A fight can be broken down into three major parts:

1. The stand-up fight

2. The takedown

3. The ground fight

A smaller person fighting a larger adversary normally has the greatest problem with the takedown phase. The takedown must therefore be dynamic and executed with the opponent in an inferior position.

When two people meet in a grappling type battle, they often lock up with their hands around each other’s necks and then try a takedown or throw. Your opponent’s elbow is a great leverage point which can be used whenever he locks his hands around your neck. Using the elbow as a crank can help you break free of your opponent’s hold and move him to an inferior position.

When practicing takedowns, experiment with many different 52 Blocks techniques, such as trapping your opponent’s kick instead of blocking it, or grabbing his fingers instead of striking his face.

A throw differs from a takedown because it is designed to get your opponent on the ground quickly and violently. A throw requires closeness to your opponent and a reliance on leverage. A properly executed throw will seem almost effortless.

Exercise 1— 52 Blocks Mechanics Experiment with circular motion in takedowns and throws. The tighter you keep your opponent to your own body, the easier it is to use circular motion. Discuss how to shift your opponent’s center of gravity and unbalance him. Identify times when you can use the element of surprise to initiate a takedown or throw. What is the value of using your sense of touch? Once you learn to feel your opponent’s motion, you need not rely on sight in order to manipulate his balance.

Exercise 2—Balance Point Experiment with finding the point of balance for hip throws. If your position is too deep behind your opponent’s hip, you will end up carrying much of his weight. If your position is not deep enough, the throw will result in a takedown. How can you find the balance point quickly in a chaotic situation? A properly executed throw is a combination of circular and linear motion. When you have attained correct positioning, focus on finding the fine line between circular and linear motion. Experiment with push-pull movement and how it affects a throw or takedown. Identify how such movement starts a circular motion intended to unbalance your adversary.

Exercise 3—Momentum Explore the benefits of using momentum in throws and takedowns. Demonstrate the importance of using correct technique, speed and the element of surprise. The technique should happen in one fluid motion with no hesitation between moves. How does broken synchronization of your moves affect your opponent’s ability to escape or counter the attack? Explore the difference between wide circular motion and tight circular motion. Which type of motion results in a takedown, and which results in a throw? Explore how to proceed once you have taken your opponent to the ground. Discuss the value of 52 Blocks knee and forearm presses. Experiment with target points.

Exercise 4—Falling Practice how to fall without getting hurt. Discuss how the force of falling is absorbed sequentially, or by spreading the force over a large area of your body. Practice how to roll on the ground from kneeling and standing positions. Identify how the force is absorbed sequentially over your arm and shoulder rather than your head.

Exercise 5—Failed Techniques Identify how a takedown or throw might fail. Discuss the direction of energy in a properly executed takedown or throw. Identify the difference between circular and linear motion. Discuss the importance of stealing your opponent’s balance before attempting a takedown. How important are distractions during the set-up phase? How can you take your opponent’s vision or bal- ance prior to a throw? Discuss the importance of proper positioning and swift execution of technique.

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