Junsado Ground Kicks

Ground kicks are versatile weapons in a fight. Especially in an unexpected and unintended situation like falling or sitting. Unexpected as it is, the situation may work against you, but switching the view other way around, you can change the odds. So be the cause of the unexpected change.

Junsado Ground Kicks

To increase your ground fighting skills, diversify your ground kicks by mixing front, side, and hook kicks aimed at multiple targets such as the ankle, shin, kneecap, groin, and rear knee joint.

Ground kicks are used to keep the standing opponent at bay, to attack the body parts that are most essential for mobility, to diminish his access to you by injuring his joints, or to end a fight by powerfully kicking a fallen opponent. Below are three essential Junsado ground kicks that are easily adaptable to various fighting situations.

1. Ground Front Kick

Junsado Ground Front Kick

Junsado Ground Front Kick is versatile weapon to attack the groin, stomach, face, and other body parts that are essential for mobility.

Function: Use a ground front kick to keep a standing opponent at bay when you are on the ground.

Method: Plant your hands on the floor on both sides of your hips. Bend your supporting knee and stretch your kicking leg half-way out toward the opponent’s knee. For repeated kicks, keep your hips off the ground while moving around, like a crab, to adjust your body position according to his movement.

Major Targets: shin, kneecap, thigh, groin

Key Points: It is not wise to stay on the ground in any fight, except perhaps in a sport fighting tournament that has rules and a referee. In reality, you should get up as quickly as you can and keep yourself mobile. Run away as early as possible in the fight, especially if there are multiple attackers. However, if fighting from the ground becomes inevitable, you should know how to survive. The first goal is to damage the lower limbs of the attacker while assessing your exit strategy. Be like a little animal that would bite anyone who comes near. The secondary goal is to take him down and then get up to run away.

2. Ground Side Kick

Junsado Ground Side Kick

Junsado Ground Side Kick is a good skill to stop an incoming opponent or to strike the neck and head of a fallen opponent.

Function: Use the ground side kick to stop a standing opponent from approaching you on the ground.

Method: Put both hands on the ground on the opposite side as your kicking leg, kneel on the supporting leg, turning your body sideways, and kick to the side with the blade or the bottom of your foot.

Major Targets: kneecap, shin, thigh, head

Key Points: Use the wide blade and the bottom of your foot as a weapon by turning it horizontally to push at the opponent’s vertically standing legs. Or kick the torso or head of a fallen opponent to prevent him from engaging in grappling with you. Adjust your body position as the situation evolves to accomplish three goals: keep him at bay, inflict pain, and run away.

3. Ground Hook Kick

Junsado Ground Hook Kick

Junsado Ground Hook Kick is highly effective in pinpointed striking at the groin and knee joint.

Function: Use the ground hook kick to take down or knock down a standing opponent from the ground.

Method: Put both hands on the ground on the opposite side of your kicking leg. Kneel on the supporting leg, turning your body sideways. Chamber your upper leg and kick with the instep at the opponent’s groin or rear knee.

Major Targets: rear knee, groin

Key Points: The ground hook kick is less effective for keeping an opponent at bay but highly effective in pinpointed striking at the groin and knee joint. It is also a good choice for striking the neck and head (of a fallen opponent). To increase your success rate, diversify your ground kicks by mixing front, side, and hook kicks aimed at multiple targets such as the ankle, shin, kneecap, groin, and rear knee joint. Once you have inflicted serious pain or damage on a particular vital area, for example the calf, then focus your attack on that area to take the opponent down. If he blocks, attack elsewhere, then resume attacking that same spot with renewed intensity.

This article is an excerpt from Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat.

Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat ($5.99, over 650 full color photos) is available exclusively in e-book format for Kindle (Amazon.com).

How To Maximize the Potential of Your Joints in Ground Fighting

Your initial response is the key to success in ground fighting. Your first move sets the tone of the fight. It affects what techniques follow and eventually who dominates. Many of the Junsado responses to being pinned or immobilized on the ground rely on your initial movement as a defender.

blog5 (01)For example, when you make your body smaller or draw your limbs into your center, you not only control your body better and conserve energy, but also make yourself less vulnerable by reducing the number of exposed vital targets. As a defender, particularly on the ground, it is critical to draw your knee and elbow closer together toward the center of your body to protect yourself, collect your inner force, and strike powerfully when needed. Bending the large joints and drawing the limbs in toward the center of the body creates three potential advantages: control, range of motion and twisting force.

