29 July 2016

7 reasons to avoid going to the ground in a fight

1)  We live in a grappling society- Growing up not all boys punch each other in the face, but they all wrestle.  This is natural play and is really about establishing dominance.  Wrestling is the only "combative" sport that you find offered in high schools across America.  Some may have boxing, but wrestling is dominant.  Thanks to the popularity of the Gracie family and MMA, Brazilian Ju Jitsu has exploded over the last decade.  Since bad guys stay around the same age, there is a good chance that if your attacker has had any formal training it is probably in Brazilian Ju Jitsu.  The combination of instinctual wrestling, and the popularity of wrestling as a sport, and Brazilian Ju Jitsu means that your attacker will instinctually try to take you to the ground.  Knowing this, it makes sense to avoid that at all costs.  If you choose to or end up going to the ground with an experienced ground fighter, you can expect to be choked out or have one or more of your legs or arms broken.

2)  The reality of hard surfaces-  Whether you fall to the ground or are knocked to the ground by an attacker, you will probably injure one of the three most valuable parts of your anatomy needed to defend yourself; your head, your elbows, and your knees.  This is especially of practitioners of stand up arts like Karate.  This is precisely why we teach the importance of knowing how to fall correctly.  Think about it.  Are you more likely to be injured from a fall or a fall during a fight?  Most people, unless they have a background in Judo, Aikido, or traditional Ju Jitsu, are terrified of falling and will tense up instead of relaxing only increasing injury.  For this reason, a large part of MCS is hitting people with surfaces like vehicles, walls, and especially the ground.

3)  You lose access to your tools-  Most people who train in the deployment and use of firearms and edged weapons spend the majority of their time doing so from a standing position.  If you are wearing a gun on your hip and end up flat on your back, you will be unable to draw your pistol because your elbow cannot move to the rear.  The same can be true for a folder carried in the pocket.

4)  You disappear-  Your best chance of getting noticed when calling for help is when you are standing.  People barely look forward much less up or down.  You can quickly disappear behind or between two parked cars.

5)  Exhaustion-  When it comes to the three phases of open hand combat: strikes and kicks, take downs and throws, and ground control, it is ground control that uses the most energy in the minimum amount of time. Not to mention cardiovascular stamina that most people participate in, like running and walking, does not translate to ground work.  During things like running you are primarily using your heart to do the work. When you are on the ground, you are using every muscle in your body against every muscle in their body.  A minute on the ground can seem like a lifetime, even when you are not fighting for your life.

6)  You cannot defend against standing attackers-  First of all, both of your hands are tied up and they are your primary tools for blocking strikes and kicks aimed at your head.  People who would not punch you when you were standing up will have no problem kicking you when you are down.  Especially your exposed ribs and back of head..  Multiple attackers are a real thing.

7)  Loss of vision-  When you are on the ground with someone, you lose your field of vision.  In fact, you will usually find yourself with your face pushed up against their body.

We could go on, but you get the point.  Here are the strategies MCS employed to stay off the ground.

  • Stay close to vertical surfaces to keep yourself off the ground.
  • If you take your attacker to the ground, do not follow them there.  Stay above them.
  • Learn effective leg entanglements and sweeps, as well as letting go, so you are not pulled down.
  • Learn to inflict explosive damage on the ground and get up as fast as possible.
  • Learn to deploy weapons on the ground if necessary.

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