Real Fighting Tips – Avoid Going to the Ground
Grappling and groundwork techniques look great in the dojo, but you should always avoid going to the ground in a real fight. Even if you are skilled as a ground fighter, it’s a very different world on the street. Concrete roads and pavements can be your enemy as much as the guy you’re grappling. It may feel as if you have the situation totally under control, when suddenly your attacker’s mate swings a boot into the back of your head. The ground is a place you can get stomped, kicked, maimed and seriously injured.
Experienced grapplers will tell you that submission techniques are a great means to end a fight. Any martial artist should know some of these, and learn some effective joint locks from a martial art like aikido. Being able to subdue someone is useful in some situations, but if things escalate the answer isn’t to take the fight to the floor. In the tournament ring, yes this is a good tactic, but on the street you should fight on your feet. There’s a good chance you’ll get knocked to the floor at some point, but your focus should be to get back up as quickly as you can. It’s worth practising this in the gym to get your body used to it. Stand and punch a bag for a few seconds then turn away, lay flat on the floor, and get back up for more punching. Repeat this and build a rhythm, and learn to come up quickly punching.
The one exception to this rule of not going to the ground is for police and security personnel who work in teams. With the right training, one guy might take an aggressor to the floor to subdue him while his colleagues watch his back.
To extend this rule further, you should also learn to avoid an attacker getting behind you. Again, your martial art may have techniques for releasing yourself from ‘bear hugs’ and other restraints from behind, but the best tactic is to never let the guy get behind you in the first place. If a guy gets behind you, don’t think about flashy techniques or fancy moves. Do everything possible to free yourself – shift your body weight, throw your head back and don’t rule out biting if the situation demands it. Many people panic when they are restrained, and although you should unleash everything you’ve got to get free, you also need to keep breathing and be aware of what’s going on around you. Are there other attackers near? Are there any weapons coming into play? If you’re facing several attackers, which one should you deal with first? There are often pauses in fights which are crucial moments to act. A group may let their guard down if they think you’re restrained and of no threat to them, and this could be your opportunity to strike.
In a real street fight you can’t think about ethics, honour or the advanced martial arts techniques you may have spent years practising. Stay sharp, stay focussed, and do everything you can to stay on your feet.
Pad-Up recommend Dim Mak and Chin na training for such encounters, learn from specially trained masters of the art. Martial arts Instructional Dim Mak and Self Defence DVDs are now available in store. Steven Burton is the foremost authority in Dim Mak in the UK and trains UK and Chinese police force.