The Defense part of the Self Defense Equation

In my view - the most important thing about self defense - is the DEFENSE bit! We all need to work on our escapes and defense if we are to develop an all-round strong and complete game. ground or stand up. Here are some general pointers for escapes on the ground:

Lots of small moves a better than one big move for a couple of reasons;
- Big moves leave you tired, small moves eare more energy efficient
- Big, explosive moves almost always leave you open to attack
- Big, explosive moves leave you taking a huge psychological hit when they fail to give you the
desired outcome
- Big moves don't allow you to make direction or strategic changes quickly and easily

When really strapped down - try to focus on what you can move as opposed to what is being trapped/pinned/controlled. We have a tendency to focus on what's being trapped - in fact, most martial arts systems have a hundred ways to free your hand if someone grabs your wrist - why bother, the rest of your body is free - HIT them with your free hand, for example! So, focus on what parts of you are able to move, and start working with those bits to effect your escape.

Annoy your way out! Look at the situation as if it is a jumper/jersey you are trying to unravel. Find that loose thread and start pulling. The right thread will bring the whole thing undone!

Go early! Don't wait till you are neck deep in shit before turning around and trying to find a way out. This is the practical side of EXPERIENCE. Experienced people just see the problem evolving early - they stop what they are doing and deal with it. Inexperienced people ignore the early warning signs, and stay overly focused on their particular agenda.

Use Combos! Just like stand-up - the most effective outcomes are usually driven by a combination of moves. Use escapes in combinations - an opponents reaction to one escape will often open up possibiliities for another. Always combine!

So there are a few basic ideas on how to appoach escapes - as talking about specific escapes is difficult because of the myriad of positions an the hundreds of small variations that surround them. Also, the oppponent may react to your escape attempts- so you need to be able to change and adapt accordingly.

Tha's a only a brief outline - but it may help get some of you thinking.
Train smart - train safe.



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