Winter is here, and the snow will fall (unless you live in a hot climate).
Now it may seem unusual to have to defend yourself or fight in the snow or ice, but it is far more common than you think.
Here are some people who have to ‘scrap in the ice and snow’.
Police officers, security officers, soldiers, regular folk who end up in road rage situations, attacks on nights out (yes people still attack other people in the snow and ice) and so on.
The list is larger than you think.
So today I am going to share my best tips for fighting in the cold, ice and snow.
Let’s do this.
1. Big Coats Make Great Weapons
In the cold people wear big coats, it is almost a fashion status these days.
Well, when I see big coat I see ‘game on’.
This is where your gripping skills come into play (check out the online University to understand gripping).
Try and get a few old coats from a charity shop and add them to your lessons, start learning wear to grip for maximum leverage!
2. Lower Your Centre Of Gravity
This is a little harder to explain, but we all have a centre of gravity.
It is what keeps us balanced, but in the ice and snow, the contact that our feet have with the ground becomes unstable.
What you need to do is start to lower that centre of gravity, and this will help you to maintain balance.
Now the best way to do this is to bend your legs slightly and stick your backside out.
Yep totally non-glamorous.
But it does work and if you want to learn more about the centre of gravity check out YouTube videos of Go Tsunoda (Judo guy) and also watch Sumo wrestling.
3. Reduce Your Footwork
Ok so this is obvious but still requires saying.
If you move your feet in an explosive way (which fighting requires) you will fall over.
Let them come to you, keep your feet rooted to the ground, stay balanced and let them do the moving.
4. Cold Air Can Affect Your Performance
I have severe chronic Asthma, the kind that will kill me on the spot if I am not careful.
When you fight, you will do so anaerobically however if the fight goes on for a longer time we will take in huge gulps of air.
Regardless of the condition of your lungs, cold air can cause a reduction in the size of the airways and as such reduce your ability to fight.
The answer is to learn to breathe through your nose and keep your mouth closed.
If you open up your jaw and take a shot you increase the risk of your jaw being broken.
My advice is to start training in a gum shield. It forces you to keep the mouth closed and keeps your teeth looking great.
5. Beware Of Hidden Ground Objects
Ok full disclosure on this one, I learned this the hard way.
The snow covers the ground and hides all kinds of things.
When you are going ‘hands on’ with someone, it is easy to forget all the hidden objects because you can’t see them.
This is yet another reason to reduce your movement in snowy conditions.
And if you want to know how I learned this lesson it was tripping over some childrens play equipment while detaining a suspect in a snow covered garden.
And yes it did hurt a lot!
6. Black Ice
Black ice is thin or transparent ice that blends in with the colour of roads and pavements.
It is impossible to see in the dark and will put you on your ass faster than Mike Tyson could.
So how can you deal with this?
You can’t, but there is a get around.
If you go on to the floor, you can do two things.
- a) If they are down there with you, stay there and finish the fight from the ground.
- b) Roll a few times (army soldier style) to move over the ice then try and get up.
Neither are perfect options but nor is trying to get back up to slip over again.
7. Bring The Fight Indoors
This is a more advanced trick/ technique that requires a little bit of Jedi Mind control.
The aim is to take the fight to a better place, one that is not full of hazards (note you can use this in any situation)
If you are outdoors ask yourself ‘can I take this indoors?’
Now, this is not always possible, but for example, I did this with someone once outside of a club.
It was freezing, and very icy outside and I knew this man would need arresting because he had just been accused of an assault.
I asked him to come to the foyer because it was so cold outside.
One there I told him he was under arrest and yes he started to fight.
Because we were indoors, I was able to control him easier.
You won’t always be able to do this, but it can and does work.
Grrrr, Im cold just writing this article (but it is snowing outside).
OK, so there you have my top ‘experience-driven’ tips for defending yourself in the freezing conditions.
I always hated the cold, and when it came to working as a police officer, it meant my martial arts skills had to be reduced in situations where there was snow or ice.
And that is a key issue, snow and ice are a great leveller.
You can hit as hard as Tyson, but it is pointless if you are slipping all over the place.
Stay safe out there folks!