Control

On the ground, keeping your arms bent and close to your body increases your control and reduces the opportunities for your opponent to control you. For example, if you keep your arm straight, your opponent will likely try to lock it or break it (1). When you keep your arms bent, with your elbows close to your body, you not only defend against an arm lock, you put yourself in a strong position for twisting, pulling, pushing, or resisting (2). From this position, you can put your entire body weight into your techniques by using your legs and torso to initiate and follow through without losing control of your body as well as the situation (3).

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Range of Motion

The greater the range of the motion in an arm or leg, the greater force you generate. By bending your knees or elbows, you put yourself in a good starting position for a strike, kick, push or thrusting movement. Bent joints store potential power. For example, when you are flat on your back with your legs outstretched, it is impossible to lift your body more than a few inches off the ground. But if you bend your knee, drawing your foot close to your hip and planting your foot on the ground, you are in a position to powerfully push off the ground and thrust your hip and torso upward. The same is true of your arms. By drawing your arms in close to your torso with your elbows bent, you create the possibility of striking or pushing the opponent over a greater range of motion than if your arms were already partially extended.

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 Twisting Force

When escaping from a lock, pin or hold, a twisting movement is generally easier to apply than a straight line movement. The same is true of takedowns; it is usually easier to take an opponent down by rotating your own body and whipping the opponent around it than by throwing him straight down. When a takedown utilizes a torquing action, it mitigates the resistance of the major muscles and joints of the opponent’s body and allows you to take him down with less work. In grappling against a bear hug for example, if you try to escape by going straight down or directly forward, it is nearly impossible to be successful, especially when the opponent is stronger than you are.

However, if you lower your body while twisting downward at a fifteen-degree angle, you have a better chance of escaping. By doing so, you create more sensory demands for your opponent to process, increasing his distraction and your control. More importantly, the twisting action often creates a throw or takedown in the direction of his blind spot because the twisting motion produces an angular or diagonal movement trajectory. Taken together, a twisting motion can provide you with pivotal advantages to maximize your potential while mitigating the opponent’s strength.

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 Forging Force

In wrestling against a bigger opponent or untangling a lock on a vulnerable body part, such as the neck, it is useful to use your entire body as leverage. For example, as your opponent chokes your neck with his right arm from the front, it is hard to escape using your hands alone. In this case, you can forge his arm to your body by pulling it down against your upper chest and then twist your torso to manipulate his arm. Since your torso has greater weight behind it, you can generate greater impact on the joint of his arm when you rotate your entire body.

This article is an excerpt from Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat.

Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat ($5.99, over 650 full color photos) is available exclusively in e-book format for Kindle (Amazon.com).

Using the Head-Pelvis Axis to Increase Your Power

There are five movement principles in Junsado to help you maximize the speed and power of your fighting skills. These principles also provide points of evaluation to help you assess your performance, providing critical feedback to measure the fidelity of your movement and to determine what you can eliminate. Below is the first of the five Junsado movement principles:

Head-Pelvis Axis

For fighting purposes, the body can be divided into three regions: the head/torso region, the legs and the arms. Each of the regions has both major and minor parts. The hands and feet are the minor parts of their respective regions, while the legs and arms are the major parts. The same is true of the head (minor part) and the torso (major part). Together, however, the head and torso make up the most important power source in the body.

Correct alignment of your head and pelvis is central to containing and mobilizing the force waiting to be unleashed from your body.

Correct alignment of your head and pelvis is central to containing and mobilizing the force waiting to be unleashed from your body.

Mechanically, the head and torso work together as the axis of power when we move. Imagine a line running from the center of your pelvis to the crown of your head. You can generate significant force in every technique along this axis. Your legs support the axis while transmitting force up from the ground through the upper body. Your arms and hands are the tools that deliver the force via the axis; your chin and forehead stabilize your posture.

The head-pelvis axis (HPA) runs through the center of the body (the red bar). The HPA is supported and controlled by the lower limbs (the white bars). Jointly, they augment the force of the arms and head (the black bars).

