8/7/18

Connecting the Dots is a Good One in Hand-to-hand Combat/Boaz Aviram

Let's say you learn to grab your opponent's head or body with a clinch from the front and wait until he grabs you back and then start the push and pull game and then try to do one of many Judo or wrestling throws. Let's say you do as many so called techniques as there are in wrestling and Jujitsu grappling the neck with both arm or the neck with one arm and the other grappling the opponent's arm or clothes or you are grabbing the opponents back or knees and wait for him to resist. 

If he does resist you change the direction of the force you are applying and hoping that the reaction time required for him to follow will slow him down and let you complete your throw... 

Since the curriculum of grappling or in other words judo, jujitsu and wrestling is vast, you will probably experience many so called "techniques" and training drills to try and execute each one of them or at least each one that you like, or are good for a man of your size in any possible angle. 

By training you will maximize the potential of each one of them, and you will figure out what areas your opponent is weak. The more you train the less dots your brains will have to connect.

But it was proven lately in MMA, and Imrich Lichtenfeld had proven this in the 1960's that Impact is prioritized over Push and Pull and Leverage gives people the maximum advantage to prevail over a grappling scenario with a larger and grappling trained opponent. One course after the other of Israel Defense Forces Krav Maga Instructors in which during 3 weeks of training of a 21 hour curriculum of techniques repeated 3 times for the purpose of lesson evaluation and enhanced memorization comparing students in the IDF Instructor Course which some had a vast grappling, Jujitsu, Karate, Ninjitsu, Aikido, Wrestling, Sambo which some were champions in their respective combat sports field, that while they tended to stick longer to their previous sports fighting methods, they found themselves losing in the sparring drills to the average soldier that stuck to the krav maga curriculum he had just learned.

How did Israel Defense Forces drilled the Grappling section or close contact scenarios of Krav Maga then?

Through two hours of teaching escapes from bear hug from the front and back standing arms the opponent's arms, and under. In addition escape from neck holds standing from the front back and side, and escape from a shirt grab. In addition escape from an attempt for a clinch to the lower part of the torso and to the legs. 

In addition escapes form windpipe chokes from the front and back were taught as well. Two methods in case the opponent is pulling or pushing. As for the ground, escapes from opponent trying to punch or grab while he is leaning on the side without putting his body on the defender, and then several holds or attempts to punch while he is sitting on top of the defender. 

Finally escape from a neck hold from the back on the ground, and escape for windpipe choke(throat grab)sitting on top or escapes from wrists pinning to the side of the head or overhead. In addition two judo techniques of Kessa Gaetame and the next one were selected to demonstrate the difference in sports methods of escaping (redirecting the forces of Push and Pull)and countering or leveraging and countering on soft pressure points like balls punching or throat plucking. 

For troops that had few more hours of training time, two additional methods of attack and defense were taught. A hip Throws and a Leg Thow. The Sentry Removal section of the Pure Krav Maga Curriculum(Original Israel Defense Force 21 hour curriculum before it was lost and the IDF started to get civilian Instructors without the knowledge and expertese of the Military Curriculum, and later some other martial artists with no knowledge in Krav Maga as well)contained the killing and taking unconscious section of the grappling section. Knife stabbing blocks on the ground were added mostly for the self defense for women section.

The hip throw in Israel Defense Forces terminology apply to all scenarios where you turn your back to your opponent pulling him for a throw, and the leg throw pertains to all scenarios where you trip, sweep or slide his leg, taking him off balance with push and pull, or impact causing him to fall. The best fall you can cause is when his head or shoulder would be smashed on the ground.

Learning Breakfalls and blocks make you comfortable in reaching your opponent's pressure points in motion when you were surprised in a grappling scenario or where you were countered. The pressure points one hour session is learned in the first lesson of Krav Maga.

Connecting the dots is a good thing and a bad thing. It is a vague expression depicting success and failure. If you understand the principles your task becomes as easy as connecting the dots. If you do not, then you can try to connect the dots, but it will not be as simple as connecting the dots on a piece of paper where the dots are marked from one to ten.

While geared to civilians sports competition, with rules for winning such as getting the opponent to submit, or keeping his shoulders on the ground for agreed period of time, Hand to hand combat and self defense resort to more severe soft pressure points and prioritize impact over push and pull to equalize the inequality of fitness, body mass and strength. The reaction time concept help equalize the quickens and element of surprise when attacked.

The simple drills of learning how to leverage escapes from simple generalized body holds, neck holds, arm holds etc. where the opponents arms and body and pressure points require different methods of escape and reach are sufficient for your navigation training. The emphasis again is soft pressure point manipulation with impact whenever possible.

Finally through sparring drills including grappling, where one training partner attempts to subdue the other, you gain the push and pull experience however paying strict attention to protect your soft pressure point at all time and resort to attack your training partners soft pressure points with modified non damaging force. Yes you have to connect the dots because you do not want to end up with a dead training partner. However for the combat sports enthusiast that thinks grappling is the ultimate system for self defense because it is tested the answer is -yes it is the ultimate system against resisting opponent playing by rules but not for the resisting opponent prioritizing the easiest way to kill you.

Finally remember that with the blade, the knife, the reaction time is diminished.

If you spend a lot of time training in grappling combat sports, you certainly increase your endurance and speed to the max. This could help in fighting multiple opponent as you will need the stamina to fight hundreds of opponents at once in hypothetical scenarios. But if you train under different frame than self defense you set the wrong web of action in your brain, and this will likely fail you when you try to save your life in a self defense scenario.

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