...is getting comfortable with the closeness. When you are comfortable with the closeness, you start developing the ability to stay calm in worst case scenarios.
You need to stay in close, because you can control the situation better. You also are more effective at neutralizing devastating strikes from there.
You don't have to be big and strong to do this. You don't need to be a seasoned martial artist training for 10 years to do this. Anyone can do this, and it really does not require a lot of energy. You can effectively shut down someone's attack, by simply hugging them! This is also known as the clinch. Whether you want to escape, or finish the fight, the clinch is probably the most important technique you can learn.
There is a stigma that in order to do martial arts, you have to be strong. And/or, a martial arts class is simply a more formalized way of getting beaten up. Perhaps at some places it is. Ok, perhaps at a lot of places it is like that. Not with Austin Kung-Fu Academy. This simply is not true. Our methods are for average, everyday folks. There is no expectation on strength, ability, or any prior knowledge.
What we want to do is empower you with leverage based techniques, structural mechanics, help you develop a calmer mind, and build your confidence and belief in yourself. At Austin Kung-Fu Academy, we take a "ladder approach" towards everything. Climb one incremental rung at a time. We take baby steps. If you take enough baby steps, and enjoy those baby steps, before you know it, you'll have climbed Mount Everest!