The head-pelvis axis (HPA) runs through the center of the body (the red bar). The HPA is supported and controlled by the lower limbs (the white bars). Jointly, they augment the force of the arms and head (the black bars).

In twisting, the head-pelvis axis drives the arms for striking or grappling. Rotating your entire body along the head-pelvis substantially adds more force than simply striking or pulling with your arms. When moving forward or backward, the head-pelvis axis is the root of power in both pulling and pushing. The head-pelvis axis unites the power of your legs with the weight of your entire body, allowing you to move a much heavier opponent than you could by pulling or pushing with only your arms.

The key to applying the power of the head-pelvis axis is controlling the alignment of your head and torso.

To find the correct alignment, stand in fighting stance with your chin tucked slightly down so that the crown of your head is aligned with the center of your pelvic floor. Your spine should be neither upright nor hunched. Tilt your upper body slightly forward while relaxing your shoulders, keep both knees bent, and poise your body as if you are about to take off running. This creates a dynamic stance, in which your body is ready to be unleashed.

A properly-formed head-pelvis axis enables you to better control the speed and power in your techniques, delivering maximum impact to your opponent, by helping you contain the intrinsic potential power of the torso. Proper alignment of your body, therefore, is the key to establishing your physical center, creating a balanced foundation from which to launch your techniques.

You also gain economy of motion because you can employ long- or short-range attacks without changing your stance or using additional preparatory techniques. You simply shift your weight to the back and front to attack or defend as needed, without breaking the balance and force structure of your current posture.

This natural containment of your power not only makes you stronger but also reduces telegraphing when initiating techniques. Most importantly, when you have a strong head-pelvis axis, you project an image of discipline, strength and confidence that intimidates opponents even before the fight begins.

Practical Applications of Head-Pelvis Axis

Rotating your entire body along the head-pelvis adds substantially more force than simply striking or pulling with your arms.

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Tilt your upper body slightly forward while relaxing your shoulders, as if your body is ready to be unleashed.

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A properly-formed head-pelvis axis enables you to better control the speed and power in your techniques, delivering maximum impact to your opponent.

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This article is an excerpt from Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat.

Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat ($5.99, over 650 full color photos) is available exclusively in e-book format for Kindle (Amazon.com).

Junsado Defense Against Tackling

Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat is a comprehensive book on fighting, with an emphasis on effectively neutralizing and destroying your opponent in either standing or ground confrontations. Using training scenarios, it presents unconventional defenses against tackles, head locks, chokes, arm locks, punches, grabs, low kicks, sweeps, throws, pins and a variety of strikes.

 Sample standing combat scenario:

Against Tackling

A fighter who attempts to tackle you is either an expert at ground fighting or is very inexperienced. The key to defending against a tackle is to redirect the assailant’s lunging force off your centerline. Once you pivot your body off the centerline, you are less likely to be knocked backward. If your opponent is large and powerful, counterattack to a vulnerable area like the head or neck to disorient him.

 Situation: Lunging for Tackling 

Tackling Defense: Evade – Takedown – Headlock

 How to Defend:

1. As your opponent rushes in to tackle you, put your hands between the two of you and lower your posture.

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2. Grab his hair or the top of his head with one hand and his chin with the other hand.

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3. Use your grip on his head and chin to steer his body in the direction he is moving until you have solid control over his head. Then swiftly pivot your body away from him to spin him down to the ground.

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4. As he falls, maintain your hold on his chin and head, flexibly adapting to the changing intensity of his fall.

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5. When he lands, kneel on one knee behind him and secure his head in your arms.

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6. Tilt his head downward to intensify pain in the neck and reduce his opportunities to strike you with his hands or feet.

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Caution: This head twist is extremely dangerous and can cause damage to the cervical spine in the neck. Use caution when practicing this with a partner, never applying the twist forcefully in practice, and only use this technique in self-defense when justified.

 Key Points:

When the opponent pushes you, pull his body in the direction he is already propelling himself. This will confuse and distract him. Then as you move your body out of the line of his attack, lower your stance and change the trajectory of the force. His body will continue moving as you yank his head in a different direction, causing him to fall. It is important to apply the headlock as soon as he lands, before he orients himself and recovers his balance to mount a counterattack.

