When the fight hits the ground

Richmond martial arts expert launches do-it-yourself defense book

Many people have a fair grasp of how to defend themselves while standing up.

But how many, including people who practise martial arts, are equipped to defend themselves on the ground after being sucker-punched or mugged?

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And what if your attacker has back-up, ready to put the boot in within seconds of you being jumped and floored?

Richmond martial arts school owner Lori O'Connell has the answers in her new book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-jitsu Strategies & Tactics for Self-Defense.

O'Connell, a fifth-degree black belt in Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu with 20 years experience, said there are many dangerous street situations in life that can take us by surprise.

"There could be multiple attackers or glass on the ground, scenarios where you really need to get back on your feet as quickly as possible," said O'Connell, who owns and operates Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu.

"One of the things that I found when watching the likes of UFC and MMA is, sure, there's people fighting and wrestling around on the ground until your opponent taps out.

"But there are rules in those events and there are no other people waiting to kick you in the head while you're on the ground."

O'Connell said her book, which comes with an instructional DVD, aims to make people more aware of the different techniques they can learn to get them out of bad situations quickly.

"It's not hard to learn and with just a little training, these things can be added to whatever skills you have already," said O'Connell, who hosted a charity fundraiser last year dubbed Take a Stand, a bully-proofing and self-defense class for youth ages nine to 12.

The book, said O'Connell, is aimed at anyone interested in defending themselves through martial arts. She said there's also advice on the legal side of defending yourself, in terms of knowing how much force you're permitted to use.

The book, priced $21.95, is available in Chapters and will be available on Amazon Feb. 12.

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