Friday, November 6, 2009

David vs Goliath

In the majority of scenario's in which you are attacked, the opponent(s) will be armed,you'll be facing multiple assailants or the adversary will be significantly bigger than you.So, techniques and tactics that will help you overcome the "giant" are worth exploring.In terms of unarmed hand/punching techniques, many Martial Art's do not work on adapting their techniques to someone that may be half a foot taller than you and twice as heavy. I know in many traditional Karate schools,they hardly train punching techniques above their head and predominantly only train linear movements. Boxing has a greater degree of diversity,but boxing is sport and not really designed for actual combat or defense.Still, early Mike Tyson fights(who stood 5'10 or 5'11)steamrolling guys who sometimes stood 6-8 inches taller than him is worth watching just for how smooth Mike used body movement to slip inside and deliver his punches. MMA has many options,but it too is a sport which has a long list of rules that limit many techs that would help you in real encounter. Even so, look at the size difference in the above pics between Fedor Emelianenko(who is widely considered the greatest MMA fighter ever)& two Giants he has faced & defeated in the ring. Fedor stands an even 6 foot(some even say 5'11) and both of these monsters are a foot taller than him.
In an unarmed vs unarmed situation you must be adept at overhand type strikes.This not only means overhand punches such as the one Randy Couture is delivering to Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in the above photo,but also various palm heel,"ox jaw" strikes, eye gouges and even hammer-fist & "tomahawk" strikes.An overhand is often applied by angling the body in,bladed and/or even bent slightly forward(usually around 45 degree angle,but can be any angle as needed and appropriate for specific situation) and coming over the top to the head & through/around or over their defenses.You can also fake a shoot or takedown and then throw an overhand.Evasive movement is crucial as you'll need to get around the taller Man's longer reach.Bobbing/Weaving,slipping,parries,ducking along with working angles,proper shifting and footwork,timing,spatial distance perception and masking/setting up the entry are all needed in combination to effectively deliver the strike(s).
In reality-based defense we are not limited to only hand strikes, so other good options to use against bigger opponents are take downs & throws as well as leg kicks and sweeps.If you can get the big man off his feet,it will negate much of his size advantage.In the Street,ground grappling isn't usually the best idea,so if you put the larger man down while you remain on your feet than all the better. Unless he's a trained wrestler or grappler,most people won't be able to handle a basic double leg takedown or leg reap and will fall hard and allow you separation so that you can drop them hard while you stay up ready to stomp or kick them or make an exit.Don't ever go to the knees when shooting on the street like a wrestler would on a mat.Shoot "high" Gracie Style so that you maintain upright mobility and can disengage or recover easier if you have a bad entry.Baiting the taller guy to attack by keeping just out of range might make him extend himself too much and allow you to land your own strike or create an opening to go for the takedown easier.Leg kicks and sweeps can also off balance & cause the opponent to get into an overly wide stance which allows openings as well or they may even take an inexperienced/untrained individual off of his feet.