Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Defending - Back Pedaling

A while back we posted an article on the theme of using circular movement to defend as opposed to defend by moving backwards.

Today’s article goes into more depth on the disadvantages of “back pedaling” and why one should practice alternative methods.

Back pedaling is something that all martial artists do. Beginners rarely know nothing else. It may seem that it gets you out of trouble but against a constant flurry of combination striking it may not be the best thing to do.

Below are some reasons why it is best to not defend strikes by back pedaling.

Your opponent will move forwards faster – It is quicker for your opponent to move forwards then for you to move backwards, which means that if you back pedal, hoping that your opponent wont have the distance to strike you, you will quickly find out that you are wrong.

Sometimes you may not be able to move backwards – Ropes, fences, walls, cars, trees etc. There are many things in sporting events and on the street that can stop one from moving backwards. If you constantly use only backward movement to defend, when these obstacles get in your way, your chances of defending yourself well will become limited.

It is hard to counter attack psychologically - When you move backwards, your mind naturally goes into defense mode. With an opponent attacking whilst rushing in towards you, it is only a matter of time before you get hit.

It is hard to counter attack physically – When moving backwards it is very hard to throw solid punches or kicks. Try this. Stand in front of a heavy bag and push it forwards. As it swings back towards you, move backwards and try and strike the bag as hard as possible. You should notice that the strike will not be very effective.

NOTE: With the last two points above, it is possible to train body and mind to attack whilst moving backwards and something that all should try and do as part of there training, however it is never as effective as attacking when moving forwards, or sideways.

So what are the alternatives? Well, firstly it must be noted that no one ever spars/fights etc without moving backwards sometimes. It is natural and not necessarily wrong.

However since it does not offer many advantages with regards to gaining the upper hand of an attack one should try to use alternative methods, whenever possible. Stop strikes/kicks, sidestepping, bobbing and weaving, simultaneous parry and striking etc. There are things one can be doing to defend themselves rather than back pedaling, and its best you research these alternatives and try to incorporate them.

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epicmartialarts said...

It IS possible to strike hard while going backwards, Ali was able to do this and recently, Anderson Silva KO'd Griffin on the retreat!

MARKS said...

EPICMARTIALARTS - If one moves backwards but when performing the strike actually stops moving backwards, puts most of there weight on there front leg, then strikes forwards then yes, this can be powerful.

But striking AS one is moving backwards with there momemntum going in a backwards direction, but there strike aimed forwards is what is trying to be described in the post, which is very hard to deliver any power with.

My fault. I should have described this a bit better.

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