BJJ effective in street self defense

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Belfsst Samurai, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. roninmaster

    roninmaster be like water

    so basically im going to post what the self defense instructor im arguing with said instead of trying to sum it up.

    he wrote:

    "Thanks for your message. And sorry for the delay in replying and also for the fact that this will be a relatively short response. And no hard-feelings... my skin is a bit thicker than that mate :)

    I'll try to address your points in the order that you gave them. But firstly, I can't remember if you said you actually read the article or not... but here is the link to the article that this vid was made for

    Basic positions that are found in the early stages of BJJ are indeed pretty good for self defence. I teach a select few myself. Fighting on the ground is all about positioning whether for sport or the street.

    Submissions on the other hand - whether basic of 'flowery' - do not fit the tactical model for personal self protection. Not high-level threats anyway. I know it sounds like a really '**** off' sort of comment, but the fact is multiple opponents is a BIG DEAL. And i'm sure you and other BJJ guys get tired of hearing it, but the fact is, it only takes your opponent to have ONE friend with him and any submission you attempt is rendered not so much useless so much as pointless. You may indeed break attack # 1's arm... but what what does that mean when attacker #2 is stomping on your face? Sorry bud, but it's a very important point. There's no way around it. Submissions require anchoring your self to a situation from which you should be getting away from.

    Submissions are indeed very high percentage is many cases. Never said they weren't. But again, they just don't fit the street tactical model.

    As for smaller people not being able to generate force to strike with, I find Mick Coup explains this one very well in this vid about 3mins in: [ame=""]Highline Strike Breakdown 2 - YouTube[/ame]

    Nobody is saying that it will be easy, but it's much higher percentage that submitting. I mean, jesus christ, if she's so much smaller than her attacker what makes you think she's gonna be able to 'tap him out'. Think about it.

    "Dispensing people with a few strikes"... I never said it would be easy, man. But again, delivering blunt force trauma to the brain via concussive blows is 1) easier to pull off and 2) has a better debilitating affect on the attacker.

    There are definitely positions one may end up in where just 'punching your way out' wont work. The high mount for example. And for such positions I do indeed teach specific escapes. And you know, I learned them from BJJ. But they don't lead into submissions... they are simply the most basic movement(s) one would need to do to get back into a POSITION from which to either strike or get back to one's feet. That's it.

    BJJ does have non-compliance (resistance) from even the student's first day in most cases, which is what makes it so high percentage. However, it's only very high percentage against grappling because at the end of the day, the non compliance that is offered in BJJ is... BJJ! In other words, your opponent is fighting back... but he's fighting back with BJJ only. When was the last time you saw in a BJJ class a drill where your opponent is allowed to do whatever he wants, but you are only allowed to use BJJ? Because THAT would be training for the street. And THAT is the sort of thing we do in our class.

    Getting to your feet in BJJ. Again, as stated in the article, this is trained in BJJ. But not under pressure. Every done a drill where you opponent is trying to keep you down (maybe two opponents?) and you are trying to get back to your feet? Because that would be realistic training for getting back up. But simply repeating the 'getting up in base' solo drill over and over... it's not enough. We do that too... but we take it further.

    Lastly, I teach grappling, but only for 'low force options'. If uncle Jim has one too many to drink at the family BBQ and needs subduing. Grappling fits this tactical model just fine. But if some guys try to mug me (which they have done in the past) you better believe that armbaring and putting on RNCs etc is the ****ing LAST thing on my mind. And hopefully yours too."
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Why didn't he just give the mugger the wallet?

    And what's ALWAYS with the multiple opponents thing? How many people HONESTLY think they could take TWO OR MORE people? Any idea how hard that actually is? If you can't beat one of ME, then you can't beat two of me. Simple.
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Heya roninmaster,

    I think what the self-defense person wrote to you mostly makes sense. However, his article, kind of misses the point about submissions, IMHO.

    IMHO, the point of submissions is to be able to train a break in a safer manner. Since any break can also be a lock or a throw, it is important to practice to understand the application and train it against a resisting opponent.

    The self-defense person sort of completely misses that point and instead seems to focus on what I have heard call a "grappler's mindset". The grappler's mindset is a trap where a person, because of training in an environment where only grappling is allowed, they mentally train out of their instincts striking and in some cases, common sense goes away. We all know pure grappling is only in sport and in real world, grappling, striking, weapons, all go together... it's called fighting. I think the self-defense person may be assuming you have been trapped in a "grappler's mindset" or something like that.

    That's probably not true, however. You probably understand very well that from submission fighting you really get to understand how locks and breaks work. So you can do them in your sleep, upside down, against a wall, with striking and grappling combined... so you can use them without having to think about it under fire.

    I've got a copy of "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense Techniques" by Royce Gracie and Charles Gracie and in the first 225 pages of the book, I don't think there is one arm bar submission or even more than a half dozen techniques done on the ground. Almost the entire list of techniques are done standing, many against a wall, with striking combined with grappling. Of course you can see how ground fighting helps in learning how to fight when against a wall and you can see how submission training helps to learn to control, choke out, and break things on an attacker who is in close quarters combat, standing, against a wall, or on the ground.

    Wasn't it one of the Gracie family that used to say, "it isn't grappling, it is jiu-jitsu" specifically to people that were "trapped in the grappler's mindset"?

