Saturday, January 19, 2008

Standing Locks - Effective or Not

Many times the following has been seen and experienced. Two martial artists are sparring. They spar using strikes, clinch fighting, takedowns and ground fighting. There strikes are impressive, there clinching fighting is smooth as are there takedowns and they move from submission to submission incorporating locks to nearly every joint and a variety of chokes when on the ground. They seem to be experts in there field, except that not one can apply a lock of any type while standing. Why?

Well the reason why, is because of the fact that they are both experienced fighters. To be able to apply a lock (standing or on the ground) a few factors need to be addressed. Firstly the person being locked must not be able to move away from it. When standing, it is very hard to control an opponent from moving away. On the floor it is much easier especially if they are on there back or lying on there front. When standing, as soon as your opponent sees that you are going for a lock, he/she will quickly move away. On the ground your opponent may see that you are going for a lock but it may be nearly impossible for him/her to move from it, so there is more of a chance they shall be locked. Secondly, when standing, and after moving away from the intended lock, your opponent creates gaps and breaks the tight hold that is necessary for a lock to be applied. There must be leverage in order to apply a knee bar, arm locks or any other type of lock. Being very tight into your opponent is the only way to create this leverage. So when your opponent moves away from you, the leverage is lost and the lock will not be applied. Thirdly, being easier for your opponent to hit you when standing, than when on the ground, as you try to put on a lock from a standing position, your opponent can easily strike you with any limb available, and since you are trying to lock your opponent with one or both hands, your defence is weak. On the ground, your opponent may be in a position where it is impossible to strike effectively as a lock is being applied which makes it easier for you to apply it.

This is not to say that locks have no place in standing situations, but they are much harder to apply. Against a trained opponent who may expect locks during sparring, then there is a small chance of pulling one off, against someone on the street with no fighting experience, it may be easier. Following up locks after a hard strike are good times to apply them as your opponent may be stunned from the strike, and his/her reflexes and attention might not be available to react to the lock. The bottom line is that practice is needed and experience of the best way to apply locks from standing positions is necessary to be able to pull them off.

Markos Fighting and Training Methods for the Realistic Martial Artist



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