You’ve heard the statistics before, and most of them are made up on the spot…
“X percent of fights go to the ground!”
It’s hard to attach a real number to that, but despite all the popularity of “ground-fighting” in combat sports like the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) – being flat on your back on the pavement is the very last place you want to be!
Not only will it severely limit your ability to fight back, but it also makes you an easy target for your attacker’s buddies to join in on the “fun” by football kicking you in the head while you’re defenseless.
That’s why – if you ever hope to avoid an extended hospital stay with your broken jaw wired shut and tubes coming out of your body, you want to avoid going to the ground at all costs.
But the reality is, you very well could end up on the ground when struggling with your attacker – either because he purposefully drags you down to pound away on you, or you trip or lose your balance and hit the ground with a back-breaking thud.
In this case, you only have ONE goal…
…get OFF of the ground as quickly as possible!
And to do that, you’re going to need a special set of skills that will inflict fast, brutal damage to your attacker and get you back on your feet before you’re blindsided by a second combatant – so here are…
4 Ground-Fighting Tactics That Will Destroy Your Attacker (And Get You Back On Your Feet FAST!)
Ok, the first thing you must understand is that, although a lot of the same principles still apply, the techniques you use for “ground-fighting” in the street aren’t the same as for “stand up” striking.
Obviously it’s going to be difficult for you to use any kicks with a 300 lb oaf sitting on your chest.
But even the strikes you use – and the way you strike – is going to be a little different.
Here’s what I mean…
Rip & Tear Your Way To The Top
Ok, there are basically two positions you’ll likely end up in when you and your attacker both hit the pavement:
He could be on top of you…
…or you could be on top of him
If he’s able to get on top of you – ready to pound your face into the pavement – it’s going to be a sucky day.
That’s why you must do whatever it takes to get off your back and gain the offensive advantage and get on top of him quickly.
Bite his inner thigh… rip his balls off… crank his head around by his hair… shove your thumb deep into his eye… tear his ear off of his head…
Even if you don’t end up with a mouthful of flesh and an eyeball in one hand and his testicles in the other – even attempting this level of brutality is going to make him want to get away from you as fast as possible.
Use that space to your advantage – and if you can get up immediately to escape, do it – and if not, there are some additional techniques you need to keep in mind…
Use Only “Open Hand” Strikes
Your first instinct once you’ve gained a superior position on top of your attacker is to “ground pound” his face with your closed fists – just as you would if you were standing up.
Bad move muchacho.
Your knuckles are relatively fragile, and if you strike something hard with them (like his skull), you run the risk of hurting yourself badly, limiting your options for using your hand for other strikes, grabbing, getting to a weapon, etc.
That’s why you need to work on your “open hand” striking techniques.
These are strikes like…
- “Palm Heel” (using the heel of your hand, thrust forward like you would a “punch”)
- “Edge Of Hand” (striking with the inner or outer edge of your hand, like a common “karate chop”)
- “Hammer Fist” (hitting with the bottom surface of your clenched fist as if your hand was a “hammer”)
Any of these strikes can do as much damage as a regular “punch” (and oftentimes even more!), but you won’t have as much risk of hurting yourself when making contact with hard targets on your attacker’s body.
But there’s another reason that you need to use open hand strikes than just when you make contact with your attacker’s thick skull…
… you might miss him altogether!
Which is why you need to…
Use “Arcing” Strikes Vs. Linear Attacks
If you go for the standard ground-fighting move of trying to punch his face into raspberry jam, you could be in for a big (painful) wake-up call.
If he moves his head six inches to either side, it’s all over for your hand.
Striking the pavement with your knuckles (or a hard floor, or even a grassy yard) can smash your knuckles to smithereens and decrease your fighting effectiveness.
That’s why you want to use an arcing type of motion, not a linear strike like a traditional martial art “straight punch”.
By arcing the path of your strikes – even if you do miss the attacker’s face or other target – you won’t be slamming your hand directly into whatever is on either side of it.
These arcing strikes really aren’t hard to do, and fortunately for you, the open-hand strikes just mentioned naturally follow an arcing path when you’re delivering them (with a slight exception for the “palm heel” if used as a straight thrust).
One Knee Up, One Knee Down
One of the key principles for any street-fighting tactic is your ability to maintain your balance.
If your body doesn’t have a solid foundation to draw power from, your strikes are going to be weak and your mobility to dodge strikes or escape the area are going to be limited.
Same thing applies on the ground.
Which is why – once you’ve gained a “top” position over your attacker – you want to keep one of your knees up, and your other knee down on the ground.
This position really helps you maintain your balance and gives you far more powerful options to unleash damage on your attacker as he tries to fight back.
When he tries to cover up his face to avoid your blows… pound straight down through his hands and into his face with a “palm heel”!
If he’s reaching up to grab your head… hack his arms away with the edge of your hand to open him up to an “edge of hand” strike to the neck and head!
Is he grabbing onto your shirt to drag you back down to the ground? Pin his arm close to your body and twist – opening him up for an “edge of hand” to the side of his neck as he contorts!
Remember, this isn’t a game.
You have to tap into your natural “bloodlust” of the adrenaline dump you’ll experience, and go as hard as you can – absolutely destroying your attacker as quickly as you can – so you can get to your feet and get the hell out of Dodge.
Add these simple principles to your street self-defense training and you’ll be far better prepared to defend yourself in a high-probability ground-fighting scenario.