Considered one of the more intriguing features of Ki Chuan Do (KCD) for beginners and out of doors observers is Master Perkins’ “Modified Native American Ground Fighting.” Not only have most individuals never seen or experienced authentic Native American martial arts (due to the dearth of practitioners alive today and the even smaller number occupied with sharing their skills with the general public), but most martial artists and combative sport fans cannot even conceive of an efficient approach to fighting on the bottom that differs significantly from the grappling methods (wrestling, jiu-jitsu, etc.) so universally practiced today. To even suggest that a really different method could also be equally and even simpler for real violence immediately evokes skepticism, so conditioned are most individuals to contemplate “groundfighting” synonymous with “wrestling” or “grappling.”
Let’s take an analytical have a look at what KCD Modified Native American Groundfighting actually is, why it’s, and the way and why it differs from conventional groundfighting (grappling) methods.
DISENGAGEMENT vs. ENGAGEMENT
KCD groundfighting, unlike grappling, emphasizes DISENGAGEMENT, fairly than ENGAGEMENT with the enemy. “Engagement” here means the merging of two bodies right into a single system of forces for greater than a split second’s duration. Put more simply, conventional grappling methods emphasize engagement with the adversary in that the practitioner seeks to “tie up with” the adversary to be able to apply his techniques. The grounded grappler on the offensive seeks to reduce the space between his body and his opponent’s, hence gaining maximum control over and awareness of the entire opponent’s movements, maximizing opportunities to use attached joint locking/breaking and choking/strangling techniques.
Minimizing the space available to the opponent minimizes the opponent’s opportunities to strike the grappler (using conventional strikes, at the very least), and allows the grappler to make use of his full body weight and the strength of his core muscles against the isolated weaker joints of the opponent, provided the grappler has sufficient sensitivity, agility, endurance and knowledge to make the techniques work against his opponent. Even when conventional striking methods are integrated into grappling, as in the favored “ground and pound” strategy of Mixed Martial Arts competitions, the striking is generally performed from prescribed positions of maximum engagement (e.g. punches from the Mount position or knee strikes from the Side Control position) in order to take care of control over the opponent’s movements while creating barely enough space for the grappler to strike.
KCD groundfighting, then again, implores us to stay as disengaged as possible. Moderately than tying up with the enemy, a KCD practitioner strives to take care of his/her own freedom of movement, fairly than committing his/her body to merging with the movements of a single adversary. Contact with the enemy, fairly than being tight and constant as in conventional grappling, is fleeting and minimal, consisting primarily of kicks, strikes, slams, gouges, rips and quick wrenches. The principle of disengagement allows the KCD practitioner to utilize a component relatively unavailable to the standard grappler: MOBILITY.
While grappler is mobile relative to his opponent, in that he’s capable of rapidly climb throughout and across the opponent’s body, the engaged aspect of grappling prevents the grappler from being mobile relative to the overall environment. While he’s attached to his opponent, working towards the opponent’s defeat, the grappler isn’t free to rapidly move across the environment he’s fighting in.
The KCD practitioner, specifically because he stays disengaged from the enemy (through trained rapid, convulsive and yielding movement and sensitivity), is free to maneuver wherever s/he wishes. Further, rapid mobility across the bottom (primarily within the mode of rolling) is something that’s trained always in KCD groundfighting training. This sort of training is notably absent from most conventional grappling programs, just because it doesn’t fit into the grappling paradigm of constant engagement.
SPORT vs. COMBAT
The contrasts explored to date expose the first difference between conventional ground grappling and KCD groundfighting: Newest grappling methods are designed for a SPORT paradigm, while KCD groundfighting is meant for REAL COMBAT. Due to all the time present possibility of multiple attackers in real combat, purposefully engaging with a single adversary on the bottom, thereby sacrificing mobility, is an especially dangerous strategy. While the story exists of a grounded grappler’s buying time against multiple attackers by manipulating his engaged opponent as a shield against the kicks and punches of the opposite attackers, that is hardly a reliable enough technique to count on. A much better strategy is the very same one a KCD practitioner would use on his/her feet: Remain MOBILE and disengaged to be able to prevent the attackers from targeting you for effective strikes and grapples while lashing out with powerful, accurate, full-body attacks against the closest attackers, while attempting to create a window to flee the gang.
