'Real World' nastiness on the ground

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Shiho-Nage, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    i would suggest that trying to eyegouge your way out of a crosschoke from guard anywhere other than on the mats is a good way to wake up to find you no longer have thumbs.
  2. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    If you watch some early MMA vids from small events, you'll see a lot of eye-gouging because the referees weren't up to much. It didn't usually influence the fight outcome- the better fighter usually won anyway. Partly because it tends to be the one who is losing who does stuff like that.
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    This might be a bit of a side track, but I say it does not matter how skilled someone is, it is more a question to whether they leave themselves vulnerable to an attack or not.

    Again, who left who vulnerable to an attack? You attacked but you left yourself open to counter attack. Who actually is worse off in your opinion?

    There comes times when you have to try to break the pressure of the attack. For instance, if you can break their timing/pressure with a bite... then what? The first question is, can you break their timing/pressure? The next question is can you do anything after that?

    The skill comes with breaking the pressure and doing something with that transition to put things in your favor. Still comes down to principles and practical application.

    Same principles but different art. Yes Aikido, but yes BJJ too, etc.
  4. Shiho-Nage

    Shiho-Nage I'm okay to go.


    It seems that the consensus is:

    1. A good grappler never allows any kind of opening for a strike, gouge, bite.
    2. If they did it wouldn't matter because they are unphased by having both eyes ruptured or having a large chunk of the flesh of their neck/throat bitten out, a headbutt to their nose or temple. They simply would make the person 'pay for their insolence' with a follow up armbar, etc.

    My question was to find out if any of the people here that do heavy ground work/grappling ever take these kinds of things into consideration in their training. The only reason the double eye gouge came up was due to someone asking for an example. That was the first one that came to mind as it is one that I've personally encountered while doing freestyle ground work with someone claiming a blue belt in a Gracie affiliated BJJ style.

    I appreciate the point of view that a good grappler works to a position of dominance that (by its very nature) dramatically reduces such opportunities. That it is this rather than going straight to a submission or choke.

    As for that video of the BJJ vs Karateka, it was very interesting. Thank you for posting it. I did notice that as soon as the karateka went for the eye there were several people yelling and he withdrew his hand. Not that I think he would have actually gouged. It appeared to be a (somewhat) friendly if not informal match, which doesn't warrant such a severe attack.

    With regard to the position that 'if you're doing attack X then you're losing or its nearly over'. I disagree. Yes, these attacks may be used as an act of desperation from a disadvantageous position or they might be used at the first opportunity. Either way I think that they can truly turn the tide of a serious confrontation.

    Thank you for your responses.
  5. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Agreed. I would say this translates to "skill, relative to the other guy's skill."

    "... then what?" :D If all I can get is a bite or eye poke or such, um, I'm in a bad place! :eek:

    I didn't read it that way. I read it as, "Who says that you're in a position to finish anything?!?!"

    It seems fair to ask how biting dude's leg during an armbar, when he is wearing Levi jeans, stops him from breaking your elbow. Or insert whatever other scenario.

    Perhaps I didn't read the thread so clearly, but that's what I got from it. :confused:
  6. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Shiho-Nage, there is a saying... don't counter the technique, counter the person.

    Eye goughes and such are fundamentally no different than if the opponent had a knife or some other concealed weapon. Either you are open to attack or you aren't, the rest is probability (a numbers game) -- how lucky are you?

    Take an expert grappler, have them assume you have a knife or two... you will be fighting a different beast than a grappler who assumes you are unarmed.

    Same goes the other way too, don't assume your opponent is unarmed. How would you do things different if you believed they had a knife? The idea of a eye gough to save your ass is still there, but would it be wise to attempt an eye gough without having or gaining control of the person's delivery system in the process?
  7. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Yes they do consider things like this. There is a long time tradition of a type of fighter called a hooker. Basically someone that is proficient in the use of fish hooking to dominate an opponent.

    Fish hooking is against the rules of sport MMA and UFC, etc. so many grapplers aren't very experienced in attacking and defending verse a good hooker.

    Fish hooking can be very effective use of tools, such as the use of the eye gough combined with the ripping of the throat, etc.


    One really good grappler (2nd degree BB BJJ and has fought in MMA matches) that has instructed me, told me it was a numbers game. Maybe the person can bite him, but he is going to make it sure he does more damage to the opponent then they can do to him with the bite. So the grappler is first out to shut down the opponent's ability to attack, but failing to do that completely, they are going to ensure they do more damage to the opponent than the opponent can do to them. The idea that he is going to let someone gough his eyes out and do less damage in return goes against his fighting principles. He is going to take care of what bothers him the most first.
  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I remember Leigh Remedios posting a story (years ago) about arm-barring a guy on the street. The guy started to bite his leg so he cranked the arm-bar harder, the guy screamed and so released his bite.
    Hard to bite when you're screaming your head off in pain. :)
  9. Shiho-Nage

    Shiho-Nage I'm okay to go.

    I realize that practice, sparring, tournaments and especially real life self-defense are all very fluid situations. I am not stating that a bite on the leg (I was thinking more the neck/carotid) will end the alteractation. I was simply asking people with more ground work experience and (I presume) more skill than myself if they factor any of these type of attacks into their training/randori.

