Look for pre-assault cues. What notice did the recipient of the initial strike have that they missed?
Watch for things that are consistent across many videos including: poor quality grappling, wild striking, verbal cues, unused escape routes.
Notice how sloppy real fights are. Be careful to avoid saying things to yourself like “I’d just do X.” X often doesn’t work unless you have practiced it against a resisting & free-thinking partner.
Watch the video, then think when or if you would have attempted to access a weapon. Many times the “proper” weapon access time comes and goes in a matter of seconds. You must do it in a way that the draw is not capable of being fouled, but wait long enough that the action is warranted. Accessing the weapon too early or too late can have equally dire consequences. We think after an honest assessment you’ll find that sometimes you may be asked to handle problems without weapons.
This is an example of CMD (Crazy Monkey Defense) in an mma fight. Larry (Cop, dark hair in the video) came out and trained with us in South Bend. This is his one and only mma fight. While the guys are boxing it looks like they keep hitting each other…but Moran is hitting Larry’s arm due to the CMD, Larry is hitting Moran’s face.
The guys that were there said Moran’s face kept swelling and swelling and you can see it in the video. Larry looked just as pretty as he normally does (according to him.) There are other videos of CMD used in real fights that have been taken off youtube, but you can find them elsewhere. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Tito Ortiz, and Randy Couture have all used CMD at various times in the cage.
CMD is a pretty terrible name for what amounts to a simplified and defense focused version of boxing. It was developed by a professional boxer (Rodney King) and is faster to learn and easier to teach. I’m no expert, and I can’t hold the jock of a high level striker. That said, I’ve used CMD to hold my own against people attacking full bore with strikes. It’s simple and extremely effective at allowing you to close range, stay on your feet, and stay conscious.