Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 5 – Drop Your Weight

Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 5 – Drop Your Weight

Welcome back. Ando again from Happy Life Martial Arts. This is Lesson #5 in your Self-Defense Basics
Course. Back in Lesson #4, we talked about sprinting
and shuffling, both of which keep your weight up and moving. But that’s only half of the story when it
comes to self-defense training. You also want the ability to drop your weight
and feel heavy, even if it’s just for a split-second. Have you never tried to pick up a cranky baby? Or drown a cat? Sorry—I mean, bathe a cat? Even a tiny creature can be very difficult
to hold and control when they relax, and drop their weight, and move all over the place. Well, I’d say you should be just as difficult
to hold and control as a baby or a cat. Hopefully, even more difficult. So, don’t just think of fighting as pushing
and pulling on a horizontal plane, also consider moving on a vertical plane, rising and dropping. Now, today, I just want to focus on dropping,
not rising. But if you want to add some rope jumps or
box jumps into your life, go head. But for basic self-defense, I’d rather just
focus on keeping my feet on the ground. No, I’m not saying you’ll never need to
jump in a self-defense situation—you may need to leap off a building to grab on to
a helicopter or hurdle all of the bodies of the people who didn’t take this Basic Self-Defense
Course, but one thing at a time. Okay, good news. If you ever need to defend yourself, you have
back up—it’s called gravity. Heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey talked
about using gravity when he described what he called a “falling step”. Here’s the basic idea. Imagine your friend is sitting on the couch
and you jump up and land on him. Now imagine sticking out your elbow and landing
on him. You just lost a friend. Thanks to gravity, even a wild six-year-old
child who only weighs 50 pounds could cause me pain and damage if he drove his whole body
into a soft part of mine. Of course, he’d be sorry. I don’t take crap from anyone…under the
age of 10. So, the first way that dropping your weight
can help you defend yourself is that it adds more mass to your movement. The second way it can help you is that it
allows you to move your body without moving your feet. Now, I don’t mean leaning. Yes, leaning will add more power to your technique,
because you’re putting more mass behind your movement, but there’s a higher risk
of throwing yourself off-balance when you do that. Instead of keeping your weight up high, dropping
your weight down low lets you shift your body from one foot to the other with more control. Pretty cool. Now you have two different ways to manage
the distance in a self-defense situation. Move your feet—that’s shuffling. If you move your body, well, that’s shifting. Which brings us to stances. You know all those fancy poses you might see
in a Kung Fu movie? Well, all they’re really doing is throwing
their weight around and then moving their feet to catch that weight so they don’t
fall down. Up, down, all around, it really doesn’t
matter—it’s all just shuffling and shifting. But hey—you don’t have to be fancy to
be effective, so let’s keep it simple and keep it moving. Ready? Here are four exercises to help you develop
your ability to drop your weight and drive it. I hope you like them. Actually, I don’t care if you like them,
you should do them anyway. First, let me ask you this—how low can you
go? Some cultures spend a lot of time sitting
very low to the ground, others don’t. I recommend spending some time each day sitting
as low as you can go. Try this. Drop like a frog and just hang. Maybe binge watch a show on Netflix, maybe
eat a bucket of chicken, whatever you want. Now, if the only way you can get down this
low is to be on the balls of your feet, that’s fine for right now. But I would love it if you could work up to
getting your feet flat on the floor and still feel comfortable. This is a great way to loosen up your hips
and your lower back. If you want to make this a little more challenging,
place your elbows inside your knees. Now, straighten your legs and drop back down. This look easy, but it’s actually awful…
at least for me. So, go for a couple sets of 10 and call it
a day. Squats are a great way to develop overall
body strength and postural alignment. So, if you’re already lifting weights, great. But I’m not a bodybuilder and I’m not
a Cross-Fit coach—obviously—so, I’m not interested right now in regular squats. I’m interested in squatting in the stance
that we practiced from Lesson #3. Take your stance and just lower your body,
bending your knees and keeping your head straight. Try not to tense up when you do this. Focus on the movement, not the muscle. If you want to mix it up by dropping to a
knee, even better. Do that. Hey, hey—be careful with your knee. I don’t want you dropping and smashing it
on the floor. Lower yourself with control. Okay, now let’s talk about speed. In self-defense, the question isn’t just
how low can you go, it’s how fast can you get there? I need to be able to drop my weight explosively. Not by trying harder, but by simply letting
gravity do its thing. Let’s play with this a little. The fast drop is exactly what it sounds like. Just drop your weight as fast as you can. I don’t want you to hurt yourself, so just
try dropping 4-6 inches. If that feels good, try dropping a foot or
two. Pretend that you’re in an elevator and someone
suddenly cuts the cable. Drop your weight and catch it on purpose. Why are we dropping to a knee? Well, we drop to a knee because you might
need to either bring a bad guy down or stop yourself from falling. Instead of stumbling, you drop. This is a very stable position, but don’t
stay there. Always get back on your feet as fast as you
can. Okay, we already talked about shifting your
weight from foot to foot. So, let’s start with that. Drop down and just move your body back and
forth, keeping your back straight. Now, let’s add a shuffle to that. Drop and drive forward. This is a must for self-defense. This is you at your strongest. For example, if your car runs out of gas,
you probably won’t stand up on your tiptoes to try to push your car to the gas station. To move the car, you would drop down, put
some mass behind your movement, and then drive forward. Well, if you want to move a bad guy, you have
to do the same thing. Let’s try it again. Drop your weight and then drive it forward…
and backward. Cool. Now, let’s try it from side-to-side. This might even feel a little bit like ice
skating. Uh, not like that. That’s better. Stay in your stance. Just relax and let yourself be heavy. Your goal is to be able to move anywhere you
want to and to be able to move with power. If you can do that, then you’ll have the
foundation you need for an unlimited number of self-defense techniques. Got all that? Frog Stretch, Stance Squats, Fast Drops, and
Ice Skating. Practice dropping your weight and adding mass
to your movements on the horizontal and vertical planes. That will add real power to everything you
do. And now, a little philosophy. In self-defense and in life, there’s a time
to run and a time to hold your ground. The trick is having the wisdom to know the
right time to do each. My challenge to you today is to find something
in your life that you’ve been running away from, not because it’s dangerous, but just
because it’s unpleasant. Someone has been taking advantage of you. You’ve been giving up too much of your time
lately. You’re spending too much energy on the people
who don’t appreciate you and not enough on the people who do. Whatever the case, the time has come for you
to take back your ground and hold it. When it comes to fighting for what’s important
to you, don’t just drop the weight of your body, drop the weight of your soul… and
don’t let anyone move you. Okay. So, that’s Lesson #5. If you’re finding value in this series of
videos, please, share them with someone you love. Until next time, get down with your bad self
and keep fighting for a happy life.

