BJJ Question.

Discussion in 'Ju Jitsu' started by Kikaku, May 3, 2006.

  1. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    This is by no means an attempt at trolling. I'm curious as to how BJJ practitioners apply their techniques to handle multiple opponents (Street for sake of argument, as opposed to the ring), when most of your syllabus is based on ground work ?

    Also do you have any ground submission holds which, which leaves the person protected from all angles (when the other fighter is face up, as opposed to face down) from counters, such as pinching/biting/gouging/grasping flesh ?

    Generally is BJJ sport based orientated ?
  2. hapkidofighter

    hapkidofighter Valued Member

    BJJ is not so much about submissions as it is controlling your opponent and having the dominant position. Where i train we're taught to turn are head away on certain techniques to avoid things like eye pokes. as you can see in this video- the jiujitsu man has dominant position on his opponent who then tries to poke his eyes and do pressure points but only succeeds in giving up his arm.

    In terms of self defense and fighting multiple attackers I think the most any person could realistically fight is 2 people at a time- i think it would be pretty hard to take on 3 or more no matter how good you are. I think bjj is still effective in some sense for a multiple attacker situation because you can still utilize throws and sweeps and at least give your self enough time to escape the situation. But i think lots of BJJ people now are starting to see the importance of at least a basic knowledge of a standup game.
    I do think that BJJ is probably one of the most effective arts for self defense for the reason that i stated in another post
  3. LiaoRouxin

    LiaoRouxin Valued Member

    The answer to the first question is that it depends on the school. BJJ is primarily a sport, like Judo, and the teaching of self defense scenarios is not anything universal. That said, most ways of training for multiple opponents are not beneficial, based on impracticalities.
    However, taking from the Judo syllabus (which is almost identical to BJJ's), beyond running away, negotation, appeasement, or any other non-violent a good strategy would be to use standing grappling to create space. For instance, as an accomplished competition Judoka, I have good skill in gripping fabric. If one of my opponents is wearing a jacket or sweatshirt or something with enough cloth to hook, pinch, or grip I will be able to execute any sort of standing Judo technique: throws, trips, pushing and pulling. A lot of the time, I'll be able to create a lot of space by jerking the jacket. I can create even more by doing a takedown. I can use the jacket to push one person into another and make room that way, there's really a lot of things I am able to do.
    If they don't have a grippable garment, here's where the knowledge BJJ people get when they train without a gi. Knowledge of hooks and holds used in wrestling that give a lot of the same types of options to wrestlers that Judo people have with the gi. Again, I think the strategy here is to create space and escape.

    You know, going to the ground may not be an operable strategy here and BJJ people arent stupid, and they definitely have a lot of the tools to handle themselves on their feet in such a situation. Also, knowing how to operate on the ground gives a great knowledge of how to get back up. If you look at MMA matches, the people who are the best at standing back on their feet are people with really solid BJJ games. The knowledge of leverage, hip movement, spacing, etc. is vital to standing back up if you get put down

    As for defensibility against "illegal" techniques, almost every submission position is protected. For instance, if you are mounted an opponent, you can punch them, but they can't hit you with good posture. Even with compromised posture, the person on the bottom still has no leverage to perform any of those techniques. Same goes for scarf hold, knee mount, and side position. Holding someone in your guard, on the other hand is not conducive to being protected, but can be a very good position to be in as it allows a lot of submissions to be applied.

    As for the submissions themselves, 99% of the time the person defending it will be in no state to bite, gouge, pinch, or whatever. Take a rear naked choke, for instance, if I am on your back, choking you out, you can't reach my face accurately or with power no matter what you try. And, if you are too worried about poking out my eyes, you'll be passed out in a matter of seconds. Here's a picture of the rear naked choke, from

    Next, let's examine armbar from the mount:

    Looks like the guy on bottom could bite the guy on top's leg, right? Well, he probably could, but in the time it would take him to do that, he'd proably lose control of his arm and have it shattered. Armbars can be ugly, ugly business. Or, if you've ever heard any of the straight blast lore, Matt Thornton was once asked what he would do if bitten while armbarring someone. That person actually did bite him and Thornton used the leg that was being bit to kick the man in the face, knocking out a tooth or two.

