Elements of the Tackle
The man’s anger goes from 0 to 100 in a heartbeat. He lowers his head, then shoulder
charges like he's still on his high school football team and you’re his personal
In street fighting jargon, this mad charge is called "rush and tackle," a technique
that is nearly as common as the overhand right. Perfected in bars, dance clubs,
and most other places booze flows in abundance, the rush and tackle is one of those
gross muscle moves that is practically innate whenever and wherever tempers flare.
Your authors have seen the rush and tackle done in minor scraps and we've seen it
used in the most violent of crimes. We know of one police officer who was rushed
and tackled, taken to the ground, disarmed by the attacker, and executed with his
Positioning is Everything
There are three things you must remember for self-defense: position, position, and
position. Defending against a tackle becomes relatively easy when you see how the
attacker positions himself for the pre-assault (the rush) and how he positions himself
for the hands-on phase (the tackle). Once you identify these, you must exploit them.
Let's look at a few elements of the tackle we discussed in Chapter One, "Defending
against the overhand right." You learned to:
• Keep your head up.
• Keep your back straight.
• Get lower by bending your knees.
• Drive into and through the attacker.
• Collect the knees.
Because you know the elements of a good tackle, you're able to quickly evaluate
the form of someone about to do it to you. Fortunately, most people don’t know how
to tackle properly. Common errors are:
• The attacker puts his head down when rushing in.
• To get lower, he bends too far forward at the waist.
• He encircles your waist.
• The attacker doesn't drive through with his legs.
When you can recognize bad form and then execute the following techniques, you will
have a big advantage when defending against this common attack.
The simplest defense against the rush and tackle is to keep the attacker at arm's
distance. Consider this wrestling rule:
Contact = Control
Distance = Escape
You and the attacker have opposite objectives: Yours is to create distance and the
attacker's is to get in close. To keep distance, you must use your hands, and the
best way to do that is with a post, a simple move that involves extending your arms
and slamming your hands onto the attacker's shoulders as he bulls into you. Posting
allows you to either thwart the tackle or establish a superior position at arm's
length so that you can then flow into a counter or escape. Think of a post as a
double-palm strike that delivers shocking impact through the attacker's body. Your
entire takedown macro-plan is based on the principle of creating distance, a simple
concept that doesn't take great skill but is nonetheless often overlooked.
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