The scenarios presented in Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat  are offered as examples of how to use Junsado skills in actual combat, but they aren’t meant to cover every possible action or reaction that could occur in a fighting situation. They’re simply intended to be used as a method of arranged practice to facilitate learning the fundamental skills. As you repeatedly practice scenarios like the example above, your body will adapt and internalize the skills, making them your own. Once you’ve mastered the practice scenarios, your goal is to move on to free practice, applying the skills in increasingly less structured situations so you can use them at will.

The above instruction is an excerpt from Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat.

Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat ($5.99, over 650 full color photos) is available exclusively in e-book format for Kindle (Amazon.com)Android (Google Play store)Nook (Barnes & Noble), and iPad (Apple Store).

Self-defense: The 5 Stages of a Confrontation

I am a lifetime marital artist and former combat instructor in Special Forces. I have developed, written and taught combat and self defense courses around the world to more than 100,000 students and instructors. Even after more than 35 years of experience in martial arts training and combat survival experiences, every time I enter an unknown environment, I always question myself on “What if…”

No matter how experienced you are in the martial arts or how confident you feel in defending yourself, awareness is a far more powerful weapon than any other skills you practice in the training hall. Don’t be an easy prey. Watch for signs that signal danger during the following stages of interacting with a potential assailant.

Stage#1: Approaching

Approaching is the first sign of potential danger. An assailant may walk toward you casually, follow you from behind or jump out of nowhere. This is the time for you to prepare for avoiding the assailant or running away.

Remember: Don’t Run Away from Danger; Run to Safety. You don’t need to beat or defeat an assailant – there are no winners in self-defense. Your only goal is to escape safely.

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Stage#2: Closing

If you feel even slightly uncomfortable about a person approaching you, do not allow the assailant to get closer than 5-6 feet. If necessary, give a stern verbal warning such as “Stop there” or “Don’t come any closer.” Continue reading

Take Control with Wrist Locks

Wrist locks are the most useful techniques in subduing your opponent. Often you may encounter situations in which you cannot throw kicks or punches at all but you must take the other party under control. Wrist manipulation is one of the ultimate methods in subduing and controlling locks. Since the wrist is full of vital points, once you know how to do the techniques properly, you can take complete control of attackers without causing permanent damage. Wrist locks are especially good for law enforcement officers.

Junsado Wristlock Sang H. Kim

There are four ways of controlling the wrist: straight, reverse, lateral, and hooking angles. There are four ways of controlling the direction of you and your opponent’s movement: forward, backward, lateral, and spiral paths. Whether you manipulate the wrist in a standing position or on the ground, you can apply the same principles to subdue your opponent.

Wristlock3 Junsado Sang H

You need to develop strength of your thumb and fingers along with your forearm muscles in order to be effective. You can develop them by specific training methods such as weight training and sand bag pressing.

If you want to learn wrist lock techniques, the Wrist & Arresting Locks video contains techniques from the most basic grip to advanced techniques such as arm bar, wing twist, pinion on the ground to immobilizing the opponent completely. Sang H. Kim explains every step of the training very thoroughly.

Arresting Locks and Compliance Holds

Arresting techniques are very different from the usual fighting techniques that you use against an opponent. When you compete or fight for self-defense you and your opponent are on equal footing. However, in arresting, you cannot be in equal to your opponent. You should always be one or two steps ahead in thinking and positioning. You should be able to move in properly before your counterpart figures out what your next move is. By the time your opponent realizes what you are doing, you should already been in control of him.

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The knowledge of arresting locks opens up a new insight into the vulnerability of the techniques that your opponent might use. When you know arresting locks, you can take control of the situation no matter what an attacker might throw at you. They also enable you to take immediate control of your attacker’s weapon if necessary and use it against him.

There are three positions that you want to move into to arrest your counterpart: behind him, on the side of him, or take him to the ground while you remain upright. Once you secure one of these positions you should be able to control his joints in various ways so that you don’t lose control over him until you have completely immobilized him.

Arresting locks are effectively applied to both empty handed attackers and armed attackers. Since the arresting locks are geared to manipulating the body into inescapable positions, once you know how to do the techniques properly, you can take complete control of attackers without causing permanent damage.

Here are a few suggestions to enhance your knowledge of locking up your opponent with ease. Continue reading