You may not always be able to plan for attacks, but you can train for them. That’s why Krav Maga ground fighting is an important part of a well-rounded self-defense skill set. Learn these techniques for self-defense when someone is on top of you to prepare for this difficult scenario.

An attacker on top of you in a mount is one of the worst positions to be in. Your proficiency in self-defense against pins can mean the difference between neutralizing a threat or being completely trapped by an assailant. Make sure you train with a self-defense system focused on preparing you for real-world scenarios.

When The Bodies Hit The Floor

When you’re taken to the ground, bodies can tangle and land in many different ways, but an attacker will likely intend to position themselves completely on top of you. This gives them the advantage of gravity and reduces the reach needed to strike at your head or body and eliminates your ability to use your legs as a shield, or for a counterattack.

Finding yourself in this position can be extremely disorienting. The two most important things to remember are not to panic and maintain the defensive form your instructors taught you from training in ground fighting from Krav Maga. The fundamentals you build and fine-tune during your program will enhance your self-defense techniques against pins and give you a fighting chance your attacker may not be ready for.

Escaping From A Pin

The same advantage of gravity that an attacker might use to keep you down can be reversed to throw them off balance. There are a few important ways you can strike back at their support.

Bucking Up - If an attacker goes to strike at you with their hands or elbows while on top of you, the only support they’ll have to maintain their position is their legs and feet. This is your chance to take away their support by bucking up with your hips. When done correctly, this Krav Maga ground fighting technique will cause the attacker will fall forward over you, throwing their arms out to catch themselves.

Capture Their Support - Immediately after an attacker tabletops to support themselves, wrap your arm around to catch one of theirs and bring it toward the inside of their body. Bring them lower to the ground and closer to you in preparation to roll them over. An alternate technique for self-defense against a pin is to grab one of their arms and pull it downwards in toward your chest.

Once you have control of their arm, catch their same side leg with yours and use that momentum to roll them over to that side.

Posture Up & Counterstrike to the Groin - Once you have switched positions with the attacker, move your posture up to get your head out of striking distance from their hands. Then counterstrike with punches to the groin or head. These could be the debilitating strikes you need to regain control of the situation or make your escape to safety.

Attacks to the groin are nearly always illegal in martial arts or competitive fighting events. This is a ground fighting technique Krav Maga Worldwide teaches through our self-defense and fighting programs because they are the most effective in real-world situations.

Additional Dangers of Pins to Watch For

Positioning High on Your Body - Do not let your attacker position themselves high to your body, with their knees up tight under your armpits. This gets them out of the range where a buck will be effective in throwing them off balance. Use your elbows to push against their knees and keep their center of gravity over your hips

If Your Buck Doesn’t Work, Try Again - Your goal for self-defense against pins is to make it difficult for an assailant to stay on top of you and prevent them from getting the height needed to deliver any solid strikes to your head, neck, or torso. Keep bucking your hips each time they rear up to deliver a strike, and keep moving to keep them constantly off balance.

Do Not Exchange Punches From the Bottom Position - Being underneath someone is always a losing proposition. This is a mistake even professional fighters will make. Gravity will make your strikes weaker and theirs stronger. Act quickly with the technique above to get out of this position as soon as possible.

Training for Ground Combat

This basic technique uses several principles of Krav Maga ground fighting. While practicing, make sure you’re working with a trusted partner under the supervision of a professional instructor. Once the technique is familiar, you’ll find that it comes easier and offers several opportunities for variation depending on the tactical situation.

When a fight starts, you would not expect to end up on the ground, but it happens. By learning this fundamental technique of Krav Maga ground fighting from an experienced instructor, you will develop better self-defense technique against pins and gain the skills you need to get the fight off the ground and back in your favor. Find a Krav Maga Worldwide location or affiliate and register for classes today.

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