Today’s lesson was entirely focused on anti-grappling tactics. We warmed up going through basic postures. This consisted of repetitions of transitioning and moving in postures – combat base (kneeling), butterfly guard (seated) and on the back. This hits the legs early and encourages movement from the ground with speed and without placing the hands on the ground. We then looked at some ground movement exercises – shrimping/snaking and bear crawls.
Next we moved onto four anti-grappling tactics – eye-gouges, biting, finger-locks and sprawling. The eye-gouge was taught in conjunction with very close-range strikes like head-butts and elbows. Sprawls were taught in repetition as exercises. They are excellent for conditioning alone, as they recruit a lot of large muscle groups and are excellent for cardiovascular development. The sprawl trained as a solo exercise is actually a form of burpee. We then trained the application and also brought in the knee strike. All in all, we covered anti-grappling at high, mid and low lines of attack.
Tenacity and attitude were discussed. There is nothing quite like hard physical conditioning to work mental fortitude. When matters get physical you need to have the will not to give in. By performing numerous reps of exercises that took the student to the ground and back up again, you get into the “burn” fast and outside your comfort zone. It is important for those training in self-defence or martial arts to regularly acquaint themselves with the feeling of physical failure. That is how it feels when you are under the extreme pressure conditions of a real fight. You need to familiarize yourself with that sensation, so that you can build a type of mental armour and develop strong physical attributes to survive.