Strategic self defense positioning is probably one of the top three most important concepts you have to own if you want to develop high level martial arts skill. It can also be a difficult concept to grasp for many folks.
Unlike ground fighting stylists who spend the majority of their training how to achieve desired positions on the ground, stand-up stylists tend to have less understanding of how to train positioning for stand-up approaches.
What does positioning mean in a broader sense?
Positioning means that you are occupying a piece of space in time (or space-time for you B theorists of time out there) that is optimal for strategic advantage. This means that the place you chose to be was the best place you could have been. It had the greatest defensive and offensive capabilities.
On the macro level, the optimal positioning you can take is to locate yourself far away from the likelihood of attack. This means that you try not to live (position) yourself in a high-crime area, you don’t visit your local abandoned warehouse district in the middle of the night, and you get your gas and groceries during day-light hours when the likelihood of attack is relatively low.
This is macro positioning and is optimal positioning to avoid an attack. You know that friend of yours who is always getting in fights? This is probably his problem. He is probably positioning himself to get in fights (but you already knew that).
If we scale down quite a bit (and skipping a few important ranges as we do), we find ourselves squared up with an attacker. In this situation, positioning comes from controlling distance, how our bodies are aimed at each other, and hand position relative to the attackers.
As the attacker approaches you, are you optimally positioned for how he is coming at you? Are you controlling the distance, the aim of both your bodies, and do you have your hands positioned in the best place to defend and attack?
If not, adjust things. Considering the context of what your attacker is bringing, what would be optimal right now?
Initially you can do start and stop sparring with your partner where you size each other up at a stop to notice where you are position-wise. Then make adjustments to find the optimal position. If you train this, you can begin to position yourself relative to your attacker while moving in real time.
Finally, on the micro level, comes internal positioning. From where you are, is your lower back in its best position for power? As you defend or strike, is your body aligned all the way up through the structure? These considerations absolutely factor into proper positioning and developing high level skill.
Your positioning skill is one of the most critical factor is beating faster stronger opponents.
The Clear Defense Method will teach you exactly how to use position to dominate your opponent.
Learn how to apply this method at the Clear Defense Certification Workshop in July.
…and if you can’t make the workshop, get the Clear Defense Instructor Package when it goes on sale for 3 days. (April 19-21, 2016)