Why I Chose BJJ

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by flashlock, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. flashlock

    flashlock Banned Banned

    The essence of strategy, according to Sun Tzu, is deception. In our search for a Hand-to-Hand Fighting System, we can greatly improve our chances in a fight by simply avoiding what most people do in one: namely, throw punches. If you stand toe-to-toe with a better puncher, you’ll lose. But there is another factor that helps in our decision: “…every hand-to-hand fight we have documented [in Afghanistan and Iraq] has involved grappling, but not a single one has involved only striking…”—H2H Combat, pp. 8-9. So, how can we use the ultimate strategic idea of Sun Tzu? We cheat. The kick boxer shows up to a wrestling match—we’re prepared, they’re not. Most fights evolve into grappling—so, specialize in it. It’s statistics—improve your odds.

    Another factor that helps us decide on a good fighting system, is the fact that in a real confrontation, you lose fine motor skills. “… the more complicated the technique, the greater the likelihood that it will fail. Your technique must rely on gross motor skills… that are fast and hard-hitting to survive a fight.” Common Sense Self-Defense, p. 57. Complicated locks where you catch the in-coming fist; jumping spinning crescent kicks; bizarre ‘mystical’ throws—anything like that—should be avoided. You won’t be able to pull such techniques off in a real-life situation with your heart in your throat, the adrenalin pumping, and an 8 ft tall behemoth trying to rip your head off and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    Guess what? Grappling relies on gross motor skills.

    From these factors, we can rule out systems that rely heavily on striking (as the core of our chosen system). They don’t fit in with our overall strategy of avoiding what most people do in a fight (striking), and where the fight naturally goes (grappling). Is there a grappling system used by the best trained real-life fighting forces on the planet earth? Yes. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the core of Modern Army Combatives used by infantry up through special forces.

    Non-sport BJJ (make no mistakes, the rules came well after BJJ was developed) has another tremendous advantage over all striking arts: you can do the techniques at full speed and full strength. Strikers cannot practice this way—they’d all get knocked out and killed every class. Basically, you will perform how you are trained, especially in the panic of a real fight. If you train to curl up into a ball for your Judo match, you will probably do that in a real fight. If you train to only tap your opponent with your roundhouse kick to the face, you’ll pull back when you don’t wish to.

    OK, what about our friends, the eye gouge, the bite, and their drunken cousins, multiple opponents? Eye gouging, which is rarely practiced by most fighters, is a fine motor skill. More likely than anything, the gouger’s own fingers will miss the eye; they might even break (fists break during punches and are a much more solid structure than extended fingers). There is also a psychological aspect to overcome. Have you ever jammed your fingers into someone’s eyes before? If you have any hesitation now, you might miss any opportunity you have in a real-life altercation. These are points, but the biggest problem for relying on eye-gouging as some kind of antidote to grapplers, is that a good grappler will not let you be in a good enough position to deliver such an attack.

    As for biting, there are positions where you can bite—but only for the person who has the dominant wrestling position (mainly side control).

    Multiple opponents… “BJJ is useless.” Well, not much IS useful vs. two or more attackers. If you have two attackers who know how to COORDINATE and not fall over themselves, you have almost no chance of escape. BJJ does not crumble in the face of multiple attackers—there are many life-saving strategies that can be adapted for it: using one opponent as a shield against the others, throwing one opponent into another, etc. Regardless of the system, multiple opponents is a bad day.

    Because of all the reasons outline above, I have decided to make BJJ the core of my training. Striking is important and an essential aspect of training. I have 6 years in TKD and a spattering of experience in Western Boxing and Jeet Kune Do. But there was a huge, gaping whole in my self-defense. I’ve had to be honest and admit that years of training in strike-oriented arts, though not a complete waste, missed the boat when it came to real self-defense. As a former Assistant Instructor in Taekwondo, I know the sweat and blood strikers do put into their art. It takes an incredible amount of courage and objectivity to admit a mistake and do something new. That process is painful, true, but it’s much more painful to come to that realization under someone else’s boot.
  2. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Hmm, very well thought out post. The only thing I can say is...

    Cro Cop > BJJ


    Jk, very good.
  3. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Sounds like you've thought it through. Enjoy BJJ!
  4. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much

    That is a nice post.

    Well so far mate ive seen nothing to suggest you should/could be binned from the MAP.

    Its interesting to read your story and how you have come to be where you are now.

    However, for me anyway, all that your saying has been said many a time.

    You are starting to sound a little like a sales person for BJJ.

    I dont think there is anyone on MAP that would disagree that grappling and ground work is very important in self defence. ;)
  5. gornex

    gornex Valued Member

    or Chuck Liddell > BJJ

  6. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    I would disagree with you a little bit on two points: eye gouging and multiple opponents.
    First of all, I think that sticking your fingers in someone's eye is an effective way to hurt them, blind them, or control their head.... and there is nothing that stops a jiujitsu person from employing this as well.
    For example, trying to secure a rear naked choke on an opponent whose chin is tucked. In a BJJ match you will usually pull back on the forehead or under the nose to "untuck" their chin. In a real fight, you can pull back on their hair (another "dirty" tactic which augments BJJ style grappling). Or, if they don't have hair, you can try and hook your fingers into the eyes. You're still doing more or less the same thing you would in a BJJ match, but now your augmenting it with dirty tactics.

