The reason why so many physical encounters end up on the ground is due to our instinctual response to the inherent danger of close quarters combat.
Trading haymaker punches from arm’s length away allows our body’s visual cues to pick up our attacker’s strikes.
But when the fight gets up close and personal, it’s a whole other story.
Our body senses this as the most dangerous scenario because we can’t effectively defend our wide-open targets like our groin, eyes, throat, etc. when someone is that close.
Our natural response is to then reach out and grab our attacker, not only as a way to inflict damage, but also as a means of “protection” by taking away their striking ability.
The problem then becomes the “Average Joe’s” complete inability to do major damage to an attacker when locked up in a ground fight.
Most guys simply resort to high school level wrestling matches that have little impact on ending a fight quickly, and worse yet…open you up to other dangers.
So how can you stay off the ground in the first place?
3 Self-Defense Tips For Staying Off The Ground In A Real Street Fight!
Given the dangers of the ground fighting environment, especially when the possibility of multiple attackers is part of the problem, one point should be very obvious:
In a real-life self-defense scenario, you must avoid going to the ground if at all possible.
Here are three tips for avoiding this scenario, the first of which is in the “pre-fight” portion of the encounter.
1. Stay In Motion
The pre-fight portion of an encounter is the phase where you determine that bad things are about to happen.
Your primary goal at this point is to diffuse the tension and create distance between yourself and your attacker(s).
This is as simple as staying in motion, moving around obstacles and behind them, backing away from, or simply leaving, the brewing altercation.
Put as much space between you and your opponent as possible, even if it’s not really an option to leave completely.
The more physical distance between you and the attacker, the less chance he has of “shooting in” to try and take your legs out from under you and take you to the ground.
2. Maintain Space
As part of maintaining space between you and your attacker, get your hands up and in front of your body.
This hand position goes by different names, but is most often called the “fence.”
Keep your hands up and in front of your body with your arms outstretched, elbows slightly bent to create a barrier between you and the other guy.
You’re basically using body language and your physical self to enforce your personal space.
When you combine your hands-up stance with appropriate verbalization, this looks very good for witnesses, too, because it makes it clear in their minds that you’re the victim.
You get your hands up and say, “Hey, man, I don’t want any trouble. Hey, now, please, don’t come any closer. Let’s not get excited here…”
It doesn’t really matter exactly what you say as long as it’s clear you’re trying to defuse the situation with your hands out and up.
3. Watch For Sucker Distractions
Another trick to look out for is the “sucker distraction” where your attacker will try to engage you in conversation in order to get your mind working on a question.
That way, he can distract your attention and it’s that much easier for him to sucker punch you, or for his hidden buddy to jump you.
Don’t listen to anything the attacker has to say.
When he starts talking, ignore the noise coming out of his mouth.
Don’t even let your brain process it.
What’s important is not what the attacker says, but what he does.
If he continues to try and approach you, even after you put your hands up and out and start asking him, then telling him in no uncertain terms to back the fuck off, it’s clear he’s trying to reduce the range so he can shoot in, hit you, or do something else bad to you.
With your hands up and out, maintaining space as best you can, verbalizing that you don’t want any trouble, asking and then telling your attacker to back off, you’re in a great legal and physical position to defend yourself if he does complete his attack on you.
Specifically, if he tries to shoot in and take you down by diving in and grabbing your legs out from under you, push down on his head as he comes in.
If you can sidestep and do this, or sidestep and punch him in the back of the head, so much the better.
It takes quick reflexes to pull this off with a neat side-step, but almost anyone can at least jam on the attacker’s head and push his face into the ground as he tries to come in.
This will short-circuit his shoot and put you more or less on top of him in a dominant position.
You can do your best to put a beat-down on him while regaining your feet fully and getting the hell out of there while he’s still on the ground.