In very generic terms, and with you as the “tosser-thrower-tripper,” in the old-school business of “taking people down,” it would be worthy of mentioning, worthy of thinking about, these two kinds of takedown categories.
1-Going down with him.
2-Staying up or somewhat up as he goes down.
There’s one group of methods were you crash down on the ground with the opponent. The other group is when you chunk the guy down and you remain “up,” as in standing, or at least knee-high.
With the first group, there are way more takedown options, including way easier and even sloppy options for when both of you just crash-tackle-fall to the ground together. Actually, almost any idiot can do that, as witnessed in the world of yesterday and today.
With the second “stay-up” there are less options (and more skill) with remaining “up.”
I had to handcuff people most of my adult life when I fought them. In my professional life, on the sidewalks and streets, rocky roads and the tile floors of life, I always tried to be up, or somewhat up, trying for the knee-high or standing results rather than the full-out, ground-wrestling-around results. Once fully down-down, a whole host lof extra, messy things can happen with size, strength, adrenaline, weapons, etc…
I say “try” because sometimes the “toss-er” often falls anyway along with the “toss-ee” from the crazy “asses and elbows” mess that is a “fight.” And if things got rowdy with the “toss-ee,” if and when I got them down, I would try to sit on them, squeezing in on their beltline-pockets (weapons) area, in what was once called “Top-Side Saddle” or “Reverse Top-Side Saddle,” if he was face-down, as in “reverse.” The new, cool kids call it the “mount.”
So at times, I got way down there too, lower than “saddling.” And I had to flat out tackle people due to positional and situational circumstances. In this “ground zero” world there was a short, effective, old school bag of police tricks I was taught, (that including hitting) and I get to show this bag in some seminars when the topic comes up. They do work! And in some cases I had to to choke them out a few times. Nowadays chokes are pretty much taboo in almost all police ops, but okay for civilians if reasonably justified.
It might be worth it, to make a list of the easier, “2-man, crash downs” takedowns and the lessor, harder, “stay-up” takedowns. List and experiment with them. Or, at very least know about the two “ways” and that they exist.
The mistake? Ignoring the successful moves. I could write a ton about this point and its unintended after-effects in hand, stick, knife, gun survival training and related, muscle memory. But, I’ll just leave this shorter essay here.
The specific point of this is about misguiding mission, misguided training doctrine. This is about the training ignorance, the naivete of people – students and instructors, not to recognize this. Failing to recognize the devastating, simulated, tactic-technique, failing to “blow the whistle” and say,
“STOP! Okay, George, you probably won that one!”
This is a doctrine problem in any system, stick fighting, knife fighting. Any one. For one example, two stick-fighting guys bash each other’s helmets in, yet the fight ends with a grounded submission hold or choke? Nope, that fight ended 80 seconds earlier. Think about that. I have seen a lot of floor tap-outs by partner A on partner B, yet B had actually won that hand, or stick, or knife fight a minute earlier, first standing or maybe on the ground, simulating doing something vital-devastating, that was-
a) simulated for safety (and move totally ignored)
b) didn’t count in the rules (and move totally ignored) , or
c) Partner A was protected by safety gear (and move totally ignored).
Not recognizing this point, not rewarding this “winning move,” makes for incorrect, off-mission, survival doctrine and bad muscle memory. But listen, this is just fine for sports, arts, hobbies, exercises and fun, in which case it is NOT a terrible mistake. Know what you do and what you want. Know your mission. Stay on mission.
In 1986, I became fascinated by the Bruce Lee’s essay on “the stance of no stance,” idea. Whether hand, stick, knife or gun, I opted for the loose “ready stance,” and the “balance and power in motion” concept, a motion-picture-idea rather than a still-photo-idea.
Thanks to Bruce Lee, the Inosanto Family (and Ed Parker) when teaching since the late 1980s, I organized and demonstrated the Ten Probable Position-Problems to prepare people for the full spectrum of mixed weapon fighting possibilities. I was a cop then and we had to fight on the ground periodically, so even before the BJJ madness-fad, many of us trained in a diverse Police Judo, later re-named Police Defensive Tactics (both very incomplete). And, I was deeply involved with the Inosanto Family and they were deeply involved in “shooto” – “shoot wrestling.”
One might say there are three generics in “street fighting-survival” challenges. 1) standing, 2) kneeling-seated, 3) floor-ground. But inside each there are differing heights and needs, making up the ten. For me a system-art that spends too much time in one of the categories is forgetting the importance of the others. In any fight you may well transition through some of these ten. Investigate them through the Ws and H Questions, the who, what, where, when, how and why questions to best explore combatives. One such “Where” question is…”Where are you?” Standing? Kneeling? Seated? Floored-grounded?
Problem 1a: Unready Standing unprepared – the “stupid bus top.” This is a concept I learned from Ed Parker Kenpo karate in 1973. You are standing normally (like waiting for a bus). You are probably zoned out and unprepared.
Problem 1b: Ready Standing Ambush – the “prepared bus stop.” You are prepared but don’t look so to an opponent. (Think sucker punch approach, concept.)
Problem 2: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Forward or as in a right side lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 3: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Neutral or as in hands-torso showing no lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 4: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Forward or as in a left side lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 5: Knee Height (or seated,) versus Standing.
Problem 6: Knee Height (or seated,) versus Knee-high or Seated.
Problem 7: Knee Height versus Someone Below You. This is the top-side of a floor-ground fight. (Might be two knees down, right knee up or left knee up.)
