It’s much easier in the grappling arts to tell when you’re out of position: you’re on the bottom, getting crushed, and unable to move. Sure, it’s not always super obvious, but after a couple weeks of training, folks generally figure out which positions are the bad ones and they start connecting them with getting tapped out.
In striking, it’s a more difficult thing to see. You get hit, and it just seems like maybe the other person is faster or better or both (and maybe that’s true.) So how do you get someone out of position in striking?
Alex showed us one way yesterday: alternating targets. We learned a combo that alternated between the body and the head, thus forcing our partner to continually shift their defense until they were out of position. Once they were out of position, we threw a strike or kick to where it would be most difficult for them to defend.
Interestingly, this got me thinking that though being out of position in grappling seems more obvious than striking, it is actually achieved in much the same way as the combo we learned yesterday. If you can get your partner’s defense bouncing between two or more possible threats, that is often when a sweep or reversal or another submission presents itself.
The final conclusion then might be: if you can get your partner’s defense to shift between two or more possible attacks, they are more likely to put themselves out of position and open an opportunity for you to deliver a clean attack.