In a Police Marksman article, trainer Larry Lein shared five basic but powerful principles that can help you win a ground fight. Here’s a summary:
1. Stay calm.
Remember that through your training, you have “been there and done that.” Fighting on the ground is not new for you. You know what to do and you’ve practiced it, so if you go to the ground, perform, don’t panic.
2. Relax and breathe.
If you forget to breathe and cause yourself to suffer unnecessarily from oxygen deprivation, your knowledge and skills will be of little use after 30 to 50 seconds. Breathe.
3. Stay constantly aware of the positional relationship between your weapon and the suspect.
When fighting on the ground, you can easily find yourself ending up in a position that basically “offers” your firearm to the suspect and for all you know, getting that gun may be his only goal. Always know where your weapon is in relation to the suspect and your body position and make every effort to protect it. Goes without saying, but conscious effort may be needed to remember this in the heat of battle.
4. Stay in a face-to-face orientation with the suspect.
Don’t turn your back on a suspect. Simple. Serious.
5. Remember to use your feet and legs.
These can be very powerful in a fight and can be used in a variety of ways, from delivering blows to controlling the suspect. Keep this in mind during your physical workouts. Leg strength can be a tremendous asset in a ground fight.