Part 5: Avoiding The Fatal Flaw of Grappling
To survive the onslaught of a more powerful opponent, you need to be so light, soft, flexible, and sensitive, that to your opponent, you feel like a phantom or a cloud, dissolving like the liquid-metal terminator, materializing only for the millisecond needed for your strike’s impact.–From the book Attack Proof: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Protection
Often preached, yet rarely practiced, this principle is essential to an understanding of how the weak overcomes the strong. Energy transfers to a solid object far easier than it does to an object without a fixed center of gravity. By bracing or locking up with improper timing or for sustained periods, the majority of fighters provide angles of structure for their attacker to clinch, push, pull or strike because they lack the proper free play (Contact Flow) and other sensitivity training which allows them to engage in the intricate practice of “liquid body/solid body” on a subconscious level.
Your body has to have the adaptable and fluid nature of water. At times you will need to be as illusive and invisible as vapor to yield and avoid, then as malleable as water to continue sticking before that split second when you become as solid as ice to deliver the coup de grace. You repeat this process of using Dropping Energy (a Guided Chaos trademark) continuously, striking with the intention to rupture organs and bust bones.
Once this quality is ingrained into the nervous system, one can practically obviate all forms of stand up grappling as well as double and single leg take downs, which I’ll give an example of in the next subsection, “Embracing the Inevitable”. The reason why it’s so difficult to appreciate this is because most people have been conditioned to tense up or fight back when pressure is applied against them.
You need sensitivity to feel when it’s appropriate to yield only an isolated part of the body (pocketing) or your entire root altogether, all the while remaining so close that your strikes are still unavoidable. It can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years for you to reprogram your neuromuscular anatomy so that you can utilize these principles at high speed without conscious thought. It all depends on your previous experience and the wiring of your nervous system.
Embracing the Inevitable
There is nothing wrong with moving your sphere of influence to the ground. As described in the 1st section, “The Set Up”, fighting your own balance and equilibrium in an attempt to remain upright could cause disaster as it did for earlier UFC victims. Here, I will present a physical example straight from the video, “Kill the Enemy” on how to deal with a grappler’s double leg takedown, which is one of the most common methods grapplers employ to take the fight to the ground.
Also, this method has been mentioned more than once in previous newsletters, yet there are still many who overlook it because of its extreme simplicity. That being the case, I will describe the technically correct method of doing a double leg takedown so that you can perform the movement on a training partner and experience the effectiveness of the counter for yourself.
Very frequently, the shooter simply places his head down and literally falls into the standing opponent, smashes the opponent’s legs together and simply drives through in the same manner as a “football tackle”, all the while sacrificing his own balance. This works in the NFL where the running back is simply trying to evade you, not guillotine your throat (also note that “clothes lining” is still illegal for the defense–and for offensive linesman as well). For the purposes of this newsletter, the tackle will not be utilized.
How to Do the Double Leg Takedown Breakdown…
For the preface, I’d like to add several important points:
1. This is supposed to be an explosive movement occurring in no more than 2 seconds as it should ideally only be performed within touching range.
2. This movement is supposed to happen anytime the standing man’s balance is shifting and in motion.
3. As you perform this demonstration with your training partner, the second point won’t be factored in for several reasons.
A. The Sphere of Influence, “Attack the Attacker” methodology and KCD’s foot-work cancels point #2 as we never sacrifice our balance when stepping. Period!
B. We actually want the movement to work for the demo. In reality, we simply don’t care either way, because we will be using his movements to our advantage.
The first thing you want to do is lower your level into somewhat of a sprinters’ stance. This is to facilitate an explosive penetrating step off of the rear foot so that you can go beneath the opponent’s arms and into his hips and legs. At all times, it is important to keep your head up to avoid the guillotine and to make sure that your chest doesn’t extend beyond your lead knee. Also, keep your elbows close to your body.
The point of having your elbows close to your body is to prevent under hooks, which could allow one of those cool grappling moves like an Inverted Iron Cross or Crucifix; basically any move where the attacker takes control of the shooter by hooking under his armpits and uses the shooter’s momentum to roll him over or even roll over him to gain control.
What you are aiming to do is get mechanical leverage by hitting the standing man where he bends. Your hands will pull behind his knee and your shoulder will ideally hit him at his hips.
