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Old 08-29-2005, 12:40 PM   #1
Pdella
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what do you do from a bear hug attack?

i know this sounds like the beginning of an aikido stand-up routine, but i actually do have a serious question here. lets say you are a smaller human and a bigger one wraps his/her arms around your chest (trapping your arms to your sides) and actually lifts you off the ground?

if I wasn't lifted off the ground, I could try to manipulate my body to throw him/her off me, but being lifted off the ground, it's hard for me to see how you can do anything to impede the attack, other than making it more costly for the attacker to maintain the bear hug, e.g. kicking them in the crotch, head butting them with the back of your head, etc.

any ideas?
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:01 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Don't let them lift you off the ground???

Sorry, in a wierd mood...but seriously, any waza that I know for bear hugs pretty much assumes you move *before* they get you off the ground.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
DarkShodan
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Stick your tongue in his ear. Hey, it worked for me.

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:43 PM   #4
Goye
 
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

I agree with Ron!,.. if one can lift you up from the floor,.. the principles of distance, time and position are not working well,... it shouldn't happen.

César Martínez
Satori Dojo
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:41 PM   #5
James Davis
 
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

If someone should surprise you with a bearhug from behind and lift you off the floor, just go limp. As long as they are the only attacker, let them waste their energy holding you up while you have a chance to get your breath under control. When they get tired (and they will eventually), go to work as soon as they put your feet on the ground again. If they dump you, use your ukemi.
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:44 PM   #6
Bryan
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

It should never happen? ...I should apply this philosophy to my driving techniques so I can drop my auto insurance sorry...I had to take that shot.

Maybe if you have eyes in the back of your head, spider sense, or never leave your house. Have you ever been to a concert, to a crowded public event, always stand with your back against a wall, or misjudged distance/timing? Bearhugs are a possibility. Most self defense programs include defenses against them.

A couple of tips on rear bearhug escapes:

1. Atemi - kick with your heal to the knee caps, thighs, or groin if you can reach it. They are bringing your feet closer to those targets so take advantage of it. It will give them some incentive to put you down, hopefully without slamming you. Head butt with the back of your head to the front of thier face if you're in alignment to do so. If your attacker is not significantly larger or stronger, twisting and turning while waving your arms and legs can also create some inertia that is difficult for them to control, also giving them incentive to put you down.


2. Create Space - take a deep breath in...not into the hara, but actually fill the chest and expand your lungs. Push laterally with your shoulders / arms..... Once the chest is full, expel the air quickly while simultaneously relaxing and pulling your arms closer to your trunk. Hopefully you have expanded then contracted enought to create some space to fall through...to help you slide downward you can shurg your shoulders upward giving your body more downward slack to help with the momentum. Rais your arms outward to make it more difficult for the attacker to regain his grip on you.

Once you've gained your footing/balance you have some options depending on the situation.

I like to be simple and just turn my hips about 45 degrees one direction and step back under the attackers arms.

Another possibility is to grasp the top of attackers hand with, your hands, and pry the top off attackers hand outward, externally rotating his hand/wrist. You can sometimes step forward and apply shionage or kotegaishi depending on how you grabbed stepped and turned the attackers arm.

If you want to be fancy you can plant your hip under the attackers center and go for a koshinage.

there are many approaches to this situation, hopefully this just helped you to come up with your own way of dealing with that attack...if avoiding it didn't work.
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:14 PM   #7
toyamabarnard
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Depending on your arm length and the relation to your attacker's body you may be able to grab the "groin" and twist. No matter what technique you use the best think you can do is not panick, remember to breath, and think clearly. With calmness, and hopefully clarity, the apropriate next step should come to you.
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:11 PM   #8
cmrs2k
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

I know that this might sound quite strange, but try this. Have a training partner bear hug you and lift you off the ground. When he does, stick both of your legs straight out in front of you. This should cause one of two things. If he has his back arched really far to lift you, the two of you may go over backwards, if he doesn't, this should make you pretty tough to keep held up, and he should be forced to set you down, usually rather rapidly. If you try this, I'm curious as to what your feedback is on it.
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:24 PM   #9
aikigirl10
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Quote:
Chris Ross wrote:
I know that this might sound quite strange, but try this. Have a training partner bear hug you and lift you off the ground. When he does, stick both of your legs straight out in front of you. This should cause one of two things. If he has his back arched really far to lift you, the two of you may go over backwards, if he doesn't, this should make you pretty tough to keep held up, and he should be forced to set you down, usually rather rapidly. If you try this, I'm curious as to what your feedback is on it.

