Thursday, October 24, 2013

Defending on “the Ground”: 5 General Points

Many self-defense situations occur on the ground.  You can be knocked down, pushed, or dragged from a standing or sitting position.  You can fall on the unstable or slippery ground.  On the ground, an attacker (attackers) can kick, punch, stab, choke, hold, control.....

 It is a very dangerous place to be.

Here are 5 general thoughts about defending on the ground.
  1. Don’t Go There(if possible)!  It is not always possible but try to avoid going to the ground.  Why? See points below.
  2. The Fall.  If you don’t know how to fall, or can’t because you have been stunned(punch, blunt object), falling can lead to various problems, including head injuries, sprained or broken limbs etc...  Self-defense training must teach students how to fall - break-falls, rolls....
  3. Visibility/Lack of. Being on the ground severely limits your ability to assess your surroundings.  Your vision is especially impaired if the attacker is on top of you.  
  4. Size, Strength. Size and strength are always factors but they especially come into play on the ground.  Throwing off an attacker who outweighs you by 60lbs is no easy feat. 
  5. No rules. No referee.  Taking down an adversary during a competitive fight (MMA, judo, wrestling etc...) requires refined skills and can be tactically effective.  In real life, however, you might have to contend with harsh surfaces (gravel, cement), multiple attackers who can kick, punch, or stab you while you are grappling, and assailants doing things you can't do during a competitive fight - using a weapon, biting, eye gouging......
  6. Getting Up/Escaping. Gaining distance from an assailant and escaping to a safe place is obviously more difficult from the ground.  Accordingly, self-defense training must include getting up from the ground in effective and safe ways (also a great workout!).

Avoid going to the ground if possible.  This being said, you must devote significant time to training on the ground - just in case!

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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