Fighting Rule of Thumb: “Keep the Head Behind the Knee”

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A standard principle in martial arts is to keep your weight centered so that you avoid being off balance when attacking or defending. Someone who leans forward is vulnerable to being thrown. If you see someone leaning forward when applying joint locks in particular, or when attacking a downed opponent, you have to question that person’s understanding of body mechanics.

With that said, there may be times when you want to lean forward – maybe when going for a single-leg or double-leg takedown, for example.

Even then, one fighting rule of thumb is to not allow your head to go forward of the knee of your leading leg. Keep the head behind the knee. This allows you to use your forward leg to brace yourself and stop your forward motion.

Wael Abdelgawad, Founder
Hammerhead Hapkido

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