Sometimes, in a self-defense situation, you may have to grapple with the attacker. When this time comes, do not try to avoid it. When in a self-defense situation, you take what you are given and make the best of it. You never give up a position in the hope that it will lead to a better position. The following are some vital grappling techniques that every Taekwondo student should know in case they are needed
The most dangerous place to be in any altercation is within kicking or punching range. Unfortunately, most social interaction occurs within punching range. In a self-defense situation, you would stay either outside the opponent’s kicking range or well inside his or her punching range. If you are well outside the kicking range, you are far enough away that you could probably safely leave. If far enough inside the punching range, you may want to move into a clinch that will allow you to control the opponent and limit his or her punching and kicking possibilities. Often an attacker is surprised when you move in instead of backing up as most people do when attacked.
- To close the range safely as you move into a clinch, put your head against the opponent’s chest. This places it well inside the punching range, effectively negating punches.
- Move your fists up to your forehead with the fists tightly pushed against your forehead with your elbows forward protecting your face against a punch.
- Start your move into your opponent by leading with a leg check or a distracting leg kick.
- As you close the range, sweep your hands outward, similar to a swimming breaststroke, to block both the opponent’s biceps. Trap opponent’s arms by hooking your hands over his or her triceps and use your forearms to control opponent’s arms while keeping your forehead tight against opponent’s chest. By pulling in on opponent’s arms and pushing with your head against the chest, you develop isometric tension that limits opponent’s punching opportunities and movement.
- Complete the clinch by reaching around opponent’s back with one arm and moving to that side. Trap opponent’s other arm tightly under your armpit and protect your face by pushing it into the bicep of the trapped arm. Pinch your thighs on opponent’s leg closest to you to limit his or her ability to turn and knee your groin. With control established, secure the clinch by holding opponent’s belt or clothing.
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