    Think of it this way, even in the event that there is an opportunity to "play dirty", doing so while being put in a submission is probably a bad idea. It's like I don't try to punch someone while they're rear naked choking me, I try to defend it and get out. If I try to punch the person, I've lost use of one of my arms that's going to defend the choke and BAM! I'm out cold. Same thing with the bite to the leg, instead of rolling to my knees and clasping my hands to escape the armbar, I decide to bite the leg. If I'm commited to biting the guy, I can't roll to my knees and escape, I can just lie there, and chances are he'll break my arm.

    In the end, in the few times those tactics are viably open it's a cost-benefit ratio, and the fact is getting put to sleep, or breaking a limb is almost always a greater expense than the gain of gouging, biting, or another one of those tactics.
  4. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    To be completely honest, I don't think many BJJ schools grapple with multiple opponents, so you would be hard pressed to find a practitioner with solid multiple grappling experience to share their experiences. I'm going to try and tackle this from a theoretical point of view.

    Firstly, BJJ is mainly groundwork (although standing takedowns are usually trained). So, you have to evaluate it within its own context. Thus, your question then becomes "how do BJJ practitioners apply their techniques to handle multiple opponents when they end up on the ground in a fight." You have to realize that on the ground, most likely you can only give attention to one person at a time. It is impossible to manuever around opponents as when you are standing or properly address multiple opponents with proper body leverage and positioning, because the ground becomes such a limiting factor. I suppose BJJers would do their normal techniques, because they simply have no other choice, due to the restrictions of the environment.

    That being said, you also have to realize that BJJers have common sense. They will not spend all day setting up an arm bar when 3 other people are kicking them in the head. To elaborate something that hapkidofighter mentioned, BJJ is not just submissions. It is about achieving dominant positions, transitioning between them, and escapes from your opponent's dominant positions. If a BJJ player finds himself on the ground against multiple opponents, he will have certain options and tools that he can use to gain neutral positioning (I suppose in this case getting back to their feet). It is another common fallacy to assume that all BJJers/grapplers want to go to the ground no matter what the situation, and that going to the ground and using submissions is the answer to everything. That would be the equivalent of saying "well I will use sidekicks against everything." Again, we have common sense.

    The multiple attacker scenario is an age old argument used against grappling. Regardless, it is still an important question and viable situation to consider. But to again reiterate something hapkidofighter stated - most BJJers/grapplers know the importance of cross training and stand up. When I'm sparring, and I'm taken to the ground, I use BJJ positioning, transitions, and also incorporate strikes to get back up. Grappling is complementary. It is not comprehensive. Same thing with standup striking.

    No. I cannot think of a single submission hold which can immobilize all ten fingers and mouth of an opponent. However, those counters are not guaranteed counters and will not necessarily stop a grappler. Also the grappler would most likely have better positioning and even be able to do those things (which are pretty easy to do, not much technique involved in pinching, biting, or gouging) from better angles and with more leverage than the defender. Regardless, no hold will keep someone from at least having the opportunity to try those things.

    Like most martial arts, it can be. TKD can be sport, and it can be practiced for other purposes. BJJ can be all about competition, or you can train it for a different purpose.
  5. locu5

    locu5 New Member

    Like ER says, BJJ compliments striking arts quite well. My MMA guard strategy is different than my guard strategy for just grappling, as there are different aims. Adaptation of applicable technique is required. I can apply the techniques because I practice them at full resistance (except when of course I just suck). As to the dirty fighting (eye gouges, hair pulling, and biting)... these will work as well as any other crappy technique on an unwary, untrained opponent. They are not effective replacements for sweating and working it out on the mats.
  6. firecoins

    firecoins Armchair General

    your situation dictates your tactics.

