Fight Authority

Self-Defense Techniques   •   Martial Arts   •   Fight Videos

Sign-up for Free Fighting Techniques & Videos

Open Guard – Circle Throw: Ground Fighting Defense


Open Guard Circle Throw 1

One of the most scariest places to be on the ground is actually on your back when your opponent is standing over. At the bottom of this article I’ll share with you a nice technique to quickly toss your opponent over your head and then rain down some destruction from the top. But first, let’s discuss ground fighting in general.

Ground fighting has obviously become one of the most popular aspects of martial arts over the past decade due to it’s effectiveness displayed in MMA competitions. It is rumored that over 90% of all fights go to the ground. Whether that statistic is true or not, you can’t ignore the aspect of fighting on the ground.

There are many ground fighting specific martial arts, most notably: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Personally I am huge fan of the sport aspects of BJJ and also recognize it’s true dominance as a ground fighting martial art. But when we are thinking about TRUE self-defense or TRUE Hand-to-Hand Combat, the thought process of fighting on the ground has to change.

Here’s why:

If I am in a real self-defense situation (not some high school fight or an "organized" fight) where there is a crowd, more then person involved, etc the ground is a very dangerous place. To illustrate this point, I’ll use a personal story. I worked security among other things at a popular night club in Hartford, CT. One night a brawl started and in my own elevated ego at the time, I thought I could break up the situation myself. I grabbed the primary fighter and threw him to the ground using a simple trip takedown (osoto gari (see the video)). I have used this before the "get rid of a guy" then drag him out. Well he decided to bring me with him by grabbing on to me. Now I am in the middle of a bigger brawl but on the ground. Instantly kicks were raining down on me and I actually rolled to my back (guard) so I could use the guy I took down as cover. After what felt like an eternity, other bouncers quickly cleared the area, removed the guy on top of me, and I was out. But not without many bruises and days of soreness to follow.

Now, if I was not without help, the outcome of that situation would / could have been deadly for me. At the time, my ground fighting abilities and grappling abilities were poor compared to where they are now and my ego has deflated substantially. Maybe now the outcome would have been different, but who knows.

What I learned and now know is that you need to be very cautious about going to the ground – but if you get there, you need to know how to do the following very quicky:

  • Escape: standup and get out back to your feet
  • Reverse the situation: Get on top of your opponent to finish him
  • Choke, snap, break, destroy, etc: Forgetting about getting a tapout, destroy your opponent: elbows, punches, chokes, joint breaks, etc

Here’s a technique called: Open Guard – Circle Throw. This is for when you are downed, and your opponent is standing over you. This comes from the H2H Self-Defense Combat System.

Open Guard – Circle Throw

Another response to your opponent being over you and pressuring you is a simple circle throw. This can easily send your opponent flying which can give you an opportunity to escape or to finish him off.

Open Guard Circle Throw 1 Step 1: When your opponent is pressuring down on you, grab both of his sleeves or arms. Bring your feet onto his hips and your knees close to your chest like you are ready to explode.
Open Guard Circle Throw 2 Step 2: As he continues to pressure, begin to push out with your legs straight up, not away, straight up, continue to pull down on his arms to keep his weight over you.
Open Guard Circle Throw 3 Step 3: Drive your legs straight up in the air and over your head. The force of your legs going up will cause his to fly over you.
Open Guard Circle Throw 4 Step 4: You can either let your opponent fly over you and crash, or you can follow your opponent up and around. To do this, do a backward roll while your opponent goes over your head.
Open Guard Circle Throw 5 Step 5: If you follow your opponent with a backward roll, you will end up on top of him ready to deliver some serious damage.

For more Hand-to-Hand Combat and Self-Defense Videos and Techniques – check out the H2H Combat System

Take care all!

Let me know what you think about this technique too, response are WELCOME!!

Matt Bryers
Email me:
Facebook me:

About me:

  • Certified H2H Combat instructor in the H2H System
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kobukai Ju-Jitsu
  • Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Competitor in Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling and MMA
  • Operated Self-defense and Ju-Jitsu School in Cromwell, CT

What do you think? Please Leave a Comment