79 Replies to “Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 5 – Drop Your Weight”

  1. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The taller they stand, the easier they fall. Excellent compliment to previous lessons, and the drills to obtain must-have skills for proper application of acceleration and power to moves and techniques. In short – awesome video, keep it up sir!

  2. Yep, this is about the appropriate size of the content of a weekly lesson.
    And just so that you know the reason I am so enthusiastic about what you teach is I had very bad experiences as far as spiritual battles go( I know the term may be broad but as you are a married polish(maybe catholic) man you know general christian stuff) and the reason I appreciate you so much is simply this: had I applied these simple aspects of confrontation THAT YOU TEACH to my spiritual life some time ago I would have been sparred a world of hurt .
    You teach IMPECCABLE FORM SIR as far as confrontation is concerned and that does not merely address the corporeal(ok fine saying that any action of a man is driven by the flesh alone is ludicrous…whatever, being aware of all the aspects of the motion is what is important) but the spiritual is what fuels and must be educated so as the spirit+body may serve the soul and man at any given moment, and as a whole may serve his loved ones, the community, society etc.
    Glad to know you, see you and hear you, because you love the truth, all true masters do.

  3. 4:22 that's how you have to use the toilet in most South Asian countries. But of course we have the western one too.

  4. Excellent instruction Sensei Ando. I really appreciate the philosophical part also- it contributes to a happy life. Thanks for producing Ando.

  5. 6 years old would be sorry. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Thanks Ando, For the good information, exercises, and even more, You're the best.

  6. My favourite youtuber is you ando I love your videos sir I love you and your videos thank you very much uncle

  7. Another GREAT video, Sensei!! What is interesting is that in order to get the sensation of dropping, you must be "up" a little. I say this because some Kung-Fu teachers insist on staying in a permanent bent-knee position the whole time and keep their head level throughout. Although there is some benefit to that, I find that that is not very practical, and came to realize that to understand how to drop your weight, you have to start from an un-dropped position. Thank you SO MUCH for verifying and validating my thoughts on this with your drills and explanations! I can't wait for lesson 6!!

  8. Thank you for another great video Sensei Ando! I'm guessing that the ability to drop with power is also a great defense against a Haymaker punch.

  9. You should train big MMA fighters, I believe you would be a great trainer and you will die as a legend

  10. ando , is it good idea to lift up someone and throw them to the floor during street fight? if you are strong enough

  11. More philosophy please,people do need it, myself included,its vital,its like a phone without a battery,battery is the philosophy and fighting skill is the phone.

  12. Seems complex, lunges and planks are worst then a punch to the gut… but not as bad as a stab at the gut, so still worth doing… Gotta re-watch it a couple times before trying out..

  13. I enjoy these in a striking progression, working in a low jab/high cross after cutting an angle. Fun stuff to integrate at any level of MA training, really

  14. Well an old fart like me better run to Walgreens and grab a box of depends and handi wipes before attempting these human squates.

