If you want to be prepared to defend yourself realistically on the street, you are going to have to prepare RIGHT NOW in a controlled training environment, how you can both GUARD against getting knocked out and at the same time, take a PUNCH and keep fighting. Regardless, if you are talking about knife, stick or gun, Hardcore Combatives or BJJ Grappling, at the root of all of it is the word FIGHT…and out there on the street it could be a FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE!
The “Default” Position
Instead of re-hashing all of the material concerning Default Guard Positions, I have chosen to post the Link to the article from the website Urban Combatives. The article was written by Combatives Guru Lee Morrison and can be found HERE.
One of the fundamentals of fighting, regardless of style, is knowing how to DEFEND YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES. Remembering the awesome Boxing movie “Million Dollar Baby”; this was the fundamental that Clint Eastwood time and time again tried to drill into Maggie, and in the end, it was failing to heed this fundamental that got her. The CO has to understand, Murphy’s Law is in effect 24/7/365 on the street, punches will be flying and can come out of nowhere, from one or multiple opponents. Even with the right guard technique, no matter which one you prescribe, the inevitability of getting hit is there, the Default Position just guarantees a degree of “damage control” to keep you in the fight. The LOGIC is simple: You get Knocked Out, the game is over!
A word about the on-going debate in the Combatives community about the Natural Instinctive Flinch Response vs A Trained “Default” Position. On this subject I tend to agree with Southnarc who stated “I don’t think that you can ever truly; totally over-ride the natural flinch response if you are taken completely by surprise.” The key as I see it, is to as much as possible, integrate those instinctive responses with a simple guard that protects you from getting knocked out and/or knocked over. I consider this concept an essential part of the Combative Continuum, as It carries right over into combative stick/knife and shooting as well; work with what your body does naturally as much as possible.
Where most people go wrong in their Combatives training as I see it, is they try and invent ways to AVOID getting hit, instead of training to GUARD, absorb the strikes and finish the fight (destroy the opponent). Now I am not saying go out there and offer your face as an easy target, by all means, Keep up your guard, move and strike… but in any fight, despite your best efforts, you are most likely going to take a punch..that’s the name of the game, the KEY is to NOT get Knocked Out by using a Default Guard which protects those sensitive areas which when struck hard enough, can “knock you out” aka UNCONSCIOUS..not good! Those areas are: Hinges of the jaw, Temples and Sides of the neck. A Simple concept really, but isn’t it the simplest things that often give people the most problems? No need to try and re-invent the wheel!
Lastly, a word about Transition Drill Integration. To stay realistic, we need to keep the “Combative” theme alive as we transition to ECQ Weapon Presentation and ECQ Weapon Retention Drills. Understanding that most all CO’s are going to be armed (either knife or firearm), what began as a empty hand struggle, now, because of being “In FEAR for Your Life” for whatever reason (attacker introduces a weapon, disparity of force, multiple opponents, etc.) the CO decides to introduce lethal force into the equation to defend themselves. So, to keep it real, students to keep their Combative equipment on (head gear, mouthpiece and MMA Gloves) as they transition to weapon presentation and then weapon retention drills.
Stay Frosty, Stay Dangerous and Defend Yourself at ALL Times!