Hapkido Ground Fighting

Ground fighting
Ground fighting conditions in real life are very different from the ring.

Lately in class we’ve been working on some Hapkido ground fighting techniques. Hapkido ground techniques are not like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because our goal is not to wrestle or grapple for any length of time. Our goal is to strike or break, get free and get to our feet. We don’t want to stay on the ground and have to deal with multiple opponents, or a weapon.

Two men beating another on the ground

Ground fighting conditions in real life are very different from the ring.

For this reason I don’t teach many techniques from the guard, I mean when you’re on your back with someone between your legs. This is an absolutely terrible position to be in. It might be fine in a submission grappling contest, but in the street it’s awful. Our groin is exposed, the attacker has access to his weapons if he’s carrying any, and we cannot defend against other attackers.

So when we’re in this position our priority is to escape and get to our feet, and that’s primarily what we work on in class. Control the attacker and recover to our feet.

Even when we’re in the top position, in someone else’s guard, our priority is to recover to our feet, or at the very least to pass guard and achieve a dominant position from the side where we can attack or control the enemy, while retaining the ability to stand up instantly.

We also continue to work Silat ground fighting techniques. That has always been a part of our Silat practice. Silat ground techniques are quite vicious, focusing on destroying joints, choking, and twisting the head.

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