    As for the multiple attackers thing.... I think the Gracie Jiujitsu self defense syllabus (which, from what I understand, is oft neglected in BJJ schools) is very applicable, as most of it involves stand up grappling and ways to make people let go of you. While I wouldn't say BJJ alone is my first choice of tools for dealing with multiple opponents (I periodically spar two-on-one, by the way), it is very useful when coupled with striking arts. I found when sparring with multiple attackers, that most of the fight occurs while clinching with one and trying to put him in between me and the other attacker.

    Personally, I do BJJ because it's fun. I enjoy grappling - I find that I can intuit it much better than stand-up striking. I enjoy being able to spar with almost every aspect of the art (as opposed to Shotokan, where there was "kata" and there was "kumite" and rarely the twain shall meet).
  7. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    You make some good points and I agree that BJJ is a great art which I've studied before and would like to study again. However, re. eye gouges:

    One thing people forget about the eye gouge is it can be part of a strategy. There are lots of combinations in Praying Mantis forms based on the assumption that the first couple of strikes didn't land (of course, you can still complete the combo even if they do). For example, there's a basic move where you swing one arm up and out the side at a 45ish degree angle, fingers moving to the outside (preparing for gou). You can aim this finger swipe at the opponent's eyes, but he's very likely to stick his arm up to protect himself. Fortunately, the combo is designed with that in mind, so you can continue the swing of the forearm with a possible gou (hook), which will send the opponent's arm off across his body and his body leaning slightly forward if you do it right. This can be followed up by a slightly inward-facing kick to the groin (yuanyang-jiao--yes PM also specializes in how best to kick the groin :D ) and then a beng-chui (backfistish strike to the face. The high-low-high makes it harder to defend against.

    This kind of thing happens fairly often in PM forms--that is explicit eye gouges or else moves which can function as eye gouges are then seamlessly combined with some move deflecting, attacking or trapping the defending arm or else coming from an unexpected direction. That is, the eye gouge can be used as a mere strategy to get the oponnent's hands and attention up in his face, as nothing gets them up there faster than the fear of being poked in the eye.

    People who argue against training eye gouges say, "well, my art doesn't train eye gouges specifically, but I can always just stick my fingers out in a real fight." This fails to take into account that eye gouges can be part of a larger strategy, as they are in PM.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  8. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    Nog (BJJ) > Cro Cop ;)

    Liddell's a purple belt in BJJ ;-D

    I agree with your reasons, flashlock, and they're pretty similar to my own.
  9. Oversoul

    Oversoul Valued Member

    I don't. I do see turtling as a problem for some people who rely on it, but there are plenty of judoka (myself included) that never turtle.

    Also, it's been said before. But BJJ'ers used to (and some probably still) make fun of judo for turtling and people being able to give up the back without being punished for it. But then along comes Telles with his "turtle guard" and suddenly it's a perfectly viable strategy... :rolleyes:
  10. JayKayD

    JayKayD Meet my friend PAIN!

    So in BJJ if your stand up game consists of jumping up and pulling guard you will do that in a real fight? Same logic applies.
  11. flashlock

    flashlock Banned Banned

    Very nice points, especially at looking at eye gouges in a deeper way than some "trick" to beat grapplers. Thanks!
  12. flashlock

    flashlock Banned Banned

    Thanks. So far this forum has been very tolerant, even when I've purposely been provocoative just to see how this place runs. This post was just what finally swayed me to go into BJJ--I'm just starting, have a long way to go, but I am enjoying it.
  13. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    Have you been provocative somewhere else on the forums?

    I think you're preaching to the converted by posting in the BJJ section, to be honest. :)
  14. flashlock

    flashlock Banned Banned

  15. Raven Wing

    Raven Wing Valued Member

    I am not trying to argue that grappling or indeed bjj are useless - indeed I consider grappling to be essential if you are training to defend your life outside of a sporting setting. If you believe that BJJ is the best grappling system then fine, I'm not going to argue with you over your opinion - your entitled to it.

    I was wondering though about the idea that what most people do in a fight is strike. I am assuming that we are talking about untrained (though still potentially dangerous) people rather than martial artists. From the limited number of fights I have been in since being an adult and from anecdotal evidence from others and from footage of street fights, it seems to me that people mostly use a variety of methods when fighting including grappling, striking whatever. I have had people try to strike and then panic when it hasnt worked and grab hold, I have had people try to dive straight in for the grapple. Where is the evidence that most non martial artists will stick to striking?
  16. beknar

    beknar Valued Member

    Just one little thing:

    If you stand toe to toe with a better grappler, won't you also lose?
  17. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    My preferences for bjj after over 35 years of MA are three fold

    1)I can train it in "alive" fashion which enables me to know my skills and limitations

    2)Its great exercise (even for an old fart :) )

    3)It provides a range of responses to physical violence. I can just restrain, submit, ground and pound, render the opponent unconscous or if absolutely necessary even end the opponents life. Violence in life can range from dealing with a drunk relative to defendig yourself from a psychotic killler. Having the flexibility of options makes it more usefull IMO and also more humane.
  18. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    Also, it offers a real physical and mental challenge. There's so much to learn and so many different ways of approaching the same problem. Chess on the Mat, to paraphrase the De La Riva video. :)
  19. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    Maybe I should yell "checkmate" when I am being armbarred!!! :)
  20. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    That's hilarious. :D

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