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Are You Still Standing Toe to Toe?


How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, see how much you and your partner move. You will find you move very little or not at all. You see, when you are training, or doing ANYTHING for that matter, you always try to seek the path of least resistance. This is natural and can be viewed as a good thing (more on that later). Because you concentrate on the repetitions and the minutia of the detail, how hard we are hitting, what we look like, you are forgetting the big picture. And its easier to stand in the same spot. I am constantly reminding my guys- MOVE FORWARD!

If you don't, you are neglecting a fundamental truth in the world of combat. I don't care if your boxing, wrestling, playing football or engaging in combat- one thing is ALWAYS TRUE. Those who are winning are ALWAYS TAKING GROUND. Every time I look at a techniques demonstrated it is always two guys standing there with one guy doing the move and the other guy standing there. This is good for demonstrations sake, but when you drill it you do it with movement. One of the mistakes I see Judo Players, Karate Practitioners and Wrestlers make is that they practice technique without any movement. Do you actually fight like that- NO. When you fight, you are constantly moving and adjusting. When you fight for real you are always moving forward. If you are moving backwards- you are loosing. But don't worry, it will be over soon.

In the Old School Series Carl explains and demonstrates how to take ground in this simple explanation- Always be where your enemy is standing. Meaning you are constantly moving forward and taking ground once you have started your assault. Think about any boxing match. Not when people are stalking and feeling each other out. I'm talking about when a guy gets a good shot and the blood is in the water and he just starts throwing bombs and running the guy over. If the ropes weren't there, his opponent would be in the cheap seats!

Take the Greek Phalanx for example. The majority of the casualties didn't happen when both sides were pressing against each other. It was only when one side broke and retreated that most of the deaths occurred. Even in modern combat- during the first contact, it is uncommon to incur a lot of casualties. Once the enemy tries to break contact and retreat, most of the casualties occur.

When you train you must program yourself to take ground. When you are practicing make sure your foot work is stomping and deliberate. This accomplishes 2 things.

1. It will allow you to compensate for a wide variety of terrain and

2. You will be delivering stomps and scrapes to your enemy's shins and feet.

Simply start at one end of your training space and work across the floor- always take ground. If your partner doesn't move? MOVE HIM! Deliver a smash with your shoulder (OS 2 Advanced Strikes and Blows) and just keep driving. Like Carl talks about through out the series- you take bits and pieces until you start taking off larger chunks. This happens rapidly and violently. You keep taking ground overwhelm and overrun your enemy. Remember- Keep moving forward. Like my college football coach said,"If you're gonna go, go. If you're not gonna go, don't go!

Copyright 2003 www.thetruthaboutselfdefense.com ©

Damian Ross is the owner of Zenshin and instructor of Tekkenryu jujutsu and Kodokan Judo. He started competing in the combative sport of wrestling in 1975 at the age of 7 and began his study of Asian martial arts with Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do at the age of 16 in 1984. In 1989, Shinan Cestari gave a seminar at Sensei Ross's dojo. Sensei Ross has trained under Shinan Cestari's direction ever since. In addition to Tekkenryu Jujutsu, Judo and Tae Kwon Do, Sensei Ross has also studied Bando. Sensei Ross continues his study of Judo under the direction of 8th degree black belt Yoshisada Yonezuka and Tekkenryu Jujutsu under it's founder, Carl Cestari. Below are is a list of some of his title ranks Yodan (fourth degree black belt) Tekkenryu Jujutsu under Carl Cestari Shodan (First degree black belt) Kodokan Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka Varsity Wrestling Lehigh University under Thad Turner 2nd Degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do


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