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#179861 - 08/19/05 05:15 PM BJJ reality check
McSensei Offline

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1069
Loc: Kent, England
It's a question that has been asked of nearly every other kind of MA, so now it's the turn of BJJ.
How effective is BJJ on the street?
I have my own views on this and will air them soon enough, but first, I would like to hear from others.

Let's at least try to keep this polite.

#179862 - 08/19/05 05:29 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: McSensei]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
McSensei -

I understand your frustration with the attitude of certain practitioners and their arts. I am not convinced that this a good way to address the problem.

Some arts are more suited for certain situations than others are. This does not make them worthless, and the wise MA will cross-train to be capable in ALL situations.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#179863 - 08/19/05 05:31 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: MattJ]
funstick5000 Offline

Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 759
Loc: West Yorkshire, England
i think someone should bring this up in bullshido

back to topic at hand. i don't actually know anything about BJJ i've heard it involves a lot of rolling round on the ground which i wouldn't want to do on the street, especially cos a lot of fights are about the point of last orders.
Go seek the advise of a qualified instructor.

#179864 - 08/19/05 06:02 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: McSensei]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

I would say "very" to "poor."

Depends on the skills of the guy/gal using it.

Just like mainly striking arts, there are certian specific situations that range from "ideal" to "poor" in terms of BJJ training and focus.

These situations may not be any problem for some--or major problems for others--just like the other arts.

Best answer I can give is "it depends."
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#179865 - 08/19/05 06:29 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: McSensei]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina

How effective is BJJ on the street?

I haven't seen BJJ walking the streets lately. I've seen PEOPLE, but I haven't seen the art as much - out by itself.

That SOUNDS like a real smart-ass thing to say. The thing is, I didn't mean it that way. But I hope you understand the point.

How effective BJJ is "on the street" is as effective as the person is who has trained it.

I'd say that if a person was highly skilled at hitting arm bars, and chokes, etc.., that THAT individual is probably fairly capable of fighting effectively "in the streets" (or hallways, kitchens, libraries, movie theaters and anywhere else he might end up fighting).

Also, please consider airing your views over at the BJJ/MMA forum. We'd love to have you there as well.


#179866 - 08/19/05 08:54 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: MattJ]
McSensei Offline

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1069
Loc: Kent, England
I am not after a row with "certain practitioners," and we all know who we mean by that. It is just a question that has been aimed at every other MA so why not bjj. I also respect the fact that it is very much down to the individual practitioner, as with every other art. I fear I know too little about it to have a firm viewpoint, so I was actually hoping to hear from some of the more experienced students. Mostly, my knowledge about it comes from UFC and such like, where it appears seriously effective, but I want to know what adaptations are made to make it fit the street and is it effective there.

I have been witness to, not necessarily involved in, more fights than I care to mention and have rarely seen anybody deliberately take a fight to the ground unless they were losing the standup. So does someone who trains in bjj start their defence with a takedown or do they train some standup?

I will reiterate, let's keep it polite.

#179867 - 08/19/05 10:05 PM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: McSensei]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

No disrespect intended, but you are working this question from the same stand point from which the MMA arts crowd usually aims their dismissive missives. And this is not a good starting point since now you start to rub the scales the wrong way by putting the onus of proof on hypotheticals, and what ifs.

Go with John's approach. In essence, the better trained person has a better chance. I think it is less the style, but how you train to cover the basics in a realistic manner. There are many traditional martial artists who do this without the fanfare of an areana fight. However, the training paradigm that many folk use in the MMA and the BJJ world has the benefit of forcing the opponents to utilize their techniques in a fairly resistive environment. It may not be life or death...but they have to make the stuff work. Good intensity. You find this in sporting environments across the board. The qualification is that yes, there are restrictions on techniques....but there are always these restrictions on techniques in every dojo or school I have ever been to. But what is important is that the techniques that are trained...are trained well for utility. And don't make the assumption that just because a person doesn't always show what he knows in a sporting environment, that he doesn't know the self defense application of techniques as well. This is true of traditional, BJJ, and MMA players.

This may not completely answer the question of utility in a self-defense situation, but it brings you forcing the actual use of the techniques in question...not a conceptual understanding of when maybe this happens and this technique is used...but an actual understanding by using. This is the needed ingredient in any MA practice, in my opinion.

If you are not familiar with BJJ or say kickboxing where clinch work is done..then you will have a problem. If you go to clinch and allow this to continue, you will have one of two things occur: 1) You will disengage from the opponent (from my experience with attempts to hook the body and control the arms and using knees); or 2) You will be taken to the ground.

If the former happens then it is still standup (all fights initially occur here). If the latter, and you do not have any grounding in grappling while your opponent does, then you are hamburger.

The question would be if, when you spar, have you ever sparred 'till submission? If your answer is no...and fights are broken up before it goes to the ground, you are being prevented from exploring what might be a reality.

Even in basic sparring, how many times have you been in a clinch? How many times swept or thrown? Each of those are avenues for a grappler to take advantage of the venue that he is most comfortable in.

I am not saying that grappling is the best thing in the world, what I am saying is that it is just as viable, and more importantly, should not be ignored, as anything else you have studied.

