How to Prepare to Fight Anyone

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by SummerStriker, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Being ready to fight unorthodox opponents is to me a fundamental part of self defense and something I've put a lot of thought into. Me, being unorthodox in the minds of most people I spar gives me an advantage for sure that people find very frustrating to deal with.

    Being able to fight unorthodox opponents with no foreknowledge of the person is even harder because you have to be able to deal with what they show you as soon as they show it. You don't have a chance to watch tapes or try to find a similar sparring partner. So how do you go about doing that?

    This is how I've done it:

    For starting, you have to travel outside of your main training school to spar people. If you don't have a lot of traffic on an open sparring night that you can participate in, you have to go to other schools. There is just no way one building with one or two coaches can prepare you for the world because they will always be limited. You have to see it for yourself. I don't recommend this for people who are really new, but after a year or two and you have started to learn to move your body automatically and have gained some success sparring the people you know, it is time to find new people.

    Secondly, you have to get to the source material. I like to start this early with people by showing them videos of street fights if they haven't seen them and getting them to spar early so that their own real nature is not suppressed by the drills. Then, when they become more advanced, it is important for them to spar hard with new people - but not to hit the new people hard - to protect themselves without causing too much pain or injury in the beginner. You want the beginner to have fun trying to HIT you, and to not be too afraid of repercussions, because those are the conditions of a real attack. It takes discipline and skill to be able to fend someone like that off without hurting them, and it isn't right to hurt new people when you know you can just go hard and break them, but you need to feel what they can do and see their surprises. Yes, it is dangerous for you, and if it feels too dangerous, you can always ask them to calm down.

    It is always easier to stop someone from hurting you by applying damaging force than it is to protect and defend against someone not afraid of being injured. If you find you can't do it, suppress your ego and admit it.

    Along the lines of source material, you need to look into why people attack the way they do, not just the natural tendencies of people but the logic taught by the different traditional and sport martial arts. I know it sounds arrogant to say you are training to beat a certain martial art, to identify weaknesses in groups, and to learn to look for those signs in people, but there is no other way of being prepared in a general sense for what they do. I'm not suggesting that you learn every martial art, but you should learn a little about how they train, what they like to do, and how to identify them by their stance, gestures, and appearance.

    You know who can be surprisingly dangerous? Ninjitsu people. The specific group I know can't kick or punch for shit even though they think they can. They don't spar. And they don't wrestle. But they do this odd kind of sticky hands / counter for counter training where they try to show pokes to the eye and throat grabs. I trained with these people just long enough to get my arms scratched up by their fingernails and get poked in the eye, but I learned to identify their stance, what makes them different than karateka, even when they think they don't have a tell. I know when I see someone like that in sparring in the future, or in an assassination I guess, not to let them put their hands on me - to just punch them in the face because they can't stop it. To not bother with a clinch.

    Some moves are typical and easy to put on other people without a set up. Some moves you can just lead with. They are better with a set up, but they don't need one - especially against people who don't know of them, and that makes them popular. Jab, cross, hook, single and double leg, MT round house, clinch and knee, reaping throw...

    Then their are counters lots of people like: kicking under the punch, overhand rights during your combo, slipping and countering, stopping your rush with a double leg and so on. While a lot of that is normal combat sport stuff, if you just do most TMAs you might not know about them and that fact will contribute to you being shocked and bullied in sparring by even beginners despite how long you have trained. So you have to learn about them and to do that, a lot of us have to travel.

    A lot of the strikers that people think are unorothdox look ordinary to me, great, but ordinary. Anderson Silva, Cung Le, Condit, I'm never surprised by what I see them do. Impressed yes, and happy, but not surprised. It is drawn on by things I think are ordinary. There are people I train with who don't counter much or use TMA style snapping kicks or counter striking, but they travel to and aren't surprised by me or anyone else when they see it. The first time I sparred them I did much better than the 20th, and when other TMA people came in they were ready for it.

    At this point in my life, people almost never surprise me. I'm never surprised by the wildness of new people or "street fighters" that come into spar. It is just human movement. When people beat me, its because they are better than me, not because I was ignorant of their strategy. That cuts down on how often I get had by a lot.

    Do it all enough, and you learn to read people. The intention to hit or grab or kick or come in fast or slow or straight or round or high or low is written all over people, even when they think they don't have a tell or a style, and the more time you spend with people and the more you let them learn about you, the more you learn about them. Truth is shared and you all become wiser.
     
  2. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    To carry on a little more, there is also training clothing and training environments.

    I've had the privileged of having instructors who encouraged us to wear our street clothing to class. Even if we don't spar with shoes on, we train with them on quite often. We've held classes in clubs and bars, on dance floors after hours with the lights low, stepping on cigarette butts and sticking to what wasn't cleaned up. I've been tapped out by having my head compressed against a metal bar around a dance stage and wrestled on concrete.

