There are three methods to defend from an attack and all three are effective, if they are used as they were originally conceived. The methods are:
Striking arts, where force meets force and punches and kicks are predominate, such as karate, boxing, Taekwondo, etc.
Grappling arts, where force engages forces and locks, pins, and throws are predominate, such as Judo, wrestling, etc.
Avoidance arts, where force avoids force and deflection and leverage techniques are predominate, such as Aikido, some forms of Jujitsu, etc.
The three arts are mutually exclusive. For example, it is difficult to grapple and strike at the same time, difficult to avoid force and grapple at the same time, and it is difficult to strike and avoid force at the same time.
A true martial artist is a person who studies one of these three ideas exclusively. When an art is studied in this way, the subconscious quickly learns how to respond to almost every conceivable attack. However, if we mix the arts, strange things happen. For example, if the subconscious has been taught to block with left hand and strike with the right when dealing with a right hand punch, the response will be instant. However, if we also have studied avoiding the punch, our subconscious becomes confused and throws the decision back to the conscious mind. The difference is that the subconscious makes a decision in 1/25 of a second, whereas the conscious mind makes a decision in ¾ of a second, approximately 18 times faster. For this reason, it is best to pick a martial art that best suits you and specialize in it without mixing it with other arts. Any martial artist who has truly internalized his or her art will not make the mistake of being seduced into playing the opponent's game.
Although each defense method has advantages, each also has its disadvantages. When fighting a person of another art, always fight to break their fighting rules. Since they train to obey the rules, they will be at a disadvantage.
The rules of striking arts require that the opponents must fight, so refuse to engage, make him come after you! A strategically retreating opponent is difficult, if not impossible, to hit without an extraordinary effort on the striker's part. Watch for this extraordinary effort and strike when he is committed.
In striking arts, covering an opponent’s hands or holding any part of the opponent's body is not permitted, so cover their hands. Generally, striking artists do not grapple. Any good striking fighter will tell you that it is virtually impossible to keep a worthy opponent from clinching with the other fighter. Stay out of kicking range. Make them come to you.
All striking arts that are effective in the ring must operate under the same underlying principles and fighting rules and remain fundamentally the same no matter what they are called. Lightning fast punches and kicks are possible from a stationary base, but punch speed falls drastically when the fighter is required to move while trying to kick and punch at a moving target, so make opponent move.
Best times to attack a striker are:
- Immediately after he or she has initiated an attack
- When the attacking limb is fully extended and has begun to retract.
Strike with the palm of the hand. The striking art practitioners are not allowed to strike with the palm of the hand so they do no train to defend against it. It can throw their game off.
A striking art punch or kick is a very delicate device with usually a very short effective penetration distance, so learn instinctively the actual distance that you must move to avoid a punch
Learn always to attack while moving. The use of kicks against a defender who will not initiate the first attack is difficult. The kicker cannot kick and walk at the same time and therefore he is required to stop each time that he kicks, a continually moving target will really frustrate most attempts to kick. If you are moving when he punches or kicks, you will find many safe opportunities to attack.
Push or sweep strikers to keep them off balance.
Taekwondo is a stand-up fighting art. Taekwondo sparring takes place at punching or kicking range with very little close-in action. So, what does a Taekwondo fighter do when faced with a ground-fighting opponent, such a fighter trained in Brazilian-Jujitsu.
When Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) first began in 1993, Brazilian-Jujitsu practitioners dominated. In the UFC, two combatants are locked inside a padded and caged ring, and their attacks are limited by very few rules: no biting, eye gouging or groin strikes. To win, one combatant must force the other to submit, render him unconscious, or convince the referee to stop the contest. Nowadays, Brazilian-Jujitsu practitioners no longer dominate. One reason is because opponents have become familiar with their greatest strength: the guard. Also, opponents have trained to attack their major weaknesses: standup grappling and close-range striking.
Some limitations to grappling arts are:
Multiple Attackers. Since ground fighting requires maximal body entanglement, it is virtually impossible to fight multiple attackers. When defending against multiple attackers, your only hope is powerful punches and kicks against deadly targets.