This is precisely what the KCD multiple attacker strategy consists of: constant, unpredictable movement (within the mode of rapid, stomping steps while standing, and rolling when on the bottom); rapid, powerful, full-body striking in any respect angles (dropping strikes and kicks while standing, and dropping kicks [primarily], body slams and strikes on the bottom); and looking out to flee the mass attack (breaking out of the gang to run away while standing, and creating space to rise up after which run when on the bottom).
PROVEN IN WORLD WAR II
If this groundfighting strategy sounds novel or unproven, note these excerpts from the book Kill or Get Killed by Lt. Col. Rex Applegate, considered one of the best works on close combat of the World War II era:
“Avoid, if in any respect possible, going to the bottom together with your adversary. . . . One injunction it’s best to heed: Once going to the bottom, never stop moving. Start rolling and take a look at to get back in your feet as quickly as possible. When you cannot rise up and might’t roll, pivot in your hips and shoulders so you may face your opponent and block together with your feet any try and close with you.
Remember, it isn’t mandatory to go to the bottom once YOU have placed your opponent there. You possibly can finish him off together with your feet. Your enemy can do likewise if you happen to remain immobile on the bottom and stay inside range.”
(p. 15–emphasis included in original)
“When on the bottom, subjected to attack from a standing opponent, the person can use his feet to forestall the adversary from closing in or administering a coup de grace.” (p. 16-17)
“At the primary opportunity he should attempt to regain his feet.”
Despite being an authority in sportive methods of ground grappling, Lt. Col. Applegate, like John Perkins, understood that under real combat conditions, where multiple adversaries can have boots and other weapons fully able to ending things right away if offered (stationary) goal, a) lying on the bottom is mostly a foul place to be, and b) when on the bottom, the sportive strategy of engagement have to be abandoned for considered one of disengagement and mobility.
THE STRATEGY MUST MATCH THE GOAL
The grappling approach of full engagement with a single adversary to be able to apply pins, joint locks and chokes is ideally suited to allowing a grappler to convincingly and demonstrably control and dominate a single opponent without seriously injuring him. For this reason grappling is such an ideal method for sport competition, where the thing is to display one athlete’s superiority over one other while preserving each athletes to perform one other day.
In contrast, the KCD approach of disengagement, with contact limited primarily to the impacts of powerful, full-body kicks, body slams, strikes, wrenches, rips and gouges, isn’t thoroughly suited to pinning an opponent in place or forcing him to confess defeat before serious damage is finished. What it IS fitted to, nonetheless, is maintaining the KCD practitioner’s freedom of movement and mobility, allowing him/her to maneuver sufficiently to forestall a lethal pile-on or boot party from multiple attackers and create space to rise up, while dealing out disabling and possibly lethal damage to the attackers.
THE WEAPON FACTOR
One other contrast between KCD groundfighting and standard grappling that illustrates their respective foci (combat vs. sport) is how the hands are utilized in each. In conventional grappling, the hands are used almost always to carry and control the opponent, and likewise at times to balance on and push off of the bottom or strike the opponent. In KCD groundfighting, nonetheless, the hands are almost never used against the bottom or to carry the enemy, and are used only secondarily for momentary striking, gouging and ripping. During training, the KCD practitioner is admonished to maintain his/her hands as free and unencumbered as possible. It’s because KCD acknowledges the incontrovertible fact that in real combat, hand-held weapons are sometimes a consider the final result. Subsequently, KCD groundfighting is designed to integrate seamlessly with weapons use. That is inherent within the art’s Native American roots, when a practitioner would have been expected to have tomahawks and/or hunting knives in his hands while fighting in close combat, on the bottom or otherwise. The fashionable KCD practitioner may as a substitute have in his/her hands a carry knife, a cane, or a weapon of opportunity which may be picked up from the bottom (e.g. a brick, a bottle, or dirt to throw within the enemies’ eyes). Groundfighting with weapons, in addition to picking up weapons from the bottom within the midst of a fight, are steadily practiced features of KCD training.
SENSITIVITY AND DESTRUCTION vs. CONTROL AND SUBMISSION
To sum up what we have covered to this point:
- Sportive grappling SEEKS the bottom to be able to gain CONTROL over a single opponent to be able to make him SUBMIT to the grappler’s will.
- KCD AVOIDS the bottom because of the risks of being on the bottom in an actual combat situation (versus in a sporting match). Nevertheless, if forced to the bottom, the KCD practitioner uses DISENGAGEMENT (through sensitivity), MOBILITY and MAXIMUM, IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION OF THE ENEMY (including use of WEAPONS if available), similar to while standing up, to be able to minimize the danger while on the bottom and rise up as quickly as possible.