For the remainder of this description I will quote “Winning Wrestling Moves” by Mark Mysnyk, Barry Davis and Brooks Simpson:
You can penetrate by stepping either between your opponent’s legs or to the outside of them. If stepping between them, step your left foot [penetrating foot] at least as deep as both of his feet and move your head just to the outside of his left hip [opposite side of your penetrating foot]..Your shoulders should always be over your lead knee as you shoot in. For further penetration, keep driving into your opponent and go down to your left knee [same knee as penetrating foot], stepping your right foot up to the outside of his left foot [opposite side of your penetrating foot]. Ideally, you will lift him or finish him right away. [Important Note: In the book, there were several other finishes to a double leg takedown which I’ve decided not to include because the counter nullifies them all without even trying.]
…And Why It May Not Work
In Guided Chaos (KCD), the above move is extraordinarily easy to deal with. First of all, if you resist the grappler’s energy, you are actually giving the grappler the structure to push, pull and lift you using his leverage, strength and momentum. Here again, you just use the liquid body/solid body concept.
When he pulls behind your knees, instead of trying some cool Guillotine or Inverted Iron Cross, simply go with his energy and pull your legs up toward your chest with all of your might as you fall to the ground while simultaneously and immediately going straight for the eyes with your hands by grabbing and using the head, or if necessary the ears as handles. In reality, you would gouge as deeply as humanly possible into his eyes with all of your might. But for training purposes, you are going to simply make sure you touch the eyes and/or gain head control. If the situation warranted it in a street attack, you would utilize head control to instantly torque his neck off.
By the way, you may fall on your side or your back, doesn’t matter. Despite the fact that we do Dynamic Iron Palm (Slam Bag) Training and understand that extreme pressure or penetration into the eyes could effectively end the fight immediately, we don’t ever rely on one “magic blow” whether we are standing or on the ground.
We are fully aware that gouging someone in the eye will cause them to fight like mad men if we don’t turn their lights off or at least gain head control. They will literally buck and thrash like a wild animal, if for nothing else than to relieve the pressure.
(John Perkins tells the story in the book Attack Proof where he was being attacked by a monstrously string perp. and the only thing he could get free was his pinkie which he proceeded to grind into his attacker’s eye, driving him into convulsions.)
That’s fine because that’s what we want. Why? Because all the time, we simply wanted to force him to free our legs, which we’ve been trying to free the entire time anyway, using our leg strength vs. his arm strength. From here, we will use our boots as sledgehammers and shredders in an extremely ballistic manner, using each and every part of his body as the target until we can get away or he’s incapacitated.
One way or another, there will be no grappling. Period! If he decides to grab one of your legs while you are kicking (though he shouldn’t have the strength to if you’re moving correctly), use the concept of Shortening the Weapon, jack knife your body bringing one or both knees to your chest and then shoot them out, smashing his bones with your boot heels or scraping them off like putty, whether it’s his arms or his skull. Same concept applies for single leg takedowns, makes no difference.
Destroy, Don’t Grapple
By the way, this move is really supposed to only happen when going to the ground is inevitable, which brings me to my next point. Sprawling is cool for the ring, but in a street fight we want to end the fight as soon as possible. If you have the space to sprawl, you would be better off avoiding entanglement and instead performing multiple, repeated drop strikes on him at full force. Believe me; he’ll regret he ever fought you after that. The harder and faster he comes in, the more damaging the punishment.
Remember, the whole point of grappling is control. This is a game that 2 must play at the very least and a dead end at worst. We don’t want to engage our opponent any longer than necessary. Rather than suppressing his motion, react to his contact like he’s covered in his own vomit or as if his skin is red hot. Or use this analogy: treat his contact as if he was a hot potato that you had to carry across a long room–you can’t hold it, but you can’t drop it either. Do not make the mistake of over-committing by grappling. Touch, release, evade, rip, tear, shred, gouge, bite, stomp, run away and go home…alive.
Because of the simplicity and the fact that this stuff frees your mind for real fighting, a person can train grappling for love or competitive purposes and still train these concepts for non-competitive situations.
To be continued…
Next: The conclusion of this series of articles on ways to ruin your self-defense training, including “Providing Structure,” “Street Sparring,” “The Flaw of Clinching,” and “Reactive Freedom.”