Read this first:
I found this article very illuminating. Yes, it is another example of a BJJ practitioner using his skills in a self-defense situation. But, take a good look at the article.
1) it was his BJJ skill against a KNIFE. Most SD gurus like to talk about BJJ not doing much weapons work, and will say that is a great weakness of the art, and when someone who relies on BJJ meets a weapon in “da streetz”, they will die. Not only did that NOT happen here, the BJJ practitioner came out if it unscratched, protected a third party, and did little harm to the attacker. All things that according to “experts”, should be impossible. And yet it happened.
and 2) take a look at the picture of him holding down the knife wielder. That is a position that is almost never used in BJJ – not because it is not effective, but if you do it to your training partner, he will probably get pissed off. So it is a street oriented technique that is rarely practiced, and again, the experts will say that means the BJJ player will automatically and unthinkingly revert to only things regularly practiced. And once again, the experts are proven to be ignorant. This person did use it under pressure, and did so effectively.
And here is the topper to all of this. The person is only a blue belt! the first level of promotion. Not even considered that high level in BJJ circles, and he still performed under stress effectively. For those who have an open mind, and understand critical thinking, this should be deep food for thought.
One of the most common refrains heard in the Combatives/Self-defense/Tactical Firearms communities is “Never go to the ground in a fight”. It gets repeated over and over and is trotted out every time someone talks about the concept of grappling in a street fight. Here are a couple of short video clips that shows how moronic that advice actually is:
Now I know that as soon as someone reads and sees this, they are going to say something along the lines of “Well, that is not what I meant. I was talking about rolling around on the ground.” And their feeble excuse is invalid. When you speak only in absolutes and make everything black or white, you lose all rights to later attempt to adjust gradations of gray. Either use the phrase never go to the ground and live with being proven wrong, or refrain from dogma.
The simple fact is that both of those above vids (and I can add in hours more of similar stuff) are ample proof that going to the ground as an answer to the fight problem can be a fantastic solution.
And, again, people on the other side of the debate are going to say that this is fine and is a good idea, and maybe they even teach it. Except that there is no way they can. The plain truth is that the only way you can gain the ability to use techniques like this is to train in the context it needs to be in – GRAPPLING. You will not develop the ability to execute this type of ballistic throw unless you are training it against other people who know how to do it and defend against it, and have the ability to do so. In other words, you need to be on the mat in a place where a knowledgeable instructor with teach you wrestling, BJJ, Sambo, Judo, etc. Those are the only places you will gain that skill set. Not against partners in a combatives/ “street fighting” gym where they have no depth or breadth of experience in grappling. The people who performed those throws in the video clips spent a lot of time training grappling to do so.
And that is why I despise those who use the insipid cliché of “don’t go to the ground”. The only way to dictate where you are in a fight is to train the skill of controlling the other guy to prevent him from doing so and that is only learned effectively in a grappling oriented gym. Period. I have yet to see any video as the ones above where the victor executed a successful throw who was not trained extensively in a grappling environment. Don’t want to go to the ground? Fine, but then learn from the ones who know how to take you down. Not the guy who is showing you chin jabs and axe hands that were supposedly used in WW2.
I did another podcast interview, this time with Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy. It was an excellent one where we really got to explore why I love BJJ so much, and why I think it is so pertinent to a complete self-defense lifestyle. Check it out on iTunes or on his website here:
Safety Solutions Academy Podcast