    Your not going to take someone to the ground if you know you have multiple opponents. However you might take a superior striker to the ground in a one on one. If his friends come out, you could be in trouble. Of course any situation where you face multiple opponents, your in trouble. :eek:
  7. kmguy8

    kmguy8 Not Sin Binned

    the fact you can deal w// multiple opponents is one of the greatest myths of martial arts
    in a real fight.. you get grabbed
    being able to keep your balance.. clinch and poition your oppoent between you and the rest of them. is what will save you.. that and practice saying on you feet and diminating the clinch avoiding the take down
    BJJ is better than most at this... judo is probably better
    your litte drills in MA class where you fight several people and strike is BS scenario... IRL they grab you and control you.. change your game in class and include takedowns and clinching.. see how effective what you've learned really is
    if your fighting multiple people.. run..
    and btw... submissions are breaks, and chokes....not submissions on the street
    the armbar is a break you roll out of.. same with the kimura
    the rear naked can be a break from standing... as can most neck cranks
    there is no faster way to dispatch an opponent with such certianty.. period
  8. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow

    Um, yeah. The RNC isn't a break.
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    BJJ is limited and specialized. It is very strong in what training it provides, but is far from being well rounded. Those instructors that teach a more self-defense oriented BJJ do include stand up elements and striking.

    It is just not intended to fight multiple opponents. I heard that it wasn't macho in Brazil to gang up on someone, so there is much more likely that a fight would be one-on-one.

    The strategy of using specialized grappling training to defeat a fighter works because the fighter may not know how to deal with a good grappler, will make mistakes and be put at a disadvantage.

    IMO, grappling works on one particular strategy, you gain an advantage and you learn to keep that advantage and finish off the opponent. Bad grapplers don't know what to do with an advantage, they have a hard time keeping the advantage and finishing off the opponent.

    IMO, fighting works more on the strategy to damage your opponent until they no longer can or are willing to fight. In the mean time, you are trying not to take as much damage. Fighters can gain and lose the advantage many times until a decisive hit comes or one or the other runs out of steam.

    Going back to multiple attackers, if using a purely grappling approach, it just doesn't work as well because it would be very difficult for the grappler to gain an advantage against multiple attackers.

    If one is to take BJJ and train against multiple opponents, that is fine, but adjustments would naturally have to be made. The thing about multiple opponents is that the strategies aren't tailored to striking or grappling, but instead are revolved around fighting. You grapple and you strike and you do other things too. You are doing what you can as quickly as possible, anything that takes too long is likely not to work.

    I'll use the example of two attackers and one defender. If the defender can gain an advantage on one of the attackers, then grappling training could be useful in keeping that advantage and controlling that person to be used as a shield against the second attacker.

    If the defender cannot gain an advantage on one of the attackers, then pure grappling is probably not going to be as useful as striking, kicking, takedowns, and good footwork combined with grappling.

    I guess in a nutshell, I'm suggesting that when at a disadvantage you should fight (strike, kick, grapple, etc.), but when you have AN advantage you can use more specialized grappling skills to keep that advantage (including keeping the advantage against stronger and larger people) and finish off the opponent.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  10. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow

    That's a rear sliding collar choke. In Judo: Okuri Eri Jime. Look at the hand placement. And yes, I'm always this pedantic, don't take it personal. Your other points still stand :p

    I usually take a different approach to arguments against "dirty tricks" which is simply that... that they are dirty tricks. You don't need to train dirty tricks. Do you really have to imitate poking someones eyes out a million times to know you can put your fingers in their eyes? Will it build any skill related to actually being able to do so in a fight? No! of course not. What will give you the opportunity to use dirty tricks is good fighting skill. If you are able to use dirty tricks in a self defence scenario to escape, then good on you. But to think that dirty tricks are simple and effective tools against developed fighting styles is an ignorant attitude.

    And in the end, ever since I was a child I have known that getting hit in the balls will hurt. I have known of biting and all such things. It's instinctual to us isn't it? But as use in a fighting style or indeed self defence training, I find it both a waste of time and an ignorant "self defence utopia" of a fantasy designed to promote self confidence. Nothing wrong with self confidence.. as long as it isn't based on misinformation.
  11. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow


    You have never trained alive have you? You see if you had two opponents actually attempting to defeat you. If so only by dragging you down and holding you without any attempts to beat you or injure you, then you would quickly find that anything above one opponent is next to impossible unless your method is a fast barrage of attacks on both which you hope will do damage, or at least give you time to run away. I have found, being a small guy, that defeating only ONE opponent is VERY VERY difficult. I'd like to climb that ledge first. And when I am confident that I can defend myself against one person, I will consider the possibility of two. So far, one person has proved hard enough. And two by trial and error have proven next to impossible unless circumstances and luck play a part.

