Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

So, just like any stand-up fight and this is exactly the same, that’s how I want you to think of it. Being on the ground is no different to standing up. The factors or psychological factors of the fight are exactly the same.

At some point, I have to survive, I have to regain control and then I have to fight back. What tends to happen with most people is, is that they panic. And when they panic, they tend to want to push off and really try to struggle to get out, and in doing so they leave themselves open for punches. Bang, bang, bang… and that’s where they get caught, because they struggle.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

If you’re in this position, the first thing you want to do is not to struggle, because not only are you gonna puff out, but that’s when the feeling of claustrophobia comes in. And then, when you feel that claustrophobia you start to get quite anxious, and you start to hold your breath and then you really want to get out, you struggle to get out, and this is what Jiu-Jitsu players especially and MMA guys prey on. Because when you want to get out so badly, you start to turn and you give your head and then before you know it, you’re either being punched (you can punch me, that’s fine) or you’re being choked.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

The first thing you want to do is obviously, try to control your breathing. The second thing you want to do is not panic. Keep your hands close to your body. Bump up to your side okay and stay on your side but make sure you’re mindful of what’s going on. Don’t throw your hands up. I’m not in a bad position because my partner wants to punch me. He’s going to lose his balance. Every time he wants to punch me, if I bump my hips, he’s going to lose his balance. Every time he tries to hit, pump, he’s going to lose his balance.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

You don’t want the person to be walking his knees up and have his arms under, his knees under your armpits. The reason being obviously, is he isolates your arms and it’s quite easy for him to punch your face. Not just that he’s sitting on your chest, so that adds to that feeling of claustrophobia where you can’t breathe because you’ve got the pressure down.

So, in an ideal fashion, what you always want to do, is walk back and keep him on top of your hips because that’s your power train. Never have your legs flat. With your legs bent if you’re bucking and lifting your hips and covering, then what you’re doing, is you’re actually getting the person to fall off balance. That’s where your main point of balance and your point of power is coming from.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

With your hands as a general rule, if I’m trying to establish control, then what I’m trying to do, and fending off punches is my main concern at the moment, is as I’m bridging my hips as I can latch onto the body. That’s a common way of actually dealing with someone that’s trying to punch you.

Latching on, gable gripping and hugging their body and obviously from this position, looking for an opportunity to track and control their arms. Now I’d like to track and control with the overhook. And the reason why I like to trap control the overhead because it gives me the same side that when I bridge, it’s really difficult for my guy to post his arm out to stop himself from falling.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

But there are other ideas and quite commonly if you look around on YouTube, you’ll see ideas where people are posting, bridging, trapping the arm and pulling the arm across. That works too. That’s great. But, the only thing is you’ve still got some distance between his head and your face so obviously, he can be head-butting you, he can be still striking you with the other hand. So this actually works as a first port of call and sometimes we tend to do this where we wrap, control. But I would rather go, and this is one of the things I teach quite often straight into this control and if I can, pull the head and pull it away from me. So, a small detail, cut up the tricep, pull the head away and keep him away. Now I’ve got control. I haven’t exerted too much physical effort, haven’t exhausted myself, if I keep his head away from me, if he’s trying to bite me, it’s really difficult for him to do that. But what I can do from this position, when I’m ready to track, bridge and roll, and move, I’ve got the option to do that.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

Okay the bridge trap rolls. But, when I get to this position, I’m fighting back. So I’m controlling the arms. Notice when I control the arms, what I do is, I keep my head down, keep the arms trapped. So, Mike tries to hit me. It’s really difficult for him to hit me. And then from this position, I jump up, pinch my knees together. Now, I pinch my knees together because it traps and controls him. I want to get him now to suffer some anxiety. I want him to be scared. I want to take control of him. And that’s the key factor with me in control that means I can strike. I release one hand to the striker. Don’t release the other hand. I keep my knees pinched together, he can’t move, he’s stuck.

So, from here, because he can’t move, I’m now in the dominant position where I can strike and move and that’s what we call a psychological battle.

Fighting is about psychology. And psychology wins.




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