When we face a street fight or a sport fight (except where it is prohibited) is very easy to end up on the ground, for this reason let's see some of the main causes that force us to ground fighting:
- We are not able to manage our balance
- We are not able to escape from locks
- We do not know to manage distances, spaces and obstacles
- We are too rigid in our posture and gesture
- There we drop instinctively
- We go to the ground voluntarily
- The opponents lead us to earth with technical skills
- We bind with the opponent too much and try to use only muscle power
In a lot of cases our mind tries to close the distance (we illude of being safe from beatings and at the same time to be able to beat the others). In reality when a novice is too close he is not able to hit and then he try to stand in a upper position to impose his muscolar power, he search for a dominant advantage vasting a lot of energy, so here, inevitably he fall to the ground exposing his body to:
- Falls ruinous
- Blocks, strangulations, levers, breakings
- Submission positions
In general terms of self-defense to cling to the opponent is almost always wrong, it means to bind ourselves to what we should be away. If it is true that we can not always choose to go to the ground or not, it is certainly possible to:
- Do not go there by spontaneous initiative
- Try not to go there
- Try to liberate us to return in a stand up stance as soon as possible
Said that, if the fight is inevitable and the escape routes are foreclosed let's see some situations when it is a "good" idea to go to the ground:
- When we have no chance to fight by standing (eg. a leg injury)
- When our opponent has no direct accomplices (eg. friends) or indirect (eg. foreign interventions)
- When we have an advanced technical knowledge in the fight to the ground (tested with high-level opponents)
- When we are sure that the opponent does not have a technical background in ground fighting (eg. if we well know our aggressor)
- When our opponent is more agile than us in terms of mobility (the ground cancel at once all its speed and a significant part of his reflexes)
- When we are sure to be able to express a superior physically performance (when we exceed the opponent in strength, weight, etc.)
- When we are less reactive in the exchange of blows, fight on the ground offers a little 'more time for reflection (but we still talk about seconds)
- When we can use some objects of the scenario to our advantage (a hole, a wall, etc.)
In almost all other cases, it is almost an error and a serious disadvantage to end up on the ground. In the next article we will see some techniques / ideas / tricks to avoid ending up on the ground.
To start to wake up our reflexes exists an ancient Shaolin method that today is worth to be recovered. The exercise is very simple and does not require any physical effort.
- Let's take a small chain or a small rope
- Let's tie to the cord a thing clean, flat and larger than the human eye (the monks used perforated coins)
- Let's position ourselves standing or sitting
- Let's hang the string in front to us
- Let's hang it so that, oscillating, the pendant arrive exactly at the height of our right eye
- We can even keep the cord with our hands
- Our body must remain completely static
- Let's swing (continuously) the pendant in the direction of our eye
- The pendant must arrive (almost) to touch the pupil
- Let's be careful to do not touch the eye
- What we need to do is keep our eyes open when the pendant is near us
- We perform this simple "game" five minutes with one eye and five with the other
- The ideal time to perform this type of exercise is at the end of a meditation session
- Let's pay close attention to speed, weight and form of the object to which we expose our eyes (once again the gradualness is essential)
- Acquired a certain familiarity, we can approach to the pendant moving dynamically with our head and / or full body (the goal is to always keep our eyes open, near to the object but sure from being not touched)
This practice serves to counteract the body's natural defense that drives us, in time of danger, to save the most delicate and important part of our face: eyes.
Close our eyes or even turn our entire head is an instinctive reaction that is critical in any ordinary situation but very dangerous in a real fight.
Close our eyes in a combat situation of imminent impact defends us relatively little, and exposes us to much more serious dangers (first of all, risk of death). For this reason it's foundamental to replace this automatic reaction with a more appropriate manual one always instantaneous but voluntary.
A few days ago the youngest student of the guan where we practice (8 years) asked a question in a low voice that revealed a great depth of thought. It is therefore worthwhile to share this thread.
Uan Zheng: "Sifu, why people die? I do not want to die..."
Sifu: "What did you say?"
Uan Zheng: "Why do people has to die? Even I have to die?"
Sifu: "Do not worry about it, death is just a selfish way of looking at life."
Uan Zheng: "Why?"
Sifu: "Because life and death, beginning and end are ideas far from the truth, people has wrong thoughts that bring them to think to possess ourselves and the things that surround us."
Uan Zheng: "Why is death a wrong thought?"
Sifu: "When you fall during training and you are injured at a knee, a small part of you, blood, skin or other go away from your body... what happens to that little parts?"
Uan Zheng: "They die."
Sifu: "In the eyes of a human being they are dead but in the eyes of the universe it is simply a transformation that took place."
Uan Zheng: "What is a transformation?"
Sifu: "When you eat a bowl of rice, rice dies?"
Uan Zheng: "No, it breaks and goes into the belly."
Sifu: "And in the belly, what happens?"
Uan Zheng: "Half remain in and half go out with the poop."
Sifu: "Right, the part that stays inside where it ends?"
Uan Zheng: "It gives to eat to my body, we have no strength without eating."
Sifu: "If a person stops eating what happens?"
Uan Zheng: "Become slim slim skinny..."
Sifu: "So what it is a transformation?"
Uan Zheng: "When food becomes a man?"
Sifu: "Right. In the universe occur continuous transformations but men are a bit 'distracted and look only to those that interest and astonish them, so for example they distinguish life from death without noticing that they die and reborn every moment of their existence... they never be equal to themselves... not in their body not in their mind... nor even for an instant... "
Uan Zheng: "So everything is a transformation and people can never die?"
Sifu: "We are all part of one great being that continues to transform and even when we think of losing someone important, in reality, in the continuous mixing of existence, separations are only temporary, sooner or later we will return to touch ourselves, in a different form, in a different way but it will happen. Try to be tollerant with everyone and everything, you have no enemies."
Uan Zheng: "I got it. But if..."
Sifu: "I see, you have a lot of questions but I do not have all the answers... think about this and verify with your mind what I said, then use your life to find and share the truth."
Uan Zheng: "All right!"