    I have put this very diplomatic. I ask that you first test stuff like I mentioned. Having to people simply try to take you down and hold you. It's very hard to escape. What would be benefitial to your development would of course be to to that sort of thing often in different methods as hard contact as you could and then decide for yourself. From what I have heard and seen of Ninjutsu I think that is very unlikely though, which is of course regrettable.

    As for the question if BJJ contains FLESH GRABBING? This is a question that quite honestly tickles my funny bone. I welcome you to grab my scrawny body and tell me how a pinch is supposed to make a difference. To first want to discuss BJJ's sport orientation as something that would be inapplicable to a multiple opponent fight and then suddenly turn to pinching?? You say you don't troll, but my goodness this is almost laughable. If I was a ruder man, I'd question your dedication to reality.

    But to amuse myself and others who might read this thread. Let me indulge you.

    This is Kata gatame. Often referred to as a side-choke. Commonly used in Judo, BJJ and MMA and a position that renders the dominant person in control, able to submit or choke out his opponent while simultaniously allowing a quick withdrawal from the ground. (I'm hoping I don't have to explain how people can simply stand up) What it does NOT have is clear overview over the situation around you. But then again, in a fight, nothing is perfect is it?

    In this picture, the person on top is about to apply an armbar. What lacks is his foot to swing over the opponents head and sit back. But wait!

    From this position you are in control of your opponent. You also have a possiblity for figure-fouring his arm and hand to perform a wristlock for instance. In a self defence situation it could mean pain compliance. You also have the opportunity to deliver strikes if you so wish. Thus illustrating once again as others have above, the method of dominant position securing your own safety and the means to defeat your opponent. This position, in BJJ usually only used transitionary is used in some TJJ systems (with certain variations of course) as means of control. You have control, submission/break/damage is near and a rather good overview of what's happening around you. Should the opponent attempt a dirty trick, your opportunities are larger than his own and you can choose to attack and withdraw completely.

    The apparent benefits of BJJ over many if not most TJJ systems is precisely that of "sport". Of competition, of alive training and developing skill to actually perform techniques on opponents also attempting to defeat you. There are lots of different BJJ schools though. And Jiu-jitsu in general is so immensly diverse and personal that I would quite honestly not know how to explain to you that some schools simply are sports oriented while others are not, and it still does not reflect on the entire style.

    But coming full circle to your initial question of HOW BJJ practitioners handle multiple opponents, I have to say the question is poorly phrased, but I hope anything said in this thread will give you a bit different perspective on both BJJ, JJ in general, and of how perhaps that you might need to give some of your training methods a bit of a check-up if you have gotten so far in your train of though as to consider multiple opponent fighting a serious possibility then good luck to you. By all means.
  12. kmguy8

    kmguy8 Not Sin Binned

    from a standing position.. "sitting the opponent on their ass, while pulling back and pushing the head forward" will break the neck....
    hard to describe well, but it has been taught as a sentry removal tactic since WWII.... only works from standing though...
  13. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    kmguy8 - is that what used to be called the "japanese neck breaker" by wwII vets? I think I remember my grandfather showing an uncle that one time, he did some of that sentry removal stuff.
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    The use of flesh grabbing or otherwise called fish hooking is not legal in BJJ competitions. It is a valid method of fighting, but it actually isn't considered grappling, it is fish hooking. So when someone is called a "hooker" it doesn't mean... well, just don't get the term confused :eek:

    Excellent technique, so many variations of the technique too.

    Generally, go for the choke before going for a joint lock/break submission. If the person is wearing a shirt or gi, there is an opportunity for a press choke from that position before going for the arm bar. There is also opportunity there to press in an eye with your thumb to get someone to give up.

    I would say that you don't fight multiple opponents, you fight them as one. In that regards, apply technique to one opponent and the others will follow.

