How to deal with a taller opponent: 12 functional tips

In this discussion, we want to mention some specific tips on how to beat a taller opponent in a street fight (not a heavier one, nor a stronger one, we will see these later).

Before starting, it is important to emphasize that we will not repeat the general tips mentioned in the past (for example, in the article “12 tips on how to survive in a brawl”).

Here are the tips on how to face a taller opponent:

  • Shorten the distance, who is tall tendentially has a good stretch on one side but on the other, he has a slight disadvantage in the close range combat; for example, we can close our arms on our head (as a protection) and try to break through the enemy’s guard (hitting with the entire body through the elbows)
  • Use defenses and attacks very low (but being careful of knees and to do not underestimate the gravity power at the service of our opponent’s arms)
  • Let’s move sideways by tracing curved lines instead of moving straight, so our opponent will not have easy opportunities to apply 100% of his stretch (especially if it is not a martial arts practitioner)
  • Avoid strength vs strength clashes (rigid parries, braided hands, etc.), the upper height offers the opportunity to apply power from top to bottom (an overwhelming advantage)
  • Avoid prolonged contacts, let’s try to follow this pattern, dodging, grasping, pulling, hitting and moving (but without going too far from our target)
  • We aim to destabilize the balance of our opponent, the more he is taller and less robust, the more he will have a disadvantage in terms of balancing
  • Bring the fight to the ground, we have always said not to do so, but if the situation is sure, it does not present secondary dangers (other aggressors, etc.) and (only) if we are experienced in this type of clash this can be a viable option; this way the height becomes a disadvantage in terms of mobility and application of articular levers by us
  • In addition to the usual neck, genitals and eyes, we can hit heavily the solar plexus, ribs and biceps (with elbows, cutting strokes, hooks, uppercut, etc.)
  • If we can not get closer, we must wait for to the right opportunity with calm and patience; let’s try to make him move to find us and let’s use a correct footwork to force him in a wrong position
  • Let’s use elbows and knees to destroy the opponent’s attacking tools (legs, hands, etc.) and kicks to compensate for the elongation gap (eg. attacking his knees)
  • As in the chess, we have to make wise use of strokes, fake and sacrifices (we’ll talk about them later); the idea is to bring our opponent into a state of being unable to react properly
  • We must also use objects and the same fighting scenario to our advantage; in addition to harnessing improper weapons (which allow us to attack from afar) we can, for example, lead the opponent to an area where he is forced to be bent because of his physical conformation

Needless to point out that:

  • The use of violence is always a mistake (read “Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method”)
  • Dealing with a stranger who has superior attitudes is, at least, not intelligent; we do not know if he is a totally beginner or an experienced fighter (read “Recognize the opponent’s preparation level”)

In the next article in this series we will see how to face a bigger / heavier opponent of us.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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