This is part 4 of a 7 part series.
There are many ideas out in “Self-Defense Land” as to what makes a “good” self-defense move. Here at Urban Warrior Protection we have a set of guidelines that we use when training “what-if” scenarios. It helps us to quickly focus into a response that is most likely to work.
Do not get too stuck on the word “rules”. They are really guidelines. We will break these down one at a time to discuss them in a little more detail. Here are all seven “rules”:
- Keep it simple
- Be decisive
- Rapidly engage / rapidly disengage
- Stay on your feet
- Defend and counterattack simultaneously
- Exploit weaknesses to take advantage
- Dominate the aggressor
Your body has many uses. A kicking bag isn’t one of them.
Rule 4. Stay on your feet.
This is not a suggestion that the majority of people, when attacked, have the tendency to lie down and take a nap. There are a number of issues that going to the ground opens up that you can not control. During a violent encounter you want to decrease as many variables as you can, not increase them.
It seams to work in mixed martial arts
There has been a growing popularity with grappling due the effectiveness of it in the octagon. For those of you not familiar with the term “the octagon” that is what the fighting ring is called in MMA and UFC. One of the inherent problems with taking what works in a sport martial art and applying that to a sudden attack on the street is that the rules of engagement is greatly different.
In these mixed martial arts bouts one of the ways to win is by knockout. Another way is by forcing your opponent to tap out. A tap out is created by putting pressure on a joint in a manner that causes extreme pain. Fighters do so by maneuvering back and forth with their opponent in very close contact with each other. The fighters have agreed to a set or rules prior to the match that prevents groin strikes, eye gauges, and other fighters from entering the octagon.
Now don’t take me for discrediting any type of grappling. I have done it and it is a great workout, requires a lot of patience, and thought to get your opponent where you need him/her to be in order to get the tap. Or in some cases a choke. The fighters in these mixed martial arts are amazing athletes that train hard and fight hard.
But you are dealing with an attack on the street in which the only person that knows the rules is the one doing the attacking. There may be more of his friends on the sidelines waiting to see how things go. He may have a knife on him. This is not the time to get in close, go to the ground, and try to win by tap out. Now is the time to stay on your feet, deal with the guy in front of you, while also staying aware of you environment around you.
What happens if I fall down?
Get up. No, seriously. That should be your overall mindset. There is a chance that you could trip and fall, get pushed and fall, or even be tackled. Your mindset should still be to get up. There is a difference between grappling and ground combat. There is a difference between wanting to tap or choke someone out and needing to get back on your feet in order to save your life. Ground combatives opens up more targets. Why try to grab an arm for an arm lock when their eyes are staring at you almost begging to be struck?
Getting up quickly is paramount for your survival. If you fall on the ground and the attacker stays standing he gains a height and reach advantage over you. He already had the surprise advantage, don’t hive him any more. You need to learn how to stand up safely when there is a threat close by.
What happens if someone is on top of me?
Get up. No, seriously. Again, that should be your overall mindset. It is okay to eliminate the threat while doing it. I’m not suggesting you roll the person off you and then just stand up so that the attacker is still fully capable of repeating the attack. You should get them off of you by leaving them in pain, immobilized, or demoralized. And preferably all three.
Should you find yourself on the ground then you need to deal with that situation. But do not volunteer it by seeking out a grappling match. Stay on your feet.