    In order to fight many as one, this takes fluidity. To pull off techniques with fluidity takes some skill, in fact it could take years of training to even get close to what might be needed.

    If using techniques taught in BJJ, how fluid can you pull off those techniques and combination of techniques. If you still are at the point of going by the numbers (step-by-step) then IME, that isn't going to work well against multiple opponents, it may not even work well against one opponent.

    It may be easier to learn to strike and conduct takedowns in a fluid manner than to learn to grapple in such a way.
  15. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow

    Takedowns very often if not always ends with your opponent latching on to you. Rapid striking to avoid being grabbed and running like hell seems like the only serious option to me.

    But let's take your example. BJJ, Double leg, quick hammerstrikes from technically inside the opponents guard(which if the opponent closes his guard, you just made a big mistake taking him down in a "streetfight".. christ, I can't believe I'm using that word) or if you get a good takedown cross side, same tactic, fast hard striking to "stun" then quickly get up to get an overview.

    Securing a lock or any sort of compliance suggests that you are not alone. And that's often neglected by "self defence" nuts. The general argument against BJJ is that you don't want to go to the ground because then a thousand crazy friends of his will jump you. More often than not your friends will also be there.. unless you are a bit of a hermit. This not only partly negates the crazy friend stomping argument. But also gives some fuel to the event of controlling someone without "destroying" them, while looking around to see what's started around you, if you should now let go and get the hell out, or if someone else requires your attention.

    But this is all theory-******* to be honest. Every possible self defence scenario is hopelessly dependant on circumstance. Which makes scenariotraining perhaps a possibility, but at the same time a crutch, because you can't plan every possible scenario and you definately can't train effectively for everything.. The next best thing is to be able to hold your own in a fight, much like you learn when training alive in the manner of BJJ and other such styles.

    As for fighting multiple opponents as one, this again is the utopia of the situation. What you WANT to be doing. But like I mentioned, planning goes very much out the window even just when I'm training and I have very little confidence in anything other than keeping such info in the back of the head, not necessarily attempt to shape a strategy around it.

    I'm not usually a fan of self-defence discussions, but this thread implies that BJJ lacks the proper tools simply because it is a groundfighting art. Which I don't agree with. One can always theorize what is the best course of action to a billion scenarios, but BJJ does have plenty of tools for self defence, despite, and perhaps even because it has a sportive competitive focus in many respects. I at least hope I managed to convince someone of that :p
  16. piratebrido

    piratebrido internet tough guy

    It's a specialised martial art which is fit for purpose - that purpose being fighting an opponent in the ring. I don't think people practise it to defend themselves if they are attacked in the pub. I certainly wouldn't - many fights happen in the tiolets and **** rolling about on a floor covered in pish!

    It's a daft argument anyway, people take up horseriding because they want to horseride - not because they want to drive a car. People take up BJJ because they want to wrestle people - not because they want to defend themselves if they are ever attacked.
  17. Taff

    Taff The Inevitable Hulk

    Bit of a nutty post, BJJ is a perfectly viable self defence style, that's what it was invented as.
    You don't want to roll about in pish, well I wouldn't want to have a stand up fight with a boxer, but that's what I would have done using Wing Chun. No art is perfect and the rolling about in glass and lava argument is tiresome...if you don't know how to grapple then you will spend a lot more time down there than if you do. And the chances are you won't be coming back up either...
  18. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow

    No, I admit BJJ is not the most developed self defence art in the world. This does not mean it is inapplicable to self defence. It is much more so than people believe.
  19. piratebrido

    piratebrido internet tough guy

    I am not talking about the glass and lava thing. I am talking about what the police call 'pavement dancers'. You know, the guys who hang around fights and when they go down to the ground kick and jump on the people down there, then nip away.

    Last time my mate took someone down to the ground he walked about with the entire right hand side of his face bruised from a guy kicking and jumping on him.

    It is designed for mano-a-mano competition fighting. Hold downs, chokes or submissions are hard to execute when some guy is kicking you in the teeth.
  20. piratebrido

    piratebrido internet tough guy

    Developed for what though? As far as submission wrestling goes it is pretty damn sweet. As I said before it is fit for purpose.

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