    In some cases I think regardless of who is 'winning' up to that point a headbutt to the face, severe bite (by which I mean taking a chunk of flesh out of them not just drawing blood), eye gouging (where you are destroying the eye) can not only turn the tide but can be the deciding factor. At the least I figure it creates a brief window of opportunity where the individual is surprised and covers/retreats in some manner, hoever slight it might be, allowing you to work your way out of a bad situation.

    In my limited experience with ground work/grappling I've never thought 'you know I think I am going to work my way around and poke them in the eye'. What happens is that I am trying to work my way out of partial hold or into a stronger position and *BAM* suddenly I find myself where I have the opportunity to engage in one of the aforementioned attacks. I don't for obvious reasons but, I surely would if it were a real fight with sufficient threat level to warrant that severity.

    Perhaps this is simply a difference between raw self-defense and technical grappling. I don't know.

    Thanks again for your replies. I think I am done with this discussion.
  10. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    desperation tactics will do nothing but escalate the danger you are in. either it was already a life or death situation, in which case you're completely doomed if these are your only recourses, or it wasn't a life or death situation... but now you've escalated it by trying to rip out chunks of flesh or blind your opponent, and now he has no reason not to want to kill you.

    biting and gouging are essentially psychological attacks - they in no way impair your opponent's ability to continue demolishing you, and instead rely on him recoiling in horror. if things are so heated that you need to bite, nothing short of unconsciousness or massive systemic injury is going to stop either party.

    i've rolled with people who use small joint manipulation; i've released grips so as to not risk a broken thumb, but had it been an actual fight (rather than rolling around in a dojo), it wouldn't have stopped me. my instructor will throw in fishhooks from time to time; they only work from superior position. i've had my cornea scratched (by a gi collar) while rolling, and just closed that eye and submitted my opponent. i've been pinched on the inside of the thigh (full force), and ignored it. haven't been bitten yet.

    all these sorts of things are just low percentage gimmicks.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  11. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    To me, dirty fighting always seemed to favor the ground grappler more than anyone. For example, when I'm on someone's back, I always lament that I can't grab their hair or their eye sockets to pull their head back for a choke. In a serious fight, of course, I would do exactly that. However, in sparring, I pull on the forehead or underneath the nose to accomplish the same end. Likewise, screwing my thumb into someone's eye from the mount seems like a good way to get them to reach up and expose themself for an armbar.
    Another good example would be Royce Gracie vs. Kimo Leopoldo (my favorite fight EVER). This was back in UFC 3 or 4, when there were only three fouls. When Royce has Kimo in his guard, he ends up delivering a fairly savage beating from the bottom by holding on to Kimo' hair and repeatedly punching him in the eye. By the end of the fight, half of Kimo's face is a red mess. Obviously, hair pulling is no longer allowed in most MMA circuits, and this doesn't work as well.
    In a real fight, were I in the guard, I'd do the same thing Royce did.
  12. thomaspaine

    thomaspaine Valued Member

    First off, I'm going to say that I find it frustrating and annoying when I hear people who say they've rolled with someone who does BJJ and could have done x,y, and z if...If I went to your JJJ class, we started sparring, and then I pulled out a gun and acted all smug because I was thinking "outside the box", am I showing you something you didn't realize could happen, or am I just being annoying? When you roll at BJJ, you are rolling within the given ruleset of BJJ, so of course you're not going to do things to defend eye gouges and punches because it's a different game. That doesn't mean that I don't know they exist or wouldn't know how to defend them if we were fighting in an MMA or street scenario. My game adapts according to the ruleset that I'm fighting, whether it's gi, no-gi, MMA, or the street. Sure I like to train from my back in BJJ, but you better believe that in MMA or on the street, if I end up on the ground I'm going to be on top of you punching your teeth out.

    This is another point of contention of have. If you're rolling with someone who is a level of magnitude better grappler than you, they are almost surely not going 100%. There's no point in sweeping and subbing you every 5 seconds because you won't learn anything that way, so if you have good training partners they will go easy on you and let you hit technique on them. Unfortunately, some people don't realize this and they leave thinking "Yeah I got subbed a few times, but I hung in there. These guys arn't that great." On the occaision that I do go 100% on newbies, it's over in 5 or 10 seconds, and I'm really not an extraordinary BJJ guy.

    And for the record, I've been in two situations where someone tried to eye gouge me. The first time was when I was rolling with this guy and he goes for my eyes. I proceeded to armbar him (because reaching up like that from underneath mount is like begging me to armbar you), and then explain to him that if this was the street, I probably would have just elbowed his face into ground beef, because no one likes to be eye gouged. The second time was in an actual fight, and this guy was pretty big and managed to surprise me and take me down. As I'm putting him in a triangle choke he starts trying to rake at my eyes. It was a pretty simple thing to move his arm across my body and away from my face (which I needed to do anyways to finish the choke), and then choke him out. I'm not saying bites and gouges can't be effective, but I wouldn't consider them my ace in the hole.
  13. Shiho-Nage

    Shiho-Nage I'm okay to go.

