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Facing The Street Fighter
When training the martial arts with the intent to learn to defend yourself, you have probably thought about facing the street fighter. Let’s face it, when we think about a street fighter, images of some big tough guy come to mind for most people, and this person obviously fights to win.
They probably have a small group of moves that they use against their opponents with brutal efficiency. They don’t have the luxury to train the less efficient techniques. In jujitsu we call this our “small arsenal;” a small number of highly effective techniques that are adaptable to many situations. We concentrate on these, rather than foolishly attempting to learn 1000 ways to defend against the hook punch for example.
Now technically speaking, a person who happens to fight in the street is a “street fighter,” but there is much more to it than that. They are adapted to make use of their environment. Have you seen the video online of a fight on the subway platform, and the thug pushes his opponent off the platform, and onto the tracks? Brutal.
In Jeet Kune Do, we would occasionally practice using our body weight, and the opponents balance to shove them a good distance with the understanding that this could be used to simply give you some space from your attacker, all the way up to pushing them into a traffic packed street.
So beyond the concept of matching the mental brutality of your street fighter attacker, we strive to consider our environment as well. We strive to concentrate on a small handful of combat proven techniques rather than trying to learn everything in the martial arts encyclopaedia. And perhaps most importantly, we are as prepared as we can be to defend ourselves in whatever range of combat the fight may take us in.
If you are not well versed in your ground game then it needs to improve. I am a big fan of training at home, and as such have collected a wide variety of home training equipment, and educational materials. Yes, you can watch YouTube videos, and I do as well, but the best advice I can give you if you are not a naturally big guy is to learn how to defend yourself against a bigger, stronger opponent.
My favourite educational DVD series is by a guy named Stephan Kesting. Pick up these 5 DVD’s and see some great information on how to develop the skills, and technique to deal with a bigger, stronger opponent. If there is a problem I have with them, it’s that there is almost too much information here. But that is a pretty good problem to have, so remember the words of Bruce Lee… “Absorb what is useful, disregard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
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