Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Defending on the Ground: 8 Training Tips

Many assaults end up on the ground.  The assailant has taken you down, you have fallen, or perhaps you were already there (in bed during a home invasion, relaxing outside…). 

Krav Maga training devotes significant time training students to prevent, defend, and get up from the ground.  To become proficient you need to develop various aspects of your "self-defense skill set".

Here is an overview of  8 training tips to improve your ground skills. 

  1. Practice Prevention  It is not always possible to avoid going to the ground but work on prevention techniques such as "sprawling" as much as possible. 
  2. Break falls  Falling hard can be the most dangerous part an assault (e.g. smashing your head on a hard surface)..  Learn how to fall to prevent serious injury and to defend against subsequent attacks. 
  3. Protect Your Vitals  If the initial attack is followed up with kicks, punches... you have to protect your head, ribs, etc….
  4. Releases You might have to escape a choke, headlock, or wrist hold.  Learn how to release from these holds. 
  5. Learn to get up – quickly!  Practice getting up as fast as you can.  Ask your instructor for tips. 
  6. Bridging:  If you want to throw off an attacker you cannot rely on your upper body.  Learn to use your hips, along with relevant releases, strikes etc.. to give you a fighting chance.
  7. Learn to Fight Dirty.  An attacker might have a grappling background or simply be bigger, stronger, faster.  Bite, spit, pinch, poke, twist, …break all the rules!
  8. Ground Exercises.  Develop a routine to develop your core and improve your mobility on the ground.  Ground fighting is exhausting so continue to work on your stamina. Yes, I hate burpee jumps too!
Avoid going to the ground but train for the ground - just in case. 

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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