    No need to get upset ThomasPaine.

    My example of the eye gouge with the BJJ guy wasn't meant to malign his or any BJJ's abilities. I thought I was very clear in my reason for asking in this forum because I am sure that the regulars here have a lot more experience and a lot more talent in ground work than I do. Someone asked for an example as what kind of attacks from what kind of positions I was asking about. So, I used an example I had from recent personal experience.

    I suppose you could call these nasty tactics 'thinking outside the box' but I personally think its a large leap from exploiting an opening with an unusual technique to pulling out a gun.

    In my original post I simply asked if people that did a lot of ground work ever took these things into consideration while practicing. If the answer is 'no' because you've agreed on a certain rule set or what is permissible then that's fine. I'm not here thumping my chest nor trying to incite anyone else to do so.
  14. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    if that's the question, then the answer is yes, various people do take these things into account at different times. they've been discarded from pretty much every serious grappling curriculum, however, because beyond the danger, they just don't work as well as one might think.
  15. jeff5

    jeff5 Valued Member

    The way I see it, you need to learn the technique and skill behind groundfighting first. How to escape, roll, get position, use your hips, etc. You should always be aware of striking/gouging/biting opportunities, and you should drill them in a controlled manner with your partner. (or on your own) But I see it as extra stuff that I can do that may make my techinque more effective, not a substitute for the technique itself.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2007
  16. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    At "Karate College '05", I got to train with Walt Lysak, who taught "street grappling". He took biting, gouging, and weapons into consideration. We actually trained to use bites an gouges in this context, and applied them slowly, and to the tap. It was an interesting learning experience.

    I've had people try to bite me when I roll. In one case in particular, I was going for the RNC when the guy started to bit my arm. In this case I reclasped my hands and drove the bone of the radius into his mouth, effecting what I suppose could be called a jaw lock. Tap, tap, session over.

    The problem I see with biting is that, barring an attack to the throat or carotid, it ammounts to little more than a pain inducer. If one is already securing a hold, as in the case of the arm bar, then one can typically fight through the pain to finish off the hold. If circumstances are serious enough that a guy starts biting, then I'm more than willing to sacrifice a 2" chunk of calf if it means hyperextending his elbow. My leg will still function, but he's now got one less arm to work with. I can live with that.

    As for the idea that the neck is vulnerable, I'm not sure that I agree so much. Someone accustomed to grappling is probably going to be hiding their neck anyway, concerned with the choke. I'm also not sure if one could actually get one's teeth around the neck at the right angle to inflict a fatal wound.

    As well, all's fair; if I'm grappling a guy and he starts biting me, what's stoping me from sticking my thumb into his skull, through his eye socket, in order to peal him off?

    The group of guys I roll with will occationally train biting and gouging: bite to the point of tap, cover the eyes to remind the other guy to be aware of gouges. Not everyone does it, and I'd say the majority don't, but yes, some of us do.

    On the subject of headbutts, I think most guys who roll on a constant basis can back me up when I say that I've taken some pretty serious shots while grappling, including having people land on my face or groin with their knee, or taking a short elbow or headbutt when the other guy's transitioning. Grapplers deal with impact and pain, and I don't think a headbutt would be any more effective than a punch or something.

    Finally: foul tactics have their use, but they are best utilized by someone who already has the higher existing skill level.

    Rebel Wado: actually, the term "hooker", at least in old-school wrestling, refered to someone who was an expert at submissions, or "hooks", as they were known. Foul techniques, including fish-hooking and eye gouging, were known as "rips", and specialists in that skill known as "rippers". I suggest that if you've heard the expression "hooker" in relation to fish-hooking, it was local vernacular.
  17. Shiho-Nage

    Shiho-Nage I'm okay to go.

    Great post callsignfuzzy. This is exactly the kind of insight I was looking for when I started this thread.

    Thank you very much for your reply. And thanks again to everyone else that replied with constructive feedback.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2007
  18. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    Two comments here: The way I like to train the "dirty" stuff is to use a grappling dummy. You simply get yourself in positions you want to train and gouge and punch away with no concern for hurting a partner

    Second: I real life I had an opponent (a Kempp 3rd Dan) in a street fightl I was a 1st Dan in JJJ at that time. We briefly struck at each other. we clinched, I threw him ending up on time in what I would now call side control. He tried to gouge my eyes. I simply turned my head to stop the gouge, reached over and hooked his nostils with one hand. pulled his head back and struck him in the throat lightly. He was done at that point and the fight was over with him choking and puking. I would never have gone for a potential serious and fatal counter if he hadnt started the eye gouging in the first place.

    Now as BJJ player I have even learned to appreciate the grappling game even better. A real eye opener for me recently was reading :Hand to Hand which isa book written by the army combatives program. It goes beyond the field manual and explains the rationale for the grapping focus in the army hand to hand program.
  19. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    Very true.
  20. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    No we are on the same page. Hookers were catch wrestlers... these wrestler types tended to use a lot of ripping/fishhooking when it was legal to do so. So "hookers" became really good at using fishhooking/ripping as part of their fighting.

    The specific method of ripping, we used to call Eagle Claw in many cases.

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