Defense against a sucker punch

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by stanley neptune, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. How do you defend against a sucker punch?

    Last night on the Channel 25 news in Boston there was a story about a bunch of punks who roam the streets sucker punching and fighting with people and video taping it. These dirt bags are the lowest of low.

    I have told many people that the best self defense is self awareness and to avoid areas of trouble. But when you have the dregs of society who think it is acceptable to attack innocent people to get their jollies you may become a victim no matter where you are.

    How can you defend against such an attack? I am wondering how different styles defend against this.

    Stanley Neptune
     
  2. I think the best defense is to be aware of the situation. If someone gets that close to you on the street, or starts looking at you in a manner that isn't the casual "please step out of my way", then it is important to be aware that he/she is a possible threat. If you recognize a person as a threat, then any shoulder movement or raising of the arm will make you very much switch to a combatitive mindset. Awareness is really the key in these situations.
     
  3. Furtry

    Furtry Green Belt

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    I could get in to the four levels of sensitivity and all that other jive but I wont.
    Learn to work from contact, have partner sucker you and work on response.
    Such as roll and run if the shot was hard enough to knock you over. (If I got knocked over I wouldn't worry about getting him back, my well being is more important than a bruised ego)
    Next option roll with the shot and counter.
    Roll with the shot and sucker punch his buddy :btg:
    Many options... but I say learn to deal with getting hit as IT IS GOING to happen. (Personal pet peeve with MA schools that think they can teach you to be 'untouchable')
     
  4. RachelK

    RachelK Purple Belt

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    Although there was no video camera involved, my friend told me he was riding the subway (NYC) one day and a bunch of thugs came into the car and started whaling on all the passengers who were just sitting there minding their own business. They were literally jumping all over people, trampling them as they sat there, and punching them, and of course the passengers were upset, but apparently not upset enough to do anything about it, assuming there was anything they could do. I would have changed cars, but that isn't always possible, sometimes the doors between cars are locked and you can't change until the train stops. After the thugs left, one guy had blood running down his head and I don't know if he was seriously injured, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty.
    I hope this relates to Stan's question, but how should the passengers have defended themselves, assuming they couldn't change cars? When my friend related the tale, I got kind of p.o.'d because the subways are filled with rude thugs who think they can intimidate everyone. I wish that there was something I could have done about it, but I have no idea what I would have done if I was there. Certainly avoidance, as much as possible in a closed car, would have been a major part of my strategy, but another part of me cannot stand the idea of doing nothing while thugs trample old people and babies in strollers.
    Just throwing this out there as yet another example of thug behaviour. The videotaping really takes the cake, though. Somewhere out there, some guys have a videotape of me fighting with a huge frat boy who was trying to videotape me against my will, even though I asked him politely to go away, twice, before losing it altogether (this was a very long time ago when I was an ignorant teenager). I still get mad when I think of them sitting around, no doubt laughing, watching the tape of me rolling around on the floor with the frat boy and cursing like a sailor. But once I saw that there was no way I could take the guy, I went for the video camera. When they saw I was going to destroy their equipment, they ran like hell. The stupid things teenagers do, by that I mean, all three of us were acting like morons.
    So about Stan's question, how do you defend yourself against thugs like these? And what about others who are helpless, let's say you witness the thugs videotaping beating up someone, do you stop and help, or call the police? Personally I am not sure what I'd do, I pray that I'll never have to find out, but riding the subway 2-4 times a day, I am sure I will encounter thuggery eventually.
    Best wishes,
    Rachel


     
  5. Clive

    Clive Guest

    Continuing from what Furtry said, I guess this type of practice would improve your sensitivity to sucker punches and help you appreciate the feel of when someone has the intention to strike you in this way.

    -vampfeed-
     
  6. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you learn to accept that anyone around you could throw a punch, its never a succer punch for you is it?
    Sean
     
  7. Clive

    Clive Guest

    I guess not, but if you thought on those lines you would never walk near a crowd of people. You have to be able to determine the most realistic threats.
     
  8. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm not saying be a sissy about it. I'm saying make them want to choose someone else by positioning your self in a more defensive manner. keep you head up, your eyes open, and your ears tuned. :asian:
    Sean
     
  9. Furtry

    Furtry Green Belt

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    Excelent point; don't act like a victim.
     
  10. Tom Gass

    Tom Gass Guest

    If I saw a pack of thugs walking around in an aggressive manner, a sucker punch would not come as much of a surprise. The scenario dictates the response to some extent. Are you with people? Adults? Men or women?children? Is there an exit available? Is a fight inevitable? They always say it's best to scream Fire! if you want to get a response from bystanders.
    In any case, you should practice the scenario with all the posturing. Work slowly through the different types of approaches i.e. asking for time/directions/a light/spare change. Work the different type of sucker punches such as the haymaker, kick to the groin, head butt. Get accustomed to the pre-fight indicators i.e. clenched fists, antagonist(s) looking around to see if anyone is looking, face tightening, heavy breathing, rising volume of speech. Explore tying to talk the person down. What is likely to set him/them off. What are some good choice speech for de-escalating the situation. Then the physical. As Furtry says, it's likely you will get hit, whether it's a full shot or a glancing blow. Where do you go from there? Too many practice MA from a postion of superiority or at least equal footing. Practice being at a disadvantage. Practice being knocked down and working from there. How do you get up? Look for closest weapon/closest target. Meanwhile, try to keep your focus--breathe, think, move.


    As a well known MA instructor says "Don't always do what's best for you, do what's worst for your opponent(s)".