Problem 8: Floored-grounded On Back. This means fighting standing, kneeling and grounded enemies. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
Problem 9: Floored-grounded on Right Side. Usually this means fighting enemies that are knee-high or grounded too. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
Problem 10: Floored-grounded on Left Side. Usually this means fighting enemies that are knee-high or grounded too. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
YOU WILL BE FIGHTING “HERE”… In many a fight, certainly an ambush, you might never get a chance to strike up a defined “stance.” Still, this study reminds everyone that fighting includes all these up-and-down height categories and they should not be ignored or forgotten.
EVERYTHING you learn, must be experimented through these 10 position (stance) problems. Every strike, kick, lock, etc…can you do it there? Can it work here? There? Up and down? Yes or no? This is the goal of the seamless survival fighter. You fight where you fight, where you are. A true fighter-survivor, so-called “combatives” person, fights standing, kneeling-seated and on the floor-ground, in and out of buildings, in rural, suburban and urban areas. Dissect, identify and discard sports and artsy cancers. A combatives fighting system is about doctrine-doctrine-doctrine, the training skeleton which recognizes chaos, crime and war and best prepares people to respond.
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We all hear about how ground wrestlers shouldn’t wrestle in the proverbial “street fight,” and one reason name-dropped is the catch phrase “multiple opponents.” In the win-some/lose-some in real life, our lives, my life, I have a pivotal story about this, and some lessons learned. I wound up in the hospital.
Back in 1980 I and other officers were dispatched to a “big fight.” Two fraternities fighting in the basement of a large frat house. The college police were there and needing help. Who they gonna call? The city police. When we got there it was a mess. About 30 guys fighting in and out of the building. And so, we made our way into the melee and tried to…”stop it.” It looked like the brawls I was use to as an Army MP when units would get drunk and fight, or just fight without getting drunk.
So, this was not my first rodeo, so to speak. I got inside the large basement – which was actually the first floor – and tried separating people when suddenly for some reason, the rush of humanity pushed and pulled about 10 or fifteen of us down on the cement floor. It was as they say, asses and elbows, and everything else, including feet as I found out later. Kicks.
Suddenly, I was knocked out. Other officers told me that they saw it happen. Another college guy got up into a crab walk position, crab walked a few feet over to me, from the crab, from behind my head, and thrust kicked me in the head. I never saw it coming, so to speak.
Numerous people were arrested and my sergeant decided it was time to leave. He said,
“Somebody go over there and wake Hock up.”
They said they slapped me awake. I was out, out cold in a nauseous dream. They told me I was out for about 15 minutes. Maybe 20. If you are in the “knock-out and brain business?” You know this is really bad. They helped me up and I stood, trying to unscramble my brains. I was floating on another planet as I got to my squad car, and I actually drove with the caravan back to the station. It was near the end of the evening shift. And I floated to my car, and sick and confused, and drove home.
At home, I started vomiting and I couldn’t think straight. My wife drove me to the hospital with my head hanging out the window like a dog. They gave me drugs and kept me over night for observation. You know…concussion. It was a bad night of bad, whack-job thoughts. Two days later? Back to work.
It’s funny but I can still remember part of what I was dreaming on the basement floor. I was at some carnival. If I try to hard to recall it? I can feel the beginnings of getting nauseous again. It’s a brain damage, rabbit hole. We counted up the times I have been knocked out and it comes to 14. Two car wrecks, two kick boxing, two boxing, I fell on some rickety, odd-shaped stairs trying to arrest a guy one night. Twice in baseball (odd stories) well 14 “I am out, bubba” incidents. Now brainey-ologists tell you that little mini-second black outs start adding up too. Oh crap! I have been tested to have brain damage with symptoms too complicated to explain here as a side issue.
Part of me wonders, how anyone today can box, kick box, Thai, MMA long term and never be knocked out? Not once? I meet these “virgin” people. I guess it’s old school training that bazookas your brain? (I know the competitors get knocked out once in a while and they are really trying to limit that. I say “good.”)
I learned that I can control the symptoms somewhat with good sleep (and solid REM dreaming) and a simple diet, and some daily, almost aspirin-like medication. I have an odd problem with dreams and it’s too long to explain here.
But back to the main issue. I was knocked out on the ground by a kick in a multiple opponent scrap. And as I said starting out, we all hear about how ground wrestlers shouldn’t wrestle in the proverbial “street fight,” but I want to add that you absolutely must learn and hone wrestling/ground fighting. A mixed-weapon style with a consistent filter for survival.
A real expert ground fighter, Catch, BJJ, etc. can and will still eat up your standing (or ground) incoming arms and legs into arm bars and leg bars. But, they have to be fast, AND…they see to see the damn things coming.
“Hi Hock, I really enjoy your website. It is definitely the best on the internet covering all areas of self defense. In response to you being knocked out by a kick to the head, something similar happened to me, when i was with the PD prior to my retirement. In the early hours of my shift on a weekend, several officers and i were dispatched to a large biker party, in a back yard. Upon arrival, approximately 60 subjects were present. There were 8 officers including myself present. A fight began and one officer was on the ground attempting to handcuff a suspect. I dropped to my knees to assist and the next thing I realized I was in the back of a patrol car in route to the hospital. I had blood running out of my mouth and it felt like I had gravel in it. Upon arrival, I was checked for injuries, and the gravel turned out to be shattered teeth. I had been kicked under the jaw by some punk with steel toed boots. Three of my bottom back molars on each side were shattered from slamming my jaw together. The guy went to jail and got 30 days. To this very day i have TMJ but things could have been worse. Take care and stay safe.” – Doug Boal, RET.