    Sometimes martial arts are inhibited by a feeling that you need the outfit to do it. The martial art is left in the dojo in the way spirituality is left at church on Sundays. Without the ritual, the warm up, the clothing and the bows, we can't do it. Our mind keeps it separate. By training in the places you will fight, at least in parks and on parking lots if you aren't lucky enough to have a bar key, and do it in street clothing, will do a lot to help.

    For kickers, it is important to train in your shoes occasionally. I personally have the ability to kick head high in the morning when I'm stiff without stretching or warming up.

    The way I got it was by regularly practicing slow kicking beyond the point of my comfortable flexibility as the stretch and warm up, fasting punching and kicking well within the range of my flexibility without warming up (which I know from the previous exercise) and sparring without warming up, even hard, by finding ways to warm up in the first seconds of the fight, by clearing my spine and feeling out where I'm too tense to move and protecting it.

    In this way, I know my limits when I'm suboptimal and can function without surprising myself.
     
  3. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    I am not a great striker (you seen the video you know) or a great grappler; but I consider myself functional....I can do what I need to do to def myself. And that is my ultimate goal to be able to def myself and get away or defend myself and stop the threat presented. Which is pretty much why I back up...potshot or circle away and work on making people chase me and learning how to def or limit their attacks.

    I make it a point to spar (grappling/striking) as many guys as possible..different body types physical skills and tech skills and approaches; so that I am as prepared as I can be for the various ways a guy may come at me. An like u I made it a point to go different schools clubs or work with individual guys just to get their approach to fighting; everyone has a variation even if they do the same style and I want as many looks as possible. It makes it less likely for you to be thrown off by a tech a body type or an approach.. it gives u a point of reference to work from.

    Finally the main thing I worked on is being able to get away or def...submission takedown clinch punch kick..how can I limit their ability to do those things or def them or lessen the damage done. Regardless of how it looks...an I figures that out by sparring alot and just being tech embarrassed or outclassed or just beaten up. I still look rather unpolished..but given my skillset and skill level I get takendown held down hit or controlled alot less than the better guys even when guys are going just as hard with me.

    As a few guys told me grappling and striking, you don't look like u know what your doing at all but your hard to catch the way I want to catch you...its just experience and exposure. A I seen a ton of looks...b I been in against a ton of looks and c...I always go against people better than me tech and physical and strategically.

    D...I don't do things that most trained/experienced people do; but I know what most trained experienced people do..adv devante.
     
  4. SpineBreaker

    SpineBreaker Orange Belt

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    You basically just explained why I've never bought into the idea that someone would need 6 months to train to fight Chael Sonnen, or why a guy about to fight Lyoto Machida needs to try to bring in a "karate guy" who might actually not fight anything like Machida.

    It's all fighting. My view might be biased since I have a sensei who was also a successful wrestler in high school, but just because I'm learning Shotokan karate doesn't mean I can only fight guys who fight just like me.

    And you seem to have touched on a subject people rarely speak of, because many are not aware of it - the ability to sense your opponent. The subconscious is THAT fast. You can feel it the moment your opponent wants to attack, and is beginning to process of getting his body moving. You can react perfectly with enough training. It doesn't matter what kind of style he uses, because it's just a connection between two humans. It's something much deeper than strategy.
     
  5. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    Another thing I agree with I often shadowbox in regular clothes...doing the same kicks punches etc; to see how the clothing..environment changes what I do. An I had a few guys who we used to spar in regular clothes outside or inside striking wrestling and grappling; so I am clear on how that effects what I do as well.

    So I agree with you and have made changes to what I do based on what I can do when in certain environments or wearing normal clothes.

    Sidenote- alot of my experience in this comes from real life encounters; as I got into alot of fights after training (trained guys and untrained) as a result of me letting guys get over on me so much prior to training. Long story..but I will explain if asked.... not saying I am any fighting expert; I just speak from what I seen first hand and what I experienced firsthand.
     
  6. GoatyP

    GoatyP Blue Belt

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    Wtf did I just... I don't even... Are you three the same person?
     
  7. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    haha, clearly.
     
  8. kflo

    kflo Steel Belt

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    you don't think training to fight a chael sonnen puts you in a better position to fight (and win) against a chael sonnen? or a machida? or any fighter you can study?
     
  9. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    I'm not 100% clear on his feelings.

    Mine are that it does make a difference, but as a part of training you should try to anticipate all the sorts of people out there, trained or not, and learn about all of them. That way, if you ever happen across a Sonnen, it isn't surprising.
     
  10. xilliun

    xilliun Brown Belt

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    someone write up a tldr
     
  11. kflo

    kflo Steel Belt

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    agreed. but jon jones isn't getting into street fights. he'd likely be prepared enough if he did. mma fighters prepare for mma fights first and foremost. it's their job.
     

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