    Just some thoughts.
     
  11. tkdguy1982

    tkdguy1982 Guest

    I agree w/ willfightforbeer, it is best to be aware of what is going on around you. Like beer said, if you notice someone who is looking at you like get out of my way, then naturally you will be cautious if that person is near you. Just be aware of what is going on around you, wherever you are.
     
  12. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    I have 3 points I’d like to make concerning this thread. Well actually, I have 3 points I’d like to expand on as Furtry already made the points.

    Furtry said:
    Expanding on that I’d like to say:
    Training awareness is a very important thing, but it doesn’t really address the issue of dealing with the sucker punch. After all if you are aware of the situation, it is no longer a sucker punch. It is certainly preferable to prevent the sucker punch from happening, but one has to guard against allowing their training to drift into the “well I’ll just never let that happen to me” syndrome.

    We all remember 15 years ago when many stylists dismissed Gracie “Judo” by saying things like “well I wouldn’t let them take me down”, and remember shortly after saying that many of those folks being taken down.

    Reality is if you want to study true self defense or survival, you need recognize that you might find yourself in any situation. No matter how unlikely a circumstance there was likely somebody before you who was caught in it, and was fully convinced that such an unlikely scenario would ever happen.

    In today’s world of high powered drugs, stun guns and other technology it is quite possible to find your first opportunity for self defense to arise when you are waking up on the ground, groggy and already bound. Some of you may be thinking, that sounds extreme or unlikely… If that thought occurred to you, I would implore you to pay more attention to the news.

    The majority of martial arts training time is spent on dealing with “fight engagements”. The emphasis is on a frontal confrontation of known origin. Unfortunately, this does not account for the majority of avoidable self defense situations. Criminals aren’t looking for a fair fight, they aren’t looking for an opponent, they are looking for a target.

    Awareness and the mental conviction to act appropriately, is indeed more important than physical skills. The irony is, the more prepared you are, the less of a target you are, the more likely any attacks against you will be… by ambush, because that becomes the only way to return you to target status.

    Therefore, the better we get at awareness, the more we practice it, the more likely is the fact that what we will have to deal with if in an altercation is indeed the sucker attack.

    That said, lets get on with discussing how to actually “deal” with a sucker punch.

    Furtry said:
    This is the first priority in learning to actually deal with a successful sucker punch. For those of you not involved in Systema, or new to it, I’ll explain what that means.

    In Systema we emphasize contact. We practice receiving blows to all parts of the body. We learn to yield naturally. We teach the body to think for itself and respond to impact by allowing the blow to move us.

    This skill is worked to different degrees over time. We certainly do specific drills to develop the skill (or should I say release the original skill), but we also make this practice a normal part of class. It is not uncommon in class when working with your partner to have someone break ff from his partner and attack you blind. The practices, the general movement practices, the pushing drills and other exercises all lead towards creating a situation where the skill is always on.

    Over time you can create the state where your body will spontaneously yield to impact, whether you are aware of the attack or not. As your body naturally moves as a result of the impellent force, you are put in motion and the conflicts resolution will be powered and created by that movement. This is working from contact.

    Developing these skills is the first of 2 steps in learning to deal with a true sucker punch.

    Moving on to skill number 2…

    Furtry Said:
    Well he didn’t say it specifically, but it was there between the lines the way I read it. Here’s what I think I read….

    Have the mental composure to take action as your body becomes aware you’ve been attacked. Do not let your ego, fear, or anything else to blind you to what needs to be done. Surviving the sucker punch is the first step, now comes the resolution.

    Arthur
     
  13. RachelK

    RachelK Purple Belt

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    We practiced something along those lines in class recently. Our partners punched us and we had to roll away in the direction of the punch, practicing getting as far away as possible from our partners. We also practiced doing this with our eyes closed. I am new to Systema, and that my was first experience with this kind of drill, creating distance, rather than maintaining contact. Incidentally, our school director was quoted in a local newspaper, she said to scream Fire! when someone attacks you, it will confuse and distract them long enough for you to get away. There are several variations of yelling "Fire" posted on Arthur's board, under the heading "Distraction techniques," some of the phrases made me laugh, but they worked!
    Rachel

     
  14. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I suppose that might work, unless, of course, he was holding
    a gun.(he he) :snipe2:
    Just kidding
    sean
     
  15. Clive

    Clive Guest

    In the guidebook it mentions that in the spets training if the instructor thought that the soldier/student was not paying atention to his/her surroundings they would be hit either by hand/stick. Another thing similar to this at a seminar with Sergei, he would hit the wall with a pad and when he did we had to immediately go to the floor (good preparation for going into a situation where there is likely to be a gun).

    Just some thoughts on this.
     
  16. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    The only true defense against a sucker punch is awareness. If your alert you can deal with it. If not, it will land, and it's go time from there, unless your out!
     
  17. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    As long as we are discussing awareness... I'm pretty sure this was already mentioned (since I was the one that mentioned it) but... if you are aware of it... it isn't really a sucker punch is it?

    Arthur
     
  18. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    Correct. Sucker punches aren't seen, they are felt. However, one has to work on their awareness. It is a skill that must be developed. So, that makes it a "technique" to be used as a defense.
     
  19. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    We're not in disagreement. My post was a response to those that say they practice this and that to deal with defending against sucker punches.
     
  20. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

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    I have a lil tale of something about sucker punches..and will put it in when I have more time.
    I had wrtten it...but timed out on the site and dont have the time to recreate it now.123
     

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