Have I been 'On the ground' ? YES
Have I knocked people to the ground ? YES
In those instances did I or my enemy also follow to the ground and conduct a ground fight ? NO
So the above title while false could read something like 'Not all fights end up on the ground, but SOMEONE will certainly finish up on the ground'.
So with that in mind we are going to look at ground defence. Notice I said ground defence and not ground fighting. Big difference.
Sure I have seen guys rolling around on the ground, not in any trained sense. One or both slipping, tripping or falling over each other, and I have seen guys in the mount position, usually only when the target has been subdued, given up and the capitulation offers the chance for the other party to assert dominance from this position without fear of any sort of counter attack. But these have been very few and far between occasions.
The street fighter (and his mates) want you on the ground so you are less of a threat and so they can also so kick the shit out of you at their pleasure; and I don't think I need to explain what the rapist wants you on the ground for do I.
So considering this, why then would you want to learn ground fighting? When this is the last place we want to be.
Since the emergence of the UFC and MMA ground fighting is seen to be the be all and end all answer to the above title, which we know to be false.
I remember on a British Combat Association seminar way back in the early 90s when the subject was ground fighting; I asked a question about an ankle lock, 'Would this work on someone wearing high leg military style boots, which gives support in that region'? The answer was a truthful 'Not sure', and what are his mates doing while I have the ankle lock on?
Definition - Ground Defence:
Protect yourself and gain your feet as soon as possible.
Getting to your feet A.S.A.P is the one and only objective of ground defence.
My Ju Jitsu is part of my back up system and as such is only applicable when I am in a stand up grappling situation or if I am on the ground. Its used to create space to be able to engage with my main weapons and also to create space to get up off the ground.
In some circumstances you may not be able to get all of the way up onto your feet in one go, you may have to go from a lying position to a kneeling position; one or both knees and then get to a standing position. All the while making space to get to the next phase. Yes offensive techniques are going to be thrown but again only to create space to get to the next stage, if they do damage then that is a plus.
For those who have read my other blog posts you know I am all about specific training and the same applies here. For ground defence applications for the citizen there is no need to learn arm locks, leg locks or submission holds, remember most attacks are by multiple enemies, the longer you are on the ground the more danger you will be in. It is dangerous enough with just one guy kicking you repeatedly on every part of your body.
Yes where applicable holds and restraints are required, but not for the citizen. Law enforcement of course need to be able to arrest criminals when it is safe to do so and the close protection operator who works on an RST (Residential Security Team) will also need to learn locks and holds as will anyone in any sort of security environment.
First off; you have to be able to hit the ground safely and be in a position to immediately protect yourself. While training with and watching a group of guys training in ground defence recently I noticed that when they practiced standing up they just collapsed back down to perform the same technique.
Collapsing like a pile of shit, landing on the palms of your hands is no way to practice hitting the ground. You cannot defend yourself with broken wrists.
NOTE: Everyone was practicing getting up, but none thought that at the same time they could practice hitting the ground. Think outside the box at all times, even in training.
Next you need to be able to move while in your defensive position. How many of you practice body movement while on the ground?
Body movement is essential, without it you cannot get into positions to either protect, attack or create space.
Good body movement also allows gives you the ability to safely transition to the next phase.
NOTE: There are two main areas of physical fitness that you will need to be competent at ground defence. Flexibility to allow you to move around smoothly and a solid core.
How many fat instructors do you see who would struggle getting up out of bed never mind getting off the ground competently? make sure that is not you!
Combat posture, how many of you have or practice in a combat posture while on the ground?
Standing, sitting (in a chair), kneeling and lying down all require a combat posture to be effective. What is yours? Do you even have one?
Protecting yourself while all parties are unarmed is hard enough, now throw into the mix weapons, knives, machetes, axes, sticks, in fact anything that you can be hit with; if it is there you will be hit with it. You may laugh but machetes and axes are being used more and more in the UK in attacks. Now do you still want to be on the ground?
We will revisit ground defence at a later date and look at applications that are more in line with ground fighting, in relation to a rapist. But again with only the one aim - GETTING TO YOUR FEET!