Levels of Violence: A Strategic Perspective

By Yossi Sheriff

Strategic Insights in Understanding Violence

The concept of Levels of Violence (L.O.V) in martial arts is not just a measure of physical force but a strategic tool in understanding the dynamics of conflict. Sun Tzu's emphasis on the art of deception, the importance of adaptability, and the efficiency of indirect approaches, aligns with the nuanced understanding of violence in martial arts. Similarly, Luttwak's paradoxical logic of strategy, where too much aggression can lead to vulnerability, resonates with the martial philosophy of controlled and measured application of force.

Video: Levels of Violence in Honbu Dojo

Video: Levels of Violence in Hamburg Seminar

Levels of Violence, (L.O.V), (רמת אלימות) in the Methodical Pyramid of AKBAN is a strategic tool that goes beyond the physical aspects of martial arts. It embodies the principles of strategy and conflict management, drawing parallels with the teachings of Sun Tzu and Luttwak. This scale assesses the potential damage of techniques, weapons, or physical engagements, considering not only the physical impact but also the strategic implications.

Understanding the L.O.V is crucial in kata analysis and technique methodology. It helps in evaluating the effectiveness of techniques in different scenarios, considering the intent of the tori and the context of the engagement. This approach aligns with Sun Tzu's emphasis on understanding the terrain and Luttwak's focus on the paradoxical nature of strategy.

Interrelation of Target Areas and Levels of Violence

The strategic selection of target areas in martial arts is a critical factor in determining the Levels of Violence (L.O.V). This concept aligns with Sun Tzu's principle of striking where the enemy is most vulnerable and Luttwak's notion of exploiting the paradoxes in warfare. In martial arts, the choice of target area is not just a physical decision but a strategic one, influencing the potential impact and outcome of an engagement.

Target areas in martial arts can range from highly vulnerable points, such as pressure points or vital organs, to more resilient areas like muscles or bones. The choice of target area directly influences the L.O.V, with vulnerable points leading to higher levels of violence due to the potential for significant damage or incapacitation. This strategic choice reflects Sun Tzu's advice to attack where the opponent is unprepared and Luttwak's emphasis on the element of surprise and indirect approaches in conflict.

Furthermore, the selection of target areas also reflects the martial artist's intent and control. Striking a less vulnerable area might indicate a controlled, defensive approach, aligning with the principle of minimizing harm while effectively neutralizing a threat. This approach resonates with the strategic doctrines of both Sun Tzu and Luttwak, where restraint and control can lead to more favorable outcomes in conflict situations.

In summary, the interrelation of target areas and levels of violence in martial arts is a complex and strategic consideration, deeply rooted in the teachings of Sun Tzu and Edward N. Luttwak. It underscores the importance of strategic thinking, control, and adaptability in martial arts, transcending beyond mere physicality into the realm of mental and strategic warfare.