Going to the Ground

I come from a ground fighting background having practiced both Combat Sambo and Judo to a very high standard and I am very comfortable on the ground, but I would never advise it in a street confrontation simply because you lose one dimension of the skills that you need and that is a compromised level of awareness.

I was teaching a seminar to a SWAT team in the USA and all of the guys were into MMA. One of the problems that they told me was difficult to handle was how to put handcuffs on a suspect while he was laying on the ground after two of them had wrestled him there.

These two guys were big and strong and it took them nearly five minutes to handcuff their ‘suspect’ who was another officer and couldn’t have weighed more that 170 pounds. I simply explained to them that while they were wrestling with him on the ground (two of them), the suspects friend was walking up behind them ready to pop both of the officers with a knife or gun.

I explained the Russian method, that involved me standing and maintaining awareness whilst effortlessly placing the cuffs on the suspect.

There will be times where you have to go to the ground as it will be unavoidable and save for a few stand up throws and chokes, I would avoid it at all costs.

Work instead on ‘finishing’ strikes that disable your attacker and allow you time to escape.

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