Generally, KCD groundfighting uses the identical strategy as KCD stand-up fighting: Use SENSITIVITY and the DISENGAGEMENT PRINCIPLE to as quickly as possible DESTROY THE ENEMY while maintaining a firm ROOT NO ONE CAN FIND (through balanced MOBILITY), looseness, and body unity.
The main differences that require additional training are using different ROOTING POINTS on the ground–hips, back, shoulders, etc.–as opposed to only the feet while standing up, and the increased availability of TOOLS, in that each legs could also be used concurrently from the bottom and in ways different from when standing up. Seeing because the legs (especially with sturdy boots on them) are by far the more powerful limbs of the body, it is sensible to reap the benefits of their increased usability on the bottom through additional training. Hence, the predominant foci of solo training for KCD groundfighting must be the event of BALANCE on and transition between the assorted rooting points available on the bottom, and the event of the musculature and coordination mandatory to make use of all of the available tools in all possible ways . . . and, in fact, the event of the flexibility to rise up off the bottom from any position as quickly as possible!
Although this text primarily addresses how the KCD practitioner fights while on the bottom, since the prevention of going to the bottom is such a vital consider real combat, we’ll address it briefly here.
There are not any special “anti-grappling” or “counter-takedown” techniques in KCD. One problem with such techniques can be that by the point one realizes their necessity in a fight (i.e. when one recognizes the takedown attempt), it is generally too late to use them! As an alternative, the fundamental concepts of KCD, if trained diligently, will normally prevent the circumstances that typically end in fighters’ going to the bottom against their will. Specifically:
1. BALANCE: The “hyper-balance” that could be a results of KCD training makes it less likely that a KCD practitioner will lose his/her footing and fall to the bottom, whatever the cause.
2. SENSITIVITY and the DISENGAGEMENT PRINCIPLE: The trained KCD attribute of external tactile sensitivity together with its application in response to the disengagement principle (whereby the practitioner strives to stay as disengaged with the enemy as possible while remaining engaged enough to cause damage–to “stick but not get stuck”) can prevent a grappler from achieving a robust clinch with the KCD practitioner, because the KCD practitioner’s body all the time seems to “squirt” out of attempted grips and holds while striking into vital areas and disrupting the grappler’s balance from unexpected angles. This negates a standard grappling takedown strategy: to first tie up the opponent in a standing clinch to be able to suppress his strikes and gain control over his balance, after which to take him down from there.
3. DROPPING ENERGY (“absorbing the overtravel”) and the SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: KCD practitioners’ use of dropping energy to “absorb the overtravel” of strikes (as Master Perkins has explained in Newsletter #18) in addition to keeping strikes inside the sphere of influence (to forestall “reaching” with strikes) signifies that KCD practitioners are unlikely to overcommit to strikes. Profiting from a striker’s overcommitment to his strikes is the predominant means whereby an experienced grappler can shoot in for a successful takedown from outside of contact distance. If he cannot force the opponent to overcommit to long-distance striking attacks, it becomes very difficult for a grappler to attain a clean takedown without first achieving a controlling clinch (addressed above in point #2). Moreover, dropping energy (together with BODY UNITY) allows very powerful strikes from very close range, which might further frustrate a grappler’s efforts to securely close distance.
4. LOOSENESS: The KCD practitioner’s trained looseness makes it very difficult for a grappler to manage the KCD practitioner’s body, even when a grip is achieved. For instance, against an untrained person, a grappler can force the entire body off-balance just by manipulating one arm, because the untrained person naturally tenses up against the grappler’s grip. Nevertheless, many a grappler has grabbed a KCD practitioner’s arm only to comprehend that “he’s got nothing,” because the KCD practitioner’s looseness allows him/her to maneuver the remainder of his/her body decisively independent of the controlled arm to retain balance and attack the grappler. The importance of this mixture of Looseness and Sensitivity can’t be over-emphasized. It’s the emodiment of all the interior principles talked about in KCD. The practitioner learns to maneuver his body as if his attacker’s skin is red hot and scalding yet he must still feel where he’s and where he’s going; this completely changes the mindset from force and control to the touch, evasion and destruction. The image is, as we wish to say, considered one of carrying a hot potato in your hands across a room without dropping it. It’s too hot to carry but too vital to let go.
Generally, training the KCD principles will allow the KCD practitioner to cope with a grappler as with another fighter. Special attention is given to features of contact flow and combat application particularly germane to grappling (e.g. feeling the extent change, finding and indexing on the pinnacle, body unity and dropping to stop momentum, close range destruction, destroying the grappler while being taken down, etc.)
