Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pointers on Street Combat

There are many reasons for learning joint manipulation techniques and strangle holds. They can be used as an effective self-defense method in some situation. They can be applied as restraints or arrest techniques when necessary. They can be useful in controlling or injuring a person to a certain degree and most of all they can serve as a bargaining position through which you could talk some sense to the other guy to stop whatever foolish thing he is attempting to do.
In my own personal opinion, these techniques are actually incidental in nature which means they can only be applied when the opportunity presents itself. Never engage on a street fight looking for a lock or a strangle hold. What I mean is that they should not be used as your primary tool for self-defense. Hitting with a barrage of elbows, knees, eye jabs and kicks will serve you better when it comes to a street fight especially when dealing with multiple attackers. It would even be better to grab a hold on to something which could be used as a weapon or as an effective equalizer should the assailants be armed with knives or other tools to be used as weapon.
Most real fights last less than ten seconds. There is seldom an exchange of technique between combatants or what we refer to as fakes, feinting, trappings and other maneuvers that are only used as drills or those that are executed in study sparring and tournaments. As in almost all fights, the guy who lands the first telling blow is usually the one who wins.
Against someone who is potentially dangerous and who constantly engage himself to troubles or does criminal acts as his way of living, it would be very risky to depend on locks and holds as your first line of defense. This is especially true if you are just a beginner in the martial arts because even to those who have achieved a high skill in the application of these techniques in the dojo finds it very difficult to apply these skills against a very aggressive opponent who happens to be punching, kicking, elbowing or even biting, simultaneously. It becomes even more difficult if you were up against two or more attackers. It would be like trying to catch three soccer balls in order to protect your goal. Forget what you see in the movies or even in the Ultimate Fighting championship for this matter because were talking about the real thing where everything is unrehearsed, goes without rules, no referees, no audience, no tap outs and no time limits. This is the world where guns, knives, broken bottles, tires and even trash cans can be used.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not implying that application of these techniques, if applied securely and in full force could be your opponents worst nightmare because were talking about broken bones and NDE (Near Death Experience) choke hold. What I am trying to point out is that you should not rely on the locks and holds too much or use them as a primary tool in a street fight. The use of these technique as complete defense is limited to situations in which the adversary is drunk, moving at snail’s pace, or the attacker is not vicious and of course, you would prefer to use these techniques if your ‘best’ friend suddenly flips out and tries to kick your head. It is much wiser to incorporate these locks and holds together with striking methods in order to become more effective in self defense situations. The best equation would be to hit-hit-hit then lock, if necessary, and not lock-lock-lock, then hit.
Always remember that in most instances in street attacks, the prudent behavior is to escape as quickly as possible. If strikes such as head butts, knees and elbows are to be used, there is often no need to apply restraining techniques or strangle holds.

RAPID JOURNAL vol.7 no.4 ISSN 0118-4113 Page 37

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