The 4 Step Matrix is a training and fighting matrix based on the Covered Blast, but designed specifically for contact weapons. It trains practitioners to make a covered entry, covered follow ups, and a covered exit in order to attack or defend successfully and without getting injured in the process.
The matrix can be used with any contact weapons: sticks, machetes, knives, palm sticks, bats, canes, etc., and should be trained with a variety of weapons against a variety of dissimilar weapons. For example, try using a shoe against a stick, a hammer against a knife, or even a pen against an iron. Training with everyday objects against common weapons will help ensure your training is applicable in self defense. You can see examples of this in the video on my weapons page.
In order to hit your opponent you must enter and exit his weapon range. The purpose of the first step in the matrix is to strategically get you inside your opponent's weapon range without getting hit. The second step is a follow up that targets the opponent's head or weapon bearing limb in a way that stops his weapon from hitting you with a secondary attack. Ideally, the second step disarms your opponent. The third step is a power shot, generally to the head or neck, aiming to take the opponent out. And the fourth step is a covered exit.
Each step in the matrix is a concept rather than a predetermined tactic or technique. Therefore, it is not necessary to use a technique for each step. For example, if the opportunity exists and you can simply stab or nail your opponent in the face with one shot, that's fine (even possibly better), as long as you're taking account of his weapon. Similarly, if you've nailed your opponent and he falls on the floor with his weapon falling a few feet away, you've already got your covered exit. It may also be that a single step requires multiple techniques. For example, if you enter with your opponent backing up, or attempt the second step to no effect, you may have to use multiple strikes to accomplish the goal of a single step.
The 4 Step Matrix provides a way to train and teach functional weapon use and defense without having to memorize 1000 different combinations. Instead, you've got a few basic techniques and tactics, and one easy-to-train method with tons of adaptable applications. The matrix consists of a variety of strikes, footwork patterns, entries, follow ups, and exits. Below are the fundamental components:
The 4 Step Matrix can be trained in a variety of ways, from solo drilling and flowing to isolated partner drills, to application in full on sparring. See our training page for more information on good training concepts.
With a partner it's possible to choose particular entries, footwork patterns, exits, and strikes, and isolate those patterns against prearranged attacks for full speed and power repetitions with no protective gear. This type of training helps to engrain techniques and become used to full power attacks. Alternatively, against a specified attack different counter combinations can be trained. For solo training, particular prearranged combinations can also be worked, or the practitioner can flow keeping the matrix in mind.
See my stick and sword page for examples of the 4 Step Matrix used in sparring.