Something occurred to me while I walked, carrying two bottles and a cup of sour cream in one hand, a tray of quesadillas in the other.
... those of us who fight with our hands are occasionally disadvantaged.
My natural weapon is the Jo; the first time I saw one I was rather disinterested, but the moment the weapon came into my hands I felt like I'd been training with it all my life. Still, I prefer my hands mainly, to the point that I'll get in a knife fight bare handed even if I could easily get my hands on a knife (hell, even a freaking katana) of my own, despite extensive training with knives. Having a weapon in my hands is a liability, short of a Jo; even then, the Jo is primarily manipulated by hands.
So of course, if my hands are tied and I'm attacked, I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage.
This got me thinking about people who fight with their legs. I'm no good at kicking; I'm no kick boxer, and such people are fierce. I often encourage women especially to take up kickboxing, as it is highly aerobic and falls directly in line with any desire they have to "get in shape." It is an activity that stands on its own merit without being considered as a martial art, and thus it is an excellent self defense venue.
Something did eventually occur to me, though. Something interesting.
People say most fights end up on the ground. In Silat, we're trained to bring opponents to the ground with us; injure them; and get off the ground quickly. It's rather fast, and severe. The concern in Silat primarily stems from its origins: Indonesians facing huge armies of invaders. This art wasn't made for one-on-one fights.
As a side effect, though, people who study Pentjak Silat are extremely effective at two things: bringing opponents onto the ground with them and injuring opponents from the ground.
It occurs to me that, when standing, you need one leg on the ground at all times. Two for stability. Even then, this is a problem; you can easily be knocked over, and it takes a lot of effort to keep yourself upright. On the ground, however, you have your entire body to use as leverage and as various weapons; two free legs on the ground are deadly, capable of sweeping, kicking, scissoring, binding. You do not need your arms for stability; in fact, your arms can be utilized rather freely. Even if your opponent has a pole-arm, you could defend yourself against it and bring him down using it--or by taking the arm attached, and binding the legs.
It occurs to me that fighters on the ground have a distinct advantage over fighters standing. Fighting on the ground requires much more skill and is much more dangerous due to the large number of potential threats and the extreme flexibility of movement your opponent has. People talk about ground fighting as if it is the most inelegant and barbaric position possible, and assert that all fights devolve to ground fighting where strength (and a lucky shot) dominates.
It occurs to me people have no idea what they're talking about.
Guess that's what I get for not living in Japan, though. They just made Judo mandatory elementary school curriculum.