Combat Ground Fighting, Not a Sport
Members of the Wichita Police Department practice ground fighting. (Photo: Wichita PD)
Jesus Martinez, APC Training Consultant
First things first, let us all recognize the difference between Sport Ground Fighting and Combat Ground Fighting, that being said we will be able to fully understand the urgency of this article on combative ground fighting. When I first heard and was introduced to ground fighting it was 1991, initially it was introduced to me as a sport and an art, through my tactical experience as a SWAT Operator, and my own training and research, ground fighting has become a very valuable training tool that I know I must pass on.
Like anything else in our society the media has played an important role in the resurgence of ground fighting, ground fighting emerged like a Phoenix in the late 80’s and early 90’s under a blood sport known as Ultimate Fighting Challenge. The people most responsible for the art that existed (not to the specifications of its present art) since 23 B.C. and referred to it in its generic term, Kumi-Uchi were the Gracie Klan. A family of Brazilian Martial Artist who took the art of Japanese Ju-Jitsu and made it into a complete almost scientific self-defense and combative art primarily practiced on the ground, thus the name Brazilian ground fighting or Ju-Jitsu. But like anything else in the combat forum, alone it cannot stand. This very important combat and tactical skill must be complimented with other valuable skills or it will become a detriment instead of a Gem.
In the real world, amongst the highly probable scenarios that exist on the streets and alleys of America, the modern warrior must be equipped with the skills to survive on the ground. I have a multitude of scars and cement burns that adorn my knees, hips and elbows, the reason I mention it is that those scars act as calluses like on a weightlifters hands, they shield me when I roll on cement with a subject. So when practicing combat ground fighting, train with reality, no knee pads or Gi pants, allow your knees and elbows to scuff themselves up.
It’s so important to recognize the meat and potatoes from the fluff in ground fighting for law enforcement officers. Let’s understand first and foremost we should avoid being taken down to the ground at all cost, but if it occurs, we can remain calm and win the confrontation. Conditioning is the cornerstone of ground fighting and more specific, a strong healthy, flexible core (mid section) is the key in placing ourselves in a position of advantage to land a series of lethal strikes that compliment an arm bar, partial choke out or foot lock in order to incapacitate our subject and allow us to control and then place them into custody.