Hidden Gems of Martial Arts

Martial Arts Article
Close Combat: Hand to Hand Combat Tips
     by Keith Pascal


When you think of hand to hand combat, do you think of grappling? Does your imaginary encounter end with both you and your attacker tumbling to the ground?

Grappling techniques aren't necessarily the most effective for close combat. When you are at close quarters, you often don't have the luxury of lots of room to tackle. Also, you may not want to tumble with a gargantuan male wrestler.

Remember, don't grapple with a grappler ... especially if you, yourself, aren't a grappler. Get it?

So, how do you avoid being taken to the ground in a fight?



Start Hitting Early

Bruce Lee had advice for hand to hand combat -- he struck out with his closest weapon to the attacker's closest target. He often kicked with his lead leg to the knee, for example.

If you hit , or kick, early -- before your attacker reaches you, then you may be able to end the encounter without having to tumble to the ground.



Strike Until You Can Lock

Assuming that your attacker makes it past your initial counter-offensive ... you still have to stop the attack. If you are a hitter, I assume you will keep striking, until you gain control with a joint lock. You need a wrist lock, or an arm bar, or even a foot lock, to prevent a follow-up from your opponent.


If you can't think of an appropriate wrist or joint lock or you doubt that you could make your locks work in a close combat situation, then you should take a look at Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert



Taking A Grab

What do you do if your attacker grabs you?
Easy. Go straight into a lock ... unless you want to soften your opponent up with a few hits and kicks first. Your choice (Be aware of legal ramifications.)

Grabs are actually pretty cool. If the grab has a lot of force behind it, then you might want to look to an art that deals with the redirection of force ... (Aikido, Ju Jitsu, Judo, etc.).

But if the grab is not taking you off balance, then this could be the perfect time to try a wrist lock. Think about it:

  • While your attacker is grabbing you, he (or she) is not hitting you

  • Hits are fast, grabs are slow --easier to deal with

  • A grab often exposes a hand for finger locks, knuckle damage, etc.

  • You can wrist lock or arm bar at any point in your counter -- before,
        during or after your hits


You should definitely practice joint lock tehniques in your combat training. They aren't the ultimate martial arts techniques, but they do have their place in a complete martial arts system.


Getting Better at Hand-to-Hand Combat

If you want to improve at hand-to-hand combat, then you have to add practical techniques to your self-defense repertoire.

Concentrate on learning techniques that are:




Download my new Free Hand-to-Hand Combat eBooklet ...

Free Hand-to-Hand Combat Ebook


Keith Pascal has been teaching martial arts for 25 years and a martial-arts writer for 8 years.


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