Edged Weapons. When applying a grappling lock, it is extremely difficult to defend against knives and other edged weapons.
Onlooker Intervention. People are champions of the underdog. Nobody likes to see a person mounted and pummeled with vicious blows or being held in pain in a lock, so someone may decide to come to the aid of the person in pain. If you are locked up on the ground with your attacker and spectators decide to intervene, you are in big trouble.
Psychoactive Drugs. If your adversary is high on psychoactive drugs, he will have freakish strength and often be immune to pain. Do you want to be on the ground with a large man on such powerful drugs?
Environment. When ground fighting, the environment and immediate surroundings can harm you (heavy traffic, rocks, broken glass, a street curb, etc.).
Weapon Retention. If you are a law enforcement officer or security guard, there is a very strong possibility that your attacker may pull your holstered sidearm and shoot you while you are ground fighting with him.
Biting and Gouging. Many submission techniques can be negated with biting, gouging, and various other maiming techniques.
To defeat a ground fighter, you must be an effective striker and kicker and be able to do so while defending against various takedown attempts. Your standup grappling skills must include the ability to out box, out position, and out sprawl your opponent while you are both standing. To increase your standup skills, you should first study wrestling where the primary objective is to take your opponent down while avoiding being taken down.
In submission fighting, positioning is the placement of your body in relation to your opponent's body. Some of the most common positions are the mount, the guard, and the sprawl. In every position, one fighter will have the advantage over the opponent. For example, if you are straddling (mounted on) a supine opponent, you have more submission techniques available to you than does your opponent, so most combat arts favor the mount position. However, most Brazilian-Jujitsu practitioners favor the guard, the person under the mount. Becoming familiar with the various positions and how to escape and counter submission threats will increase your ability to compete against a ground fighter. However, being able to pummel and sprawl effectively will put you in a position to take advantage of a Brazilian-Jujitsu practitioner who lacks standup grappling skills.
One of the first techniques wresters learn is how to pummel, or snake your arms around the inside of your opponent's arms to negate his or her intentions. Effective pummeling counters your opponent's attempt to lift, take down and get behind you. It allows you to constantly reposition yourself so your opponent cannot connect his arms around your body and execute a trip, sweep, or throw.
Wrestlers spend a lot of time learning how to avoid being taken down and how to sprawl. Sprawling means throwing yourself backward and dropping your weight on your opponent's upper body. It is one of the most important standup grappling techniques to learn because it offers you the ability to defend against an assailant's effort to take you down. It is first line of defense in stopping or at least slowing down the opponent's attempt to penetrate and clinch. The second line of defense is to free your legs. And, if the opponent succeeds with a penetration attempt, the third line of defense is to begin the counterattack.
Therefore, to defeat a ground fighter, you must be an effective puncher and kicker, know some effective submission techniques, be an effective standup grappler with good pummeling and sprawling skills, and know some effective ground grappling techniques.
- Avoidance fighters usually will not attack and will defend by avoiding the attack with little or no contact. Use fakes to see who the person reacts. Just like leading when shooting a flying duck with a rifle when, once you know how the person move, aim you primary attack where the person will be, not where he or she is.
- Avoidance fighters use locks, off balancing, and throws, which usually required grabbing the opponent. Do not over commit in an attack and quickly retract attacking arms and legs to prevent grabbing.
- Do not get them in grabbing range and do not let them clinch.
- Avoidance fighter will smoothly move around a lot to keep you off balance. Do not play their game. Like a smart bull in the fighting ring that attack in a straight line a few times and then suddenly hooks the matador as he avoids a seemly string in attack, you should do the unexpected.
- Avoidance fighters use arm locks, finger pulls, palm strikes, soft blocks, large sweeping motions, pressure point attacks, and other different techniques. Be ready for them, have counters ready, and do not get frustrated.
- Avoidance fighters pride themselves in their finesse. The try to minimize their movements, always moving just the amount needed. Again, use this to your advantage. Use a short snapping punch that they easily avoid, and then push a punch that extends longer to nail them.
- Learn to attack while moving since to catch an avoidance fighter you must move a lot. Learn to develop speed, power, and accuracy while in an unstable position.