Monday, 8 February 2010

Self Defence Tactics - Taking the Back

In a self defense situation, the aim should always be to get out of the unfortunate position as fast as possible whilst keeping oneself safe. Running away is always best in order to accomplish this.

Fighting back, whether it is against one or multiple attackers may not be the best option in a self defense situation, however, sometimes there is no other choice.

In a situation where you have to fight, one strike may not be enough to end the conflict and a full scale brawl may develop. If this does occur then one of the best ways you can quickly take control of the situation is by “taking the opponents back”.

Taking an opponents back is literally as it sounds. Getting behind an opponent in order to control, take down, perform submissions or strike. In most combat sports however, striking an opponents back, or back of the head is not allowed, so from a standing position in MMA, or combat sports involving mainly strikes like Muay Thai and Karate it is not seen as much. When ground grappling though, one can gain a dominant position from the behind in order to control and perform submissions so it is seen often.

Obviously, in a self defense situation taking an opponents back on the ground is not a good idea as one should always remain standing if possible so as to have a better chance of fleeing or defending oneself more successfully, however taking an opponents back when standing is a great tactic as it offers the following advantages,

Your opponent can not see you – For multiple attacker purposes, this may give you more of a chance of better defending yourself by using your turned attacker as a shield. He can even be pushed towards assailants in order for you to make time to escape. When fighting a single attacker, by having his back towards you, he will not be able to see what you are doing allowing you to strike without the possibility of him defending himself.

You can easily take an opponent down – Any grappler/wrestler will tell you how easy it is to be taken down when your opponent has your back. Again this relates to the fact that one can not see what their opponent is doing behind.

You can easily control your opponent – Apart from taking your opponent down when behind them, you can easily control/restrain them from behind. This is clearly seen by police officers when trying to control thugs from a standing position. From here, an opponent can be easily directed to wherever the person holding them requires, or can be taken down to the floor.

Many vital targets are available – The reason why striking an opponents behind is illegal in combat sports is because it is dangerous. For self defense purposes and only if the situation calls for it, one has easy access to the spine, the back of the head, the liver, the groin and the back of the knees. Striking these targets can cause severe injury and must only be used if the situation is life threatening. The no contact rule should be enforced when practicing this.

These are the four main reasons why taking an opponents back when standing, in a self defense situation is a tactic used by many well trained martial artists or law enforcement officers. It offers many possibilities to gain the upper hand of a fight whilst very little possibilities of getting hurt.

However there is never a 100% guarantee that one can not be hurt, even from this position. You must also which out for some strikes such as swinging elbows, back kicks and stomps and keep in mind that although your opponent can not see you, you can not see his/her front. They may be able to pull out a weapon or some sort from there jacket pocket for example, so once you have obtained your opponents back, do what you have to do quickly and get out of there!

Our next article (here) addresses ways in which obtaining an opponents back can be achieved so check it out!

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Self Defense Knives said...

awesome tips, taking the opponents back is a huge advantage

TheMartialArtsReportter said...

Great insights.
And as you also point out in the beginning,
running away is an option which especially most guys don't even consider.
Taking the opponent's back is a really useful tactic.
Thanks for sharing, man.

MARKS said...

Thanks for the comments. I think taking the back is one of the best ways to gain control in a situation. It offers so many advanatges with very few disadvtanges

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