In a fight, one of the worst positions you can be in is a headlock. With the assailant in control, the head and face are exposed for punches, palm strikes or gouging.
Tony Blauer of CrossFit Defense makes that clear as he demonstrates with CrossFit Games competitor Dan Bailey and two-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning Jr.
With Bailey putting Blauer in a headlock, the expert highlights “pre-contact cues” that telegraph the assailant’s intentions. For instance, if the attacker attempts to throw an uppercut, Blauer has a specific series of movements to prevent the blow and fight back with strikes to the face, throat and crotch.
The key, Blauer says, is to be “in action” rather than simply reacting to aggression. He demonstrates by negating a headlock from Bailey with gouging and crotch shots.
“You see how this flows off of pushing away danger?” Blauer asks.
In his characteristic style, Blauer says they’ll then do one demo of a strike that will probably result in lost teeth. Ever the Tennessee gentleman, Froning volunteers friend and training partner Bailey for that particular drill.
Video by Hayley Parlen.
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Additional reading: Face the Fear: Lessons From Newtown by Hilary Achauer, published Jan. 25, 2013.