This is really interesting. I'm gonna try that with my dad. I'll let everyone know what happens.
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:26 PM   #10
Nick P.
 
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Quote:
Peter Della wrote:
lets say you are a smaller human and a bigger one wraps his/her arms around your chest (trapping your arms to your sides) and actually lifts you off the ground?
It was probably a language thing, or we were all drunk, but Sensei demonstrated this very thing a couple of nights ago while here on his visit. He weighs probably no more than 150 lbs, and when picked up by my 200 lb buddy, weighs nothing.
Both feet about a foot off the ground.

Then he switches "it" on after asking "Ready?".
I have a photo of it I will post, but the look on my friends face (nidan, and my sempai) said it all. He plays semi-pro rugby and could best describe it as "his weight felt like it doubled."

Must have been good sake we were drinking.

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Old 08-29-2005, 09:11 PM   #11
Niadh
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Quote:
Peter Della wrote:
i know this sounds like the beginning of an aikido stand-up routine,

if I wasn't lifted off the ground, I could try to manipulate my body to throw him/her off me, but being lifted off the ground, it's hard for me to see how you can do anything to impede the attack, other than making it more costly for the attacker to maintain the bear hug, e.g. kicking them in the crotch, head butting them with the back of your head, etc.

any ideas?
Okay I'll bite, why did you let the bear hug you?

Sorry. But seriously do you do Ki training in your style? One form of this that I have seen is when 2 uke's lift nage, one holding each arm, while nage is stiff and "strong". Then trying the same thing while nage is using ki to stay attached to the ground and givving no resistence to ukes. I have also seen this applied in motion. I.E Turning "it" on as someone else said, while nage is in the air.. Try it sometime to help "get the sensation" (sorry, more bad comedy)

Niadh

Last edited by Niadh : 08-29-2005 at 09:13 PM.

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Old 08-30-2005, 03:21 AM   #12
xuzen
 
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

bear hug and got lifted off feet... wriggle wriggle wriggle. Ever notice how difficult it is to catch a fish with your bare hands...

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:00 AM   #13
Jiawei
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Talking Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

scream ?
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:20 AM   #14
MaryKaye
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

We teach the kid students to relax and slide downwards, and I can very seldom hold onto them.

I have seen the "unliftable body after you're already lifted" demonstrated by an eighth dan, and it's darned impressive but seems quite hard to learn. When doing it with two ukes he could take them down on the process: I could never tell if they were falling before or after his feet touched the mat. At my level, though, sliding out seems more realistic.

Mary Kaye
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #15
Ketsan
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

If you're face to face bring your elbows in, slip one of your arms in front of you, tuck your chin in and take hold of his larynx.

A big huge person bear hugged me from behind yesterday, I did this: Dropped my posture and leaned forward to pull them slighly off balance, pulled my elbows in and took their hands. Then I rolled their hands forward but that wasn't doing much, so I let go one of their hands and elbowed him in the floating rib and managed to get my left arm out. Then I rolled the hand I was still holding and smashed down with a palm heel stike onto his hands to seperate them, since his fingers were interlinked. From there I stepped forward and turned and put nikkyo on, aided greatly by him trying to free his hand from mine and gave him a close up look of my boot and then did a kote gaeshi style take down on top of the nikkyo which brought him down with much screaming.
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:35 PM   #16
Ron Tisdale
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

I like the much screaming part...You can also use the middle knuckle of you middle finger to strike the center of the back of their hand REALLY HARD. That will often loosen their grip.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-30-2005, 02:57 PM   #17
Mark Uttech
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

if you hook your foot around his calf, he can't lift you anymore than he can lift himself
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Old 08-30-2005, 03:17 PM   #18
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

look at the premise of the attack. Bear hug is really a very poor attack. Why is someone trying to restrain both arms and lift you off the ground?

