Levels of violence

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By Yossi Sheriff
Target area, neck - High L.O.V

Levels of violence, (L.O.V), (רמת אלימות) is a quantitative scale of violence used in the Methodical pyramid, the methodology of the AKBAN. This quantitative scale depicts the possible damage that a technique, a weapon, or a physical aggressive engagement, can cause.

Level of violence, on this wiki, is an important meta perspective that assists in kata analysis and technique methodology. Many techniques get a different L.O.V tagging because increasing energies of execution will create a greater damage on the same target area.

The intent of the tori is a contributing factor in determining the level of violence, but is not a sole factor.

Two major factors that determine the level of violence

Kick, high energy release - higher L.O.V

What decides the level of violence are a conglomerate of factors that hinge on these main points:

  • Total amount of destructive energy released - a kick to stomach (higher L.O.V) versus a punch to stomach (lower L.O.V), a gun (low L.O.V) versus a bomb (higher L.O.V).


  • Vulnerability of the target areas. On micro level - eye (high L.O.V) versus leg muscles (lower L.O.V) . On macro level - agricultural field as target (lower L.O.V) versus a school (higher L.O.V).


Target area, thumb - Lower L.O.V

In Martial systems, "low level of violence" is a descriptive term given to an execution of technique that causes no physical harm or minor physical harm. A technique that can cause sever handicap or death is tagged with "High level of violence". Level of violence is a tag that is applied to a technique when analyzing it and does not, in this context, depicts the level of aggression even if it might be influenced by it. Level of violence is a tool used by Akban veteran instructors when using the Methodical pyramid. Using this tagging promotes better safety practices and an informed planning of Basic movements, Advanced martial drills and Sparring.


Levels of violence predicates

Hand strike, relatively lower L.O.V
  1. Low level of violence will be attributed to a technique when there is no physical damage or minor pain, sometimes bruises ensue.
  2. Medium level of violence will be attributed to a technique when there is serious damage to the opponent's body that necessitates medical attention and care. For instance, minor fractures, tears of ligament and tendons, small wounds and lacerations categorize a technique as having a middle level of violence.
  3. High level of violence will be attributed to a technique when there is a risk of permanent severe damage or death

The applied variables of Levels of violence in Martial arts

Number of variables are taken into account when the grade of violence is assessed, these variables are:

  1. Mass applied
  2. Energy of the technique as a byproduct of velocity and mass involved.
  3. Target areas and the general atmosphere or mood of the confrontation.
  4. The actual purpose, intent, and execution of the technique, whether weapons are used or
  5. The level of control needed to execute the technique. A technique demanding high level of control may be graded as a high or middle level of violence.

The forces influencing the grade

The mass of the hitting limb or the mass of the bodies involved is multiplied by the energy and acceleration to determining the general force. Judo throws, for instance, are considered "higher violence techniques" because the mass of the whole body accelerates to the ground.


Target areas influencing grades of violence

Vulnerable target areas in Ninjutsu

The targeted areas are a another factor that helps determine the Grade of violence. When hitting, vulnerable parts raise the level of violence while stronger target areas lower the level of violence. Target areas are a part of the general possibilities of injury. Non targeted areas can be injured indirectly.

Self control

Executing a technique with aggression raises the level of violence. The reason for this is not only because of the raise in energies but because maintaining accurate movement in emotional setting is more difficult.

Levels of violence in stick fighting

List of techniques with a low level of violence

List of techniques with a medium level of violence

List of techniques with a high level of violence

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