  15. Drown a Cat, LMFAO!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I'm gonna do what Our Cat used to do whenever we tried to pick her up, I'm gonna Deploy my Claws and use them as Velcro Pads…NOBODY'S MOVING ME!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  16. The finishing touch is of so high touch,self defense can also be defined as "defense from oneself",fighting back the habit of looking the other way,Thanks a lot Sensei

  17. Sensei Ando, i wish i had know you when i was a teenager, but the past is has passed and now the main goal is a better future, what i'm trying to say is that I'M GREATFUL FOR YOUR TEACHINGS, THANK YOU, SENSEI ANDO.

  18. Why push the attacker? It is better to chew it and only after that to spit it out.
    Also, I suggest showing the apps for the exercises you are offering, for example to lose weight quickly to protect against take-down.

  19. Funny video with good info. I respect it.

    They say that frog pose is probably the best and healthiest way to sit, based on our physiology. We all know sitting is bad (right? It's 2018) that's a much more natural way to rest with out lying down

  20. Ando is incredible. In addition to great teaching and techniques, his thoughtfulness and philosophy truly sets him apart from the millions of others who post videos on youtube. I'm always looking forward to the next video!

  21. Late but I'm here, lovely video as always. Thank you for great tips like these. I love this guy cuz he is giving all this information to us for free. This information is very important, some may think it's not necessary but trust me these are main points of starting kung fu.

  22. Thank you so much. Even in this troubled times of mine I find relief in your words! I will defend my ground!

  23. 4:24 – If my legs aren't nearly flexible enough to be able to stand up half way when I do this exercise, will I improve at it if I just keep trying, or do I need to do other leg stretching exercises instead? (I can squat down and up normally with no problems.)

  24. These
    are lifestyle lessons it's not "just" self
    defense. Great job Ando, you verbalize thoughts that I had 4 long time, but I couldn't do that in such simple but powerful and the realest way possible. Thank you my man, all the best

  25. This training has been put to the test … this morning. I fell again, on the sidewalk this time. I don't know I did to remember to drop my weight, but I did. I didn't fall. How impressive this technic is. I only trained less than 5 minutes. I passed the test today with flying colors. Not a challenge any longer! Thanks, Ando!

  26. Thank you Sensei. I am training as hard as possible to learn the style of my choosing, and a lot of your videos and techniques have taught me how to go from what feels like someone who takes their body for granted to someome who uses their body to it's potential. Once again, Thank you Ando Sensei!

  27. Your body mechanics are beautiful Ando. Knees over toes, your shoulders and posture are amazing. Most people just do not see nor do they do proper movements. Please point out, 'knees over toes', width of your stance for stability, glass of water on the head! Open the crotch to keep your stance all the way up to your hips. This is so common, even with guys. Crouching down people will allow their knees to fall inwards deleting any strength from their stance. Wimpy Vastus medialis on the inside of the knee. Tough to isolate but when doing knee extensions with weight one has to focus on using those muscles in order to strengthen (and shorten). Best to put your hands on the head of that muscle beside the knee and focus on flexion shortening to raise the weight and then let that weight down slowly. Getting into 'falling lunges' will work that muscle eccentrically (working a muscle across a joint as it is extending or lengthening against gravity versus concentrically…careful to never go below a 90 degree angle of the knee while working out. You have that 90 degree angle until you squat but that isn't working out. Stuff like squat, jump is not good to do for workouts with lots of reps. Show how NOT to do an exercise as well as how to do the exercise correctly. People just do not know correct mechanics as your body certainly does! Posture shows if someone is working out correctly, Keeping the muscles balanced. Posture is perfect only when someone isolates and strengthens antagonistic muscles just as much as they strengthen the primary muscles. And the same goes for flexibility. There are muscles one doesn't want to be TOO flexible; for sure the sides of the knee, middle back. Posture is whatever you have when relaxed. Holding oneself in perfect position doesn't help much to improve posture. Nice to know however, when you check your posture. If you have to pull your shoulders back that simply means one should increase rotator cuff work, middle back muscles between the shoulder blades. Ugh, does this make sense? Standing upright the palms of your hands should face your thighs. If not, stretch the pecs much more and shorten the muscles between your shoulder blades, don't stretch those muscles, you want them to shorten.

  28. This is great training advice. Any recommendations or modifications for those of us with bad knees but still want to practice dropping our weight? Thank you.

  29. Thank you for the great video, Ando. I was wondering what I could do about hurting knees. Any way to train them or do them good?

  30. I developed that habit of slightly bending at the knees when training in Japanese grappling. I always felt like I had a solid base plus it's more difficult for someone to throw you or try a foot sweep on you. Plus, it comes in handy if someone shoots for a double leg takedown and you're prepared to sprawl.

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