In previous blogs, we offered some general tips about protecting yourself on the ground. Now, we want to take a closer look at some of the problems involved in real life ground assaults.
Here are four factors.
There are no rules! Biting, scratching, eye gouges, pulling hair, pinching, using a weapon (like a knife). All of these are possible in a street attack. The assailant is not bound by any rules. To survive you will likely have to “fight dirty”.
Size. Obviously, there are no weight divisions guidelines in real life assaults. In fact, there is likely a significant size and strength advantage involved. This makes getting up more difficult and fighting without rules more imperative.
Multiple attackers. Even if it is not immediately apparent there might get be another assailant. These attackers can kick, punch, etc…, making matters much worse! Another reason to get up as quickly as possible.
Weapons. There have been numerous cases of people grabbing a weapon while fighting on the ground. This might be a concealed weapon such as a knife or it can be a weapon of opportunity such as a rock, household item, etc… (depending on the setting.) Remember, you can use any object to protect yourself. Again, whatever it takes to protect yourself.
Environmental Dangers. Grappling on mats can be fun and is a great way to develop and refine your skills. Real assaults, however, occur in less comfortable settings – sidewalks, hard floors, surfaces covered in gravel, ice, snow. Even without an assailant involved a fall onto a hard surface can lead to injury or worse. Hence, the importance of learning break falls.
For those of you involved in self-defense classes learn to fall safely (break falls), get up quickly, and protect yourself on the ground. We also advocate working with partners who might have an advantage in size, strength, skill…. This will offer important lessons and accelerate your learning.