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Departments : The Winning Edge

From the Mat to the Street

Some of the techniques you see used in MMA fights translate very easily and effectively into street combat.

August 19, 2009  |  by Joe Fiorentino

Drop Your Chin

When we talk about your stance, it is a good idea to drop your chin slightly while interacting with a subject. This allows your shoulders and arms to protect you from the all too common initial wide punch aimed at your chin.

Whether changing levels to duck a blow, lowering your hips to initiate a takedown, or preparing for an uppercut or strike to the body, avoid allowing your head to extend beyond your knees or feet. Otherwise, both your balance and your ability to generate power in any technique will be compromised, leaving you vulnerable to uppercuts, knees, soccer style kicks, and overhand blows to the back of the head.

If you find yourself bent over and looking at the ground, immediately correct your position. Just light pressure to the crown of your head in this position and you are either flat on your face or on your hands and knees. Proper posture in a good fighting stance will keep you out of that predicament no matter where you are.

Ranged Attacks

Range is a concern. The long-range confrontation is where combat sport and law enforcement differ most. Long range in sport requires either movement to close the distance, kicking techniques or, if you have a reach advantage, using the classic jab. You are too far away to attempt a takedown without telegraphing your intent.

In law enforcement, long range use of weapons in a violent situation is probably optimal. Kicking on the street should be limited to low strikes to the thigh and even then it can be a risky move. The higher the kick, the greater the likelihood of a slip or an opponent's successful counter.

Medium range-where you and your opponent are within arm's reach of each other-has the greatest number of options and dangers. You can trade blows, change levels and grab your opponent's hips and legs to get a takedown, and close to try for a throw. But remember all of this can happen to you, too.

Using your weapon at this range may make you vulnerable to a gun grab. While the element of a firearm, blade, or blunt weapon is radically different than sport combat, some principles remain the same.

Control of the center line, which means having your feet and arms positioned inside your opponent's arms and foot stance, allows you to land and block blows, prepare to grab your opponent's torso with "double under hooks," and move the line of fire, arc of blade slash, or radius of the club to the outside of your own centerline or torso. This technique is effective against opponents who favor wide strikes.

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Comments (1)

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Heidi @ 10/4/2012 3:01 PM

well written, great article we need more officers like joe.

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