If you end up in close range with your opponent, it benefits you to know how to submit him on the ground. But what if only you are on the ground? You will now be at a distinct disadvantage. A point that is often overlooked is the ability to get up from the ground if you do end up there. When learning realistic 52 Blocks self-defense, include scenarios and exercises on how to get back to your feet quickly.

1. Do you get to your knees first before standing up, or do you use a forward roll to gain distance and momentum to get to your feet? How can you use an object in the environment to help you get up? What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?

2. Learn how to strike and kick while on the ground, how to grab and unbalance an opponent, and how to use him as leverage for pulling yourself back up.

3. Allow yourself to experience the energy drain of trying to get back to your feet when taken down. Go down on the ground and get back up 10 times as quickly as you can.

Grapple with a partner. As soon as he breaks free and tries to get away, immediately close the distance and take him down again. When he has no time to regroup or get to safety, when the threat is continuous, can he still stop the fight through the use of a single technique? The point is that when somebody is determined to fight you, he will continue pursuing you until either you or he collapses. There is little room for errors. You will instantly discover the futility of 52 Blocks moves that are executed poorly.

Demonstrate how quickly you can close the distance between yourself and a student, and how difficult it is to keep an attacker away with punches and kicks alone. If you are teaching a stand-up art, allow students to feel the smothering effects of a grappler at least once in their training.

Be a critical thinker. Do most fights really go to the ground? Who has done the study and kept score? What were the circumstances? If you are a grappler, you will most likely support this claim; if you are a stand-up fighter, you will deny it. Do your own research. Don’t take anything at face value.

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