is basically the idea that you always go forwards and never back up.  At the same time, you may need to get out of the way of an incoming attack.  You get out of the way by moving forwards.

Running from an overwhelming or unnecessary situation is well within our parameters of effective self defense.  We will try to escape from gunfire, multiple attackers armed with machetes and other such overwhelming odds and we will try to get away from the drunk who is stumbling around but insistent on fighting to the death over some drunkenly misperceived slight like we looked at him the wrong way.  The drunk may need a lesson but we do not want to go to jail and / or get sued for killing him or breaking him into little, barely recognizable pieces.

To retreat forwards if you are going to move in a direction that is behind your current position (i.e. you are facing North and want to run South) then you must move forwards and turn in a forwards movement while turning around.  If you are going to turn and run from a situation or opponent who may be pursuing you then you will usually want to see the way you are traveling and the situation or opponent you are escaping from at the same time.  This requires some specific physical positioning and the use of  peripheral vision.  You could also retreat forwards and escape by turning left or right and running straight ahead in the new  direction.  Please remember that in retreating forwards you also turn to the new direction by utilizing forward movement.  Most people tend to turn in a way that actually causes them to move backwards while they are turning.  Turn by moving forwards.