The good news about it is that while they are holding you it is hard for them to do anything else without adjusting the attack.

The bad news is that they might be trying to stuff you in a vehicle, hold you for another person to do something, or trying to take you down to the ground. Or it could just simply be an emotional based attack meant not to harm or over power you.

Intent makes the difference as to what response you should take. I'd really question the intent and also why you allowed someone to get this close to begin with, and if it was indeed a suprise (ambush) then consider yourself temporarily lucky that they chose this method over another attack as it bought you at least a few seconds to figure out what your next response should be.
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Old 08-30-2005, 03:38 PM   #19
Pdella
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

all the responses are dope. of course it's a bad thing to let happen, but like someone said, anything can happen. i'll try those strategies out in class next time. thanks.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:43 AM   #20
jk
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

If you're lucky the person who's giving you the bear hug just happens to like you a lot. If not, and they're big and strong enough, it's conceivable that they'll be pile-driving your head into something hard within milliseconds of lifting you off the ground. So I don't personally think this sort of attack is totally silly, even if knifing you from behind would be much faster. I'd go for hooking the calf if I can't get their balance.
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Old 08-31-2005, 03:52 AM   #21
Jiawei
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Quote:
John Kuo wrote:
If you're lucky the person who's giving you the bear hug just happens to like you a lot. If not, and they're big and strong enough, it's conceivable that they'll be pile-driving your head into something hard within milliseconds of lifting you off the ground. So I don't personally think this sort of attack is totally silly, even if knifing you from behind would be much faster. I'd go for hooking the calf if I can't get their balance.

Won't that opren you up for other's attack ? I mean, once you really caught, its kind of over isn't it ? But then again you could stamp on the foot or something ....then...I dunno ...perform some aiki technique ?
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:21 AM   #22
jk
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

Yeah, if you're caught and dangling up in the air, I figure it's pretty much game over if the attacker is intent on damaging you. My take, which wasn't very clear in my first post, is that once initial contact is made you make sure they can't get under your center to easily lift you up. If you can manage that, then you can follow up with a few other things of your choice. However, if you find yourself struggling pitifully against the bearhug and feel in imminent danger of being lifted, I'd try to hook the ankle to minimize how much they can lift you up. I see it as a "I'm screwed anyway, so let's try to do some damage control" move. For what it's worth...
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:12 AM   #23
Ron Tisdale
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

If a wrestler gets behind you while standing one of the first things is to bear hug (with or without the arms trapped) and suplex. It happens very quickly, and when you hit the ground you will likely be stunned (and he will be moving to his preferred position to finish you).

I experimented with a friend who wrestles, while I used a Daito ryu technique to try to reverse and submit him. Sorry to say, but the results didn't work out in my favor very often. The key was to be moving the instant he made contact. If not, I was toast. And he wasn't even being malicious. Once your feet are off the ground, you are already airborne, and then on your head. I would do an awfull lot to prevent myself from being in that position.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:31 AM   #24
jeff.
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

this is a really interesting thread... but i'm curious... what are people's thoughts about what one would do from a bear attack.

it appears to me that bears often use modified yokomen attacks, at least initially. the claws, of coruse, are an important concern.

and, of course, we have to keep in mind the differences between various kinds of bears. like a grizzly bear would clearly require more extension than a black bear, regardless of technique. and pandas are so relaxed as a rule that technique on this would be different than vs polar bears, who tend to be rather tense (as i'm given to understand).

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Old 08-31-2005, 11:50 AM   #25
malsmith
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Re: what do you do from a bear hug attack?

i dont know about bears, but this guy gave me a bear hug from behind the other day and picked me up, and i started kicking like crazy, trying to aim for his crotch, and i think it worked pretty well cause he just dropped me almost instantaneously, it actually took me by surprise and i almost fell over when i hit the ground cause i wasnt ready for him to just let go like that!
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