INTENTIONALLY GOING TO THE GROUND: “EMERGENCY OFFLINING”
While going to the bottom in an actual combat situation should generally be avoided, under certain circumstances, going to the bottom specifically ways will be the best plan of action.
In KCD, intentionally going to the bottom could also be characterised as a type of “emergency offlining.” Getting offline from an attacker’s charge is a fundamental concept in KCD. It is generally achieved while standing by stepping to the side (and preferably forward) of an attacker with appropriate timing, positioning and follow-up. Nevertheless, sometimes the practitioner may not have the space or time to maneuver to the side (e.g. in a confined area multiple attacker situation), or must immediately get his/her vital organs further away from the attackers’ weapons (e.g. knives) than a sidestep within the given environment would allow. If offlining can’t be achieved to either side, and if the KCD practitioner cannot levitate, changing the angle might be achieved in just one direction: downwards. The KCD practitioner must go to the bottom.
The methods by which the KCD practitioner goes to the bottom are very different from those utilized by most sport grapplers. Nearly all of the methods sport grapplers use to take a fight to the bottom (e.g. wrestling takedowns, judo throws) involve bringing their most important areas (head, neck, chest) very near the opponent’s hands. This creates a significant problem in real combat situations that require going to the ground–situations by which one GOAL of the maneuver is to GAIN distance between the fighter’s vital areas and the weapons of the enemy! The methods utilized in KCD, based on Native American takedown maneuvers, don’t suffer from this problem. They involve dropping, diving, spinning and rolling to the bottom at angles that present the practitioner’s feet towards the enemy, while moving the upper body away from the enemy’s weapons. The simultaneous takedowns are done with the feet and legs and have probability of seriously damaging the enemy’s lower body (primarily breaking the knees). Additionally they arrange the practitioner to make use of his/her legs on the bottom (again keeping the vital areas of the upper body away from the enemy’s weapons) to quickly end any subsequent groundfight.
TIPS FOR SURVIVAL
Listed below are some training suggestions to contemplate as you start your path to combative groundfighting expertise:
1. STICK WITH THE PRINCIPLES: Because KCD groundfighting looks different from KCD stand-up training, people sometimes assume that the fundamental KCD principles of balance, sensitivity, looseness and body unity don’t apply. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! Balance in any position on the bottom is what allows all of the “crazy” maneuvers to be effective. Sensitivity (including tactile and subcortical visual) is mandatory to guide the practitioner’s movements across the bottom and into the enemy, even when the practitioner’s head could also be moving and turning rapidly to avoid danger. Without looseness, the practitioner’s body will quickly be broken against the bottom itself, especially in the course of the falling and diving maneuvers. Looseness combined with sensitivity can also be what allows the KCD fighter to not be dragged into an immobile grappling clinch. You could learn to maneuver your body like a writhing mongoose or a furiously twisting, spitting alleycat. Would you need to grapple a 160 pound alley cat? Try putting it in a headlock or a mount or a figure 4? In fact not, it will be insanity: you’d never get a grip on its body as you are being torn to shreds.
Finally, body unity is what makes the bottom kicking and rolling maneuvers so damaging to the enemy. The attacks come from the whipping and dropping (yes, even on the bottom!) of the entire body, not only the legs, allowing them to cleave through the enemies’ bodies fairly than bouncing off harmlessly. The unique Native American fighting methods KCD groundfighting was distilled from were characterised especially by a loose gracefulness and uninhibited use of your entire body as a united weapon to destroy the enemy.
2. REMEMBER CONFINED SPACE: Do not forget that if considered one of the possible reasons to go to the bottom is to find a way to get your vital targets further away from a weapon in confined space, it is advisable find a way to do all of the maneuvers in a confined space! Don’t practice the entire diving and falling attacks only by diving across the room into wide, ballistic arcs. It is best to find a way to drop to the bottom inside your individual space and take out the legs of the person right next to you. Going to the bottom like this starts out with a sensation much like dropping in your feet. Like a marionette that is had its strings cut, your whole body suddenly goes limp and drops–only fairly than catching yourself inside an inch, you let the drop go all of the technique to the bottom while spiraling or collapsing to land at the proper angle to assist you to take out the enemy as you fall. Whenever you do it properly, it’s best to appear to your enemy to suddenly disappear–only to reappear next to his broken legs, your boots against his neck and head.