Hidden Gems of Martial Arts

Martial Arts Contributors
When Pinned to the Ground
     by Keith Pascal


Three Articles by Request on what to do if you are
pinned. Three martial Arts Mastery readers have been
kind enough to share their views with us.

Our contributors are:

1. Bill Cogswell -- Feature Article

2. Robert Dunham -- Using Distraction, Momentum/Balance,and Force

3. Tre -- Response from a Bouncer

4. Blatant Ad

5. Another Ad


1. "Pinned To The Ground"

by Bill Cogswell

Being pinned to the ground is one of the worst
situations you can find yourself in!

Your attacker can rain down various strikes such as elbows,
knees, head butts and hand related strikes. He could also
utilize a weapon.

Worse yet, your attacker can hold you down while his
'friends' attack you from an outside range, which can be
devastating causing certain injury and in the worst case
scenario, death!

So we will assume you were pinned down through a number
of possible scenarios, which are irrelevant at this point
as you ARE PINNED!

One of the first things I do is get my head tight to his
body to avoid or at least take the power out of any strikes
that may come towards my head. I would also try to get my
arms freed up to either block or jam any incoming strikes
or wrap his arms to keep him from striking with any force.

From here, I would look to get some space to get back to
a standing position.


Getting space to get up can be dangerous if not done
correctly, as 'space' gives your attacker room to strike
as well. One way to get your attacker to move away from
you is to get a part of your body (preferably a forearm)
against his throat.

When done correctly and with sharp force your attacker
will move away from you because of the unbearable pain
on his throat area.

It is at this point that you must drive into him even more
to continue his backing away from you! In a sense you will
follow him as he is 'getting away' and you MUST control one
of his arms as you go with him to avoid him striking.

Once you get into a stable/balanced position you can
strike quickly with force which will give you the
opportunity to escape.

Another way to get space to escape is to 'bridge' into
him which will cause his body to move away from you. After
you reach the height of your bridge you must bring your own
body back down and scoot your hips out and away while using
your arms to keep him in the position you have pushed him

You must remember to keep your guard up and try to
control an arm in order to maintain your own safety as you
get to a safer position.

Then you when you get to a balanced/stronger position
or stance, get up and either strike or 'get the hell
out of there'!

The absolute most effective way to get to a safe position
is to combine both of these concepts together. When done
correctly your attacker will be so busy trying to relieve
the pain on his throat and free up his arms that he won't
be able to stop your escape!

There are many number of ways to escape 'being pinned'
but I personally have found the ones outlined above to
work the best 'for me'.

Biting and striking are options as well, but you must
remember that after you bite him or strike him 'you are
still under him', and must still get out from under

Bill Cogswell  


2. Using Distraction, Momentum/Balance, and Force

by Robert Dunham

Ah, An Attacker On Top of You,

You raise an excellent point, the what-if factor. Any
training, no matter how in depth will sooner of later
come up with limitations. Always revert to the basics.

Distraction, Momentum/Balance, and Force, in that order
are the primary means of counterattacking. (Distraction
being a mental attack as opposed to physical).

  So why not take advantage of all three since an attacker
who is on top of you is usually larger and you will need
all the advantage you can get. 

Let's assume for purpose of demonstration that the attacker
is straddle you waist level with arms extended (holding you,
punching, some sort of extension of the arms).


First, apply a painful distraction by pinching the nose,
underarm, throat, ear, or some other sensitive region within
arm's reach. 

This causes the attacker to pull back shifting
his/her weight. At the same time as you do this, use
your other hand to hook a supporting wrist or elbow or to
grab a hold of some other region below the attacker's
center of gravity.


Second, as the attacker begins to pull back or shift,
pull on the wrist you are holding (or push if that is
better suited) to "help" the attacker off balance.


Third, immediately after, shifting the opponent, while
they are still in motion, use your other arm to strike
any other "support", say a quick elbow strike to the
inside of the opponent's opposite elbow.

Done properly you should easily be able to help their
momentum and seemingly throw your opponent off with
little or no real effort. Of course you can never plan
for an exact situation, but if you develop and practice a
couple of different techniques and positions using
this combination, you should be able to cover all
of your bases.

It is easier to be resourceful and adjust a practiced
technique at the last minute than to develop and entire
plan in the heat of the moment. Even at the least, you
will enjoy the relief that comes from practice. In the
end, your training, wits, and some common sense will prove
to be more than enough should you have to use them.

Robert Dunham



3. Response from a Bouncer

by Tre

I've been studying jiu-jitsu and a couple other fighting
systems for about 2 years now.

I like to pick up whatever I can here and there because
I am also a bouncer from time to time. Like everything
else, there are many different circumstances one may
find themselves in where they are pinned to the ground.

Typically, when I teach people what to do in these
various situations there are 2 main principles that I
include in about 80% of my counters:


1) Where a mans head goes, his body follows. By
controlling his head, preferably by the ear, you
can get the attacker off balance enough to roll
him off. Use his momentum against him.

2) The elbow only bends one way. If the attacker has
a hand on your throat or chest, trap the hand,
don't push it off, and use your outside hand and
slam that elbow in the direction that God didn't
intend for.

This also will get him off balance enough to roll,
either follow through and finish with the arm break
or get to your feet.

Hope this helps,




4. You Must ...

Be able to wrist lock --especially if someone tries
to take you to the ground.

Wrist Locks are perfect for grabs. The instant that
someone touches your body, you can snap on a solid
wrist or joint lock.

Bam! The threat is over, just like that.

If you control the joint, you control the opponent.

If you control the opponent, you control the situation.

And if you control the situation ...

you don't have to go down to the ground.


The best way to deal with being pinned to the ground
is to avoid getting pinned in the first place.

Learn how to wrist lock now!




5. Another Must...

If someone were to try to pin you to the ground, you
now have a variety of techniques to try.

Your attacker comes in close -- close enough to strike.

The question is, how effective are your punches?

Are they fast enough? Strong enough? Accurate enough ...
to do the job?

Enter The Punch Papers!

Combine 30 of Martial Arts Mastery's best articles on
punching, add in a few new articles, never before seen,
and you get "The Punch Papers."

And if that's not enough, you get two bonuses:

     1) Taking on a Boxer -- A Guide for Martial Artists


     2) Punch to the 7th Power

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Become the Martial Artist You Were Meant to Be By Taking Charge of Your Learning (47 pgs) Shows how to look to different styles, build up techniques, and pare down, to develop a practical way to defend yourself.

Revised Kick My Tummy: Getting the Most From This Exercise (14 pgs) -- How to get the most out of roundhouse kicking with a partner.

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