    Anyway not sure who always said that, but the point is that it is not a match where you pin someone to the ground and grapple... it is about principles. Minimum movement and maximum mobility is one such principle, so is constant pressure... both are big parts of jiu-jitsu.

    One knife fighting instructor had a single phrase he told me every time I locked up with an opponent in knife training. He knew I was training in BJJ. He simply said this to me, "what if the guy is a better grappler than you?"

    It's a really bad idea to find out that the guy with the knife is a better grappler than you are after you grab and lock up with him/her.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  4. Yunjiro

    Yunjiro Valued Member

    I was thinking the same way as you do actually but when I got it, I have no regrets. Look way more better than the video itself and heavier. Gives you a great workout and supplemental training. I use mine at least an hour or two 5 days a week but with proper instruction in the gym. It does not loosen up since there are chords attache to its arms. You'll definitely feel resistance when pulling up an arm bar.
  5. Devil Hanzo

    Devil Hanzo Doesn't tap to heel-hooks

    Any MMA class? One of the drills we do to get better at BJJ is to spar people who are fighting within the MMA ruleset with striking etc where we can only fight back with BJJ. Makes you more aware of incoming strikes and where your weaknesses are in certain positions.

    What if the guy has better standup than you? The likelihood of that is probably higher than your attacker having better grappling skills.

    Personally I'd much rather be on the ground when someone pulls out a knife than on my feet (unless I'm far away, derp). On the ground I can feel every limb movement and intention, I know when he's reaching for a knife, and I can use my BJJ to get to a dominant position and secure the arm he's wielding the weapon with to arm bar him or isolate the knife arm and triangle him.

    Think about it. If you're at melee range on your feet and someone pulls a knife out, he's now just added several inches of cutting power to his stand up reach. Reach holds a much higher priority on your feet than on the ground. Lets say in this situation you can't run, you have to fight. Now you have to essentially get cut to ribbons while you try to subdue the guy. In terms of going to the ground AFTER the attacker has already shown you his knife, well I would only do that if I had control over his arm.

    Same goes for multiple attackers. "Never go to the ground in a street fight because his friend could come and stomp your head". So, basically, "Never engage in ANY street fight EVER because ANYONE could come up at ANY TIME from ANY POSITION and cause you unexpected damage". This isn't limited to just ground fighting.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again: Ending up on the ground in a street fight is a terrible time to realize you have no ground training. If I train for my entire life and only use what I know one time to disengage from a threat, get back to my feet and escape, I'll consider it time well spent.
  6. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    This. Twice.
  7. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Kind of odd question to me, Devil Hanzo, to ask about what if the guy has better stand up considering I was talking about stand up and not ground fighting. So you are asking basically, what if the guy is not only a better stand up grappler than me but he is also a better stand up striker?

    I think you made some mental leap that assumes all grappling is on the ground.

    Anyway, I will try to address the question. I trained with a police officer that much larger than me, he could single arm curl more than my body weight. He was in charge of training hand-to-hand for the SWAT team in a major U.S. city. He did not have either better striking or better grappling skill than me, but he could possibly beat me in either due to his experience in real fights, strength, mental state, and being more experienced with weapons than me.

    Now I'm looking at principles here. One principle is "do not get hit" which is the first principle. As with all principles there are interpretations. Do not get hit is the primarily interpretation, but there are times when getting hit is not avoidable and all you want to do is minimize the damage done, and even times when you choose to take a hit, such as a cut on the back of the forearm instead across the wrist or throat.

    So with this police officer I'm learning about and confirming the same principle I learned in BJJ over the years... "do not lock up with an opponent". The principle is the same whether on the ground, against a wall, or standing up. Of course there are times when you do lock up, such as for a submission but to follow the principle, there is a sequence of "stun or unbalance before lock or take down". What this means is that I'm only going to lock up when I have him, either stunned or unbalanced first.

    My BJJ instructor believed there were three ways to make any technique work. The first is to force it, the second is to do something that gets a reaction and then use that reaction to make the technique work, the third was to trick someone into giving you the technique.

    Often forgot about, IME, when people confuse skill with actual fighting ability is that any technique can be forced given enough leverage, so first anyone in BJJ is going to learn to counter someone trying to force a technique. When I lock up with any opponent before they are stunned or unbalanced, I'm effectively trying to force the technique. So by saying "don't lock up" it is simply stating the obvious in this context... that is "make sure you have the guy before you lock or take down."

    Stand up may be a battle of feet and ground a battle of inches, but in both, mobility and positioning is key. When you lock up you lose mobility so therefore it is not preferred in either ground or stand up. And in both ground and stand up I'm going to stun or unbalance before lock. On the ground I might cross face before an arm bar or drop a knee into the liver before striking them in the eye and then applying a finger lock.

    As for knife in ground fighting, we train it and I don't like it. Too hard to protect the groin or throat from a knife in many positions on the ground, for example. If the enemy has top position, they can also just apply their weight on the knife and basically sit on you until the knife slips into your heart. I prefer keeping more mobility and give me the option go get a weapon myself.

    But traing knife on ground is valuable training, nevertheless and I hope more martial artists include this as part of their regular training.

  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I've heard this in a Stephen Kesting interview entitled "Everything You Wanted to Know About BJJ Competition, But Were Too Afraid to Ask".

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