Sunday, November 28, 2010


You'll often hear the terms "Position before Submission" & "Submission from any Position" in the world of Sport Grappling,Submission Fighting and MMA.The first phrase means to first establish a dominate position from which offensive techniques will be more effective,easier to apply and harder for them to defend against from their relatively inferior position than they could from a better one.The second phrase refers to "catching" or "hooking" an opponent at any time,especially during transitions,scrambles or otherwise dynamic movement.Catch wrestling is one art/sport that focuses in on this aspect. So,what does all of this mean to the self-exponent only concerned with real-world scenarios and must contend with every possible no rules attack thinkable.Well,it primarily has to with the sequence of methodology that you use to defend Yourself.In what sequence do you put different goals,directives & priorities employing various techniques,tactics & strategies.You want to work your plan & control is a desirable goal,but what if things don't go your way exactly and you must adapt to the scenario and change the momentary or even the final goal.Your sequence will therefore change accordingly.

There are not too many self-defense situations where a single minded sequence or tunnel vision goal is all that effective.Meaning that you'd have the single goal of for example taking the opponent down to the ground while you remain standing and finishing with a kick and then escaping the situation.That may be your intent or goal,but it rarely happens EXACTLY as You plan except in cases of severe mismatches of size,skill or both.Situational specific Goals and sequences are usually fluid and ever changing except for basic directives such as the goal to not get harmed,maimed or killed.At any moment your intended plan or sequence may be disrupted by the opponent/assailant and you'll have to adapt or alter you sequence to deal with the new circumstances,even if momentarily.Seems fairly obvious,but that concept can be applied broadly to the whole spectrum of defense.

I've said in past posts that when your attacking/on offense,You never want to get tunnel vision or so offense focused that You won't see or be able to react to a counter-attack.This does happen very frequently in combat sports as well as real life fights where one guy is furiously swinging for the fences and never sees the counter-punch that knocks him out.It only takes a split second to end a fight,so You can never let Your guard down mentally or physically/literally and metaphorically.You may have them completely on the defensive,but you must never allow yourself to be lulled into a mindset that makes You blind to their counter measures which can occur instantaneously.You must be able to execute offense and defense effectively and be able to both simultaneous.It could be said You therefore need a "split" mental focus for lack of a better word.

Bulling ahead mentally and physically ignoring defense and trying to force Your plan or intended sequence may or may not work,but in any case it is normally not the most effective method to use in cases where an opponent presents a real credible threat(not a mismatch).You can have a plan and final goal and staying in constant control,but still take advantage or opportunities that present themselves along the way and which may alter your sequence,methods or even Your final goal.Say Your confronted by a knife wielding assailant that is blocking your path and your boxed and can't escape.You'll have a plan or basic idea of what You want to do based on the circumstances,what exactly it is He's doing,the environment etc,.But,then the attacker accidentally drops the knife which then would drastically alter Your plan and response.You must be versatile and be able to adapt to ever changing dynamics and act/react according to the appropriate action/reaction for the specific situation.Goals can be Final or Momentary and change at any time.

In stand-up striking techniques and in takedowns in which the distance is being closed,engagement may occur abruptly and without warning/sudden surprise or there may a stand-off/face-off.It might start sudden and then a break from engagement or contact occurs and a face-off(even if momentary)occurs or start as a stand-off and once engaged stay engaged with the pace never slowing or the assault never letting up and sometimes they might.Changes such as these can go back and forth & happen multiple times during a conflict.When things blow up out of there nowhere,You are forced to react directly with a counter-measure,evasion or simply creating space & distance.In a stand-off,there is USUALLY more reaction time(if aware,anticipate or see sudden surprise attack coming early enough and depending on assailants method/sneak-up slyly & casually or lunging charge/bum rush,can create distance if that best choice since it may be better to close depending on specifics of situation)and distance(if not,make it) involved,so set-ups(techniques,entry,baiting,feints etc.),angling footwork etc.all usually become more applicable although footwork & angles are just as vitally important in sudden or surprise attacks & in close/in-fighting,in a clinch and even on the ground as well.In a way,a loose analogy could be made with sudden surprise stand-up fighting with "submission from any position" and face-offs with "position then submission".Remember that you NORMALLY don't want to stay toe-to-toe "in the pocket" no matter where the conflict starts and avoid unless You can/are finishing the fight there in Your favor[click for PREVIOUS POST ABOUT DISTANCE],de-escalate or escape the situation if You are able.

You can never completely predict what a assailant will do for sure,but there are fairly predictable patterns & combinations,sequence order & You can usually have a least a pretty good idea and make a educated guess based on knowledge of real-world attacks,statistics,research and be prepared through training focusing on those likely to be encountered scenarios and method,but still be flexible & fluid in Your responses to adapt & deal with unorthodox attacks.This knowledge will make You better prepared and more effective in "working your plan",applying & devising patterns & combinations,order & sequences that are most effective and likely to work and forcing Control and dictating the action,but always ready to defend,react and respond. Absolute Control and dictating the how,when & where of a confrontation would or should mean that it never even takes place according to true self-defense principles.

You must be versatile and have a diverse skill set even though there are more "proven" techniques than others and there are techniques that will be your personal "go to" moves.You must be able to do BOTH "submission form any position" & "position before submission"(figuratively speaking),expect the unexpected & expect(priority of training)the expected(most common attacks),sudden surprise engagement & face-offs,offense & defense simultaneously,direct & indirect and both simultaneously(prior posts),thinking,planning/strategies(outsmarting,out thinking opponent)compared with instinctive reaction/reflex(can be honed,educated with proper training)ability to utilize both and the same concept applies in Your ability to incorporate various effective reality-based methods to be truly prepared for real-world situations.