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In the overall picture of combat, there are times when you might have to defend yourself while you are sitting down. This could mean sitting on the ground, on a chair, bed, bench, porch, car hood, etc.
Why would you fight from this position? Some obvious reasons might include being surprised while you're sitting and you don't have an opportunity to stand up. Or you might carry a walking cane and are unable to stand and fight effectively. In an abduction scenario your ankles might be taped, zip-tied, or shackled thus precluding effective stand up fighting. The more you think about it, the more scenarios you might imagine.
More than likely fighting from the seated position is just a Transitory Position you find yourself in! You don't intend to fight from the seated position but because of the terrain, for example, you find yourself suddenly pitched into the couch and you have to continue fighting from there because your opponent sees an advantage and presses the attack before you can regain an upright fighting posture.
This is not a new idea by any means, just a modern application of a classical combative principle - making the most effective use of the battlefield terrain! In 1410 Italian Master Fiore DeLibere shows several ways to use a short stick while seated to defend against a man who's standing, and in many of the world's arts you find techniques from kneeling, sitting, and laying on the ground as well as work involving chairs (even benches in the case of the Chinese arts!)
Depending on the specifics of what you are sitting on and what is behind you and to your sides and front the tactics can vary.
For example, imagine sitting on a bar stool at the last bar you went to. What would be the specifics of the environment? How would that differ from your favorite chair at your house? How would that different from where you are reading this from right now? I think you get the idea!
Questions you want to ask yourself include:
"Is this platform stable or can it get knocked over?" - Something like a lawn chair can get knocked right over with you sitting in it and that's no fun. Something like a concrete planter in a city park on the other hand obviously wont move.
"Can my opponent end up on the platform as well as me?" - Something like a couch, bed, or bench means that the opponent could end up on it too. In this case you're basically both fighting side-to side, and from here it's easier to reverse the position.
"Does the environment allow me to damage my opponent?" - The concrete wall behind you when sitting at a subway bench can hit an attacker harder than your fist and it won't get a boxer's break out of it either! This is where an understanding of locking and force redirection techniques can assist you.
"Does the environment allow me to disadvantage my opponent?" - If you are sitting in an ez-boy chair and there's a couch to your left, can you redirect your opponent into it? Then while he has to deal with the couch you can get up, or simply continue fighting from where you are on a more even basis.
"Does the height difference present different options?" - If you are on the ground and your opponent is standing, it will be easy for you to reach their shins while their head will be out of reach.
An advantage you gain from understanding how to fight from a seated position and to use the environment is that very few people are used to fighting this way. Think about it, if you were training and then you roll off the mats and into some boxes of gear what is the natural inclination? To stop, call a break. But that's in fact the perfect time to go-go-go!
To help people understand and use this concept, at some of my seminars we've done a drill where you practice anywhere *except* in the middle of the room. In other words, you go somewhere in the training space where you are limited. Against a wall, in a doorway, on the steps, between some parked cars, and so on.
So, this week in your training take some time to explore this concept - see where it takes you and what you find!
All my very best to you,
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