It is never a good time to be involved in a street fight. It is even worse when you are in an altercation with a much bigger attacker.
On the street, there is no such thing as weight classes and rules. Instead, you will need to quickly find a way to deal with a stronger and unpredictable person who is likely going to try and break you at all costs.
Can you be prepared for a self-defense situation against a bigger attacker? Of course.
However, it takes a level of understanding and experience that isn’t always possible to learn from within your typical martial arts classes. You are not rolling with a training partner here like you do in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, and you are likely not fighting someone with a technical understanding of boxing or Muay Thai. You will need to apply your knowledge in a vastly different way.
We will cover some proven ways to defend yourself against a bigger attacker, but these same methods can be used in any self-defense scenario.
Today, Evolve Daily brings you “How To Defend Yourself Against A Much Bigger Attacker On The Street”.
Evade the danger
It is always important to consider the preferable option in any self-defense scenario. Is it possible to run away, and do you think you can outrun the attacker? If you can answer yes to both of these questions, you should flee.
There are no winners in a street fight, but there are losers.
For whatever reason, if you cannot avoid the self-defense situation, you have to consider safely evading the dangers of the scenario. That means, don’t run toward your opponent like crazy. And if he is running toward you, you should look to move side-to-side (not back-and-forth) to create angles and disallow them from charging at your with speed and momentum.
Ensure that you are standing at a safe distance from the larger attacker. In most cases, he is going to be charging at you like some berserk maniac. You need to be prepared for this.
If he is charging at you with tremendous speed, you are not going to be able to change the momentum and shoot for a takedown. You are also not going to be able to use your boxing techniques against him. Because of his size, you are going to need to avoid this scenario. Slow the pace down and wait for the right opportunity to engage.
This is not to say that you should take a reactionary stance in this fight. You should be the one initiating and controlling the action. You can, however, do this from a safe distance. You do not want to be trading blow-for-blow with a massive opponent. Even if you are an experienced stand-up fighter, you do not want to be caught with a punch from a heavier and stronger person. Don’t take the risk. Use kicks and long-range weapons to stick and move.
Preferably, if you have an understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you want to take this fight to the ground and close all of the distance.
Manage the distance
Rener Gracie perfectly explains the dangers of a self-defense scenario in the video above.
When it comes to self-defense, the distance between you and your opponent is very important. Gracie explains that the most dangerous zone is the middle of three different zones or distances. The most extreme range is when you are outside of your opponent’s reach. At this distance, you cannot reach the attacker, and they cannot reach you. This is a safe distance.
On the other end of this range is the zone that exists when you are tied up with your attacker, and there is no separation between your two bodies. This is also regarded as a safe distance because your opponent cannot strike you if you have broken his posture and he is tied to your body.
That leaves just one zone, and it is by far the most dangerous. It is in between the two zones as mentioned earlier; the range in which your attacker can reach you and strike you, and you can do the same to them. This is the riskiest of all distances in any scenario. You want to avoid this distance at all costs, especially against a bigger and stronger attacker.
Remember, you want to be far away, or very close. Never in between.
The best self-defense techniques and strategies against a bigger attacker
Now that you understand the appropriate distances in which to engage, you need to understand the techniques and strategies to get the fight on your terms.
Just because an attacker is bigger than you, it does not mean that you cannot get them down to the ground. In the video above, Ben Askren explains transitioning from a trip attempt to a double-leg takedown. Alternatively, you can wait for the perfect opportunity to duck underneath one of his strikes and then close the distance immediately and shoot for that double-leg takedown. Keep your head safe. Execute the takedown and pass the guard instantly. Ideally, work to the mount position and maintain it.
If you can get to full mount, you should be able to maintain this position against someone who has never trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before – even if they are bigger and stronger. Make sure that all of your weight is on top of him and keep your balance. Expect all sorts of crazy explosive movements to try and shake you from the position and be prepared.
Alternatively, you can stick to knee-on-belly and attempt to strike the attacker as explained in the video below.
Don’t let him posture up in your full guard
You might not have ever realized the danger of letting an attacker sit up in your full guard. A bigger and stronger attacker is likely going to be able to break your clinch eventually. When he does, be prepared to either create enough separation to get yourself back to a safe distance, or be ready to close the distance again.
Stick to your advantages
Are you an accurate and explosive kicker? Kick the attacker!
Don’t try and kick the body like you might do in sport martial arts, aim for the knee, shin, face, or right into the sternum. Expect the bigger attacker to charge through your first strikes and attempt to grab you, so remember to move and create angles quickly.
Drain his energy
When you fight on your terms (in either of the two safe distances), your objective should be to conserve your energy and fatigue your attacker. In most cases, your attacker is not physically ready for a combat situation. If you have trained martial arts, you are prepared for these scenarios. If you happen to be stuck underneath a bigger attacker, grab him and clinch. Tie up his arm with an overhook to stop him from punching. A bigger attacker will fatigue fast. He will likely defeat himself if you know how to use his energy against him.
Don’t stick to the ‘rules’
Just because you have trained within a specific set of rules before doesn’t mean that your attacker is going to follow them. Be prepared for anything. Also, when possible, use these tactics yourself. You are never sure of the dangers of a self-defense scenario, and it is always best to make sure that you do everything possible to avoid the situation. If that means you need to kick the attacker in the groin, go for it.
Do everything you can to get out of the situation safely and without harm.
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