The Self Defense Company
How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, pay attention to how much you and your partner move. You’ll find you move very little or not at all. You see, when you are training, or doing ANYTHING for that matter, you always try to seek the path of least resistance. This is natural and can be viewed as a good thing (more on that later). Since you concentrate on the repetitions and the minutia of the technique, how hard you’re hitting, what you look like, you’re forgetting the big picture. And it’s easier to stand in the same spot. It saves time and energy. But I am constantly reminding my guys (and girls) to MOVE FORWARD!
If you don’t, you are neglecting a fundamental truth in the world of combat. I don’t care if your boxing, wrestling, playing football or engaging in combat- one thing is ALWAYS TRUE. Those who are winning are ALWAYS TAKING GROUND. Every time I look at a techniques demonstrated it is always two guys standing there with one guy doing the move and the other just guy standing there. This is good for demonstrations sake, but when you drill it you do it with movement. One of the mistakes I see Judo Players, Karate Practitioners and Wrestlers make is that they practice technique without any movement. Do you actually fight like that- NO. When you fight, you are constantly moving and adjusting. When you fight for real you are always moving forward. If you are moving backwards- you are loosing. But don’t worry, it will be over soon.
In the Self Defense series explains and demonstrates how to take ground in this simple explanation- Always be where your enemy is standing. You’re constantly moving forward and taking ground once you have started your assault. Think about any boxing match. Not when people are stalking and feeling each other out. I’m talking about when a guy gets a good shot and the blood is in the water and he just starts throwing bombs and running the guy over. If the ropes weren’t there, his opponent would be in the cheap seats!
Take the Greek Phalanx for example. The majority of the casualties didn’t happen when both sides were pressing against each other. It was only when one side broke and retreated that most of the deaths occurred. Even in modern combat- during the first contact, it is uncommon to incur a lot of casualties. Its only when the enemy tries to break contact and retreat, that most of the casualties occur.
When you train you must program yourself to take ground. When you’re practicing make sure your foot work is stomping and deliberate. This accomplishes 2 things.
1. It will allow you to compensate for a wide variety of terrain and
2. You will be delivering stomps and scrapes to your enemy’s shins and feet.
Simply start at one end of your training space and work across the floor- always take ground. If your partner doesn’t move… MOVE HIM! Deliver a smash with your shoulder (Check out the Self Defense Seires) and just keep driving. Like Carl talks about through out the series- you take bits and pieces until you start taking off larger chunks.
This happens rapidly and violently. You keep taking ground overwhelm and overrun your enemy. Remember- Keep moving forward. Like my college football coach said, “If you’re gonna go, go. If you’re not gonna go, don’t go!”
Read more martial arts articles at The Self Defense Company.
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