Please note...this is coming from a karate-ka.


#179868 - 08/20/05 01:04 AM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: butterfly]
Meanstreak Offline

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 236
Loc: Australia
"It's a question that has been asked of nearly every other kind of MA, so now it's the turn of BJJ.
How effective is BJJ on the street?"

Ive read this question numerous times - on this and other forums (maybe i spend too much time on the net) it seems to be the MOST commonly questioned art - not the exception. Try to look in the old topics and you will find the exact same arguments.

Having said that the view i have is that a complete self defence skills set should include SOME ground fighting training - not the absolute basis. - make sure that there isnt an area of combatives that you are pathetic in. Or why not have some ability where everyone ELSE is pathetic in?

I read a post somewhere that has stuck in my head "you may not be interested in ground fighting, but ground fighting is interested in you"

Unless you can control everything thats going to happen in a fight (and lets be honest here you cant) everything is random - prepare for all eventualities.

Some bjj practitioners liked to use a statistic taken from the LA police that "90% of fights end up on the ground" - this doesnt quite work out in reality - because the objective for the police is to handcuff the guy preferably on the ground - different to a self defence incident.

Now even if the 90% statistic is true then consider that 100% of fights begin standing up.

If all the streets where covered with dojo mats, and there were volunteer referee's on call to stop anyone from biting, using pressure points, striking and so on then it would be perfect for self defence - but this isnt how real life is.

The other point against using ONLY bjj and submissions - is can you submit a chemically fueled/emotionally disturbed - maybe both and more attacker? - do they actually feel the pain and understand what is happening? In performing arrests and waiting for the police to arrive and take the people into custody ive had people struggle and twist for ages - even when in compliance locks and the like - my aim there was to hold someone there for police custody - now for everyone else who's not in a security team - or not having someone nearby to call the police to take over - what is going to happen to you when you get up and off of your attacker? - having re-read what ive just written i suppose that you could perform a break - but who has ever practised the actual break of an arm with an arm bar?

The good points about grappling is that it allows a lot of rough and tumble style practice - a generally realistic practise of ability - rather than some one doing some slow taps in a dojo then claiming "hah i just blinded you with an eye poke - then activated your percardium and liver dim mak points - which would have incapacitated you if it had been done at full force....though we never parctise this - beacuse it would be too deadly to ever do" - It may be all good and well to say that - but theres no way to tell if
A, Its actually true and not a scam
B, The person has the ability to perform full power strikes to an attacker when all they have been able to practise is light taps to a compliant partner.

Take care all.
Beware my flying no hands cartwheel kick of doom

#179869 - 08/20/05 04:06 AM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: Meanstreak]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Stand Up/striking: pros- stay on your feet(able to flee-very sensible), can keep distance, less likely to inflict serious damage (providing you dont riverdance on your oponents head if they go to ground).
Cons: likely to take a lot of punishment in return, no answer to ending up on the ground.

Grappling/ground fighting: Pros: limits damage you recieve, percieved as less aggressive in a legal sense, higher chance of quick incapacitation of attacker, good for messy 'roll on the floor' drunken fighting.
Cons: say goodnight if there is more than one attacker. Not safe in all environments (broken bottles on pavement, very near busy road etc). Not as easy to run from the ground. Actuall techniques more damaging than standup, despite court perception (Armbar- you are looking for a break, not a tapout. RNC- KO not ref stoppage etc.) Whilst this may make some sense to some judges, civil actions for physical harm will be more hefty with serious hospital time.

TKD MT BJJ KM MMA KF whatever, all mA have techniques that can be used in certain circumstances in real altercations. As has been said previously, it is the person, not the technique that wins or loses a fight IMO
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#179870 - 08/20/05 08:39 AM Re: BJJ reality check [Re: Cord]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
What should be the goal, for civilians, in a self defense situation? For me, that's escaping the situation and all that entails. That begins with avoidance and ends with breaking contact and running away. With that in mind, taking someone to the ground would seem to delay that strategy.

Honestly I think that we should ask a lot more than the one question of whether BJJ is effective on the street. We might also consider:

• Is running away always possible?
• Is deciding to stand and strike with someone larger than ourselves a smart idea?
• What if the opponent is someone we know and love (who is disturbed)?

The answers to ALL of these questions are subjective.

To ask if BJJ is "effective on the street" is just too broad a question. Maybe the question we should ask is, would a skilled Brazilian jiu-jitsu person be effective in a FIGHT against a resisting opponent. The answer to that is a definite yes! That is beyond dispute because we’ve all SEEN skilled BJJ guys fighting.

One of the main reasons why BJJ guys become good fighters (after some time in the art) is because the art is trained “live”. The sessions all end with sparring/rolling. They can go all out during these sessions because they don’t have to worry about injuries due to impact (jiu-jitsu is the “gentle art”). This experience is what tends to separate them from those who do NOT spar or wrestle around in this manner. Experience is what separates the effective fighter from the Ineffective fighter. BJJ guys (and anyone else who trains their art “live”) tend to rack this experience up.

At the end of the day, it’s all relative. Pit two individuals together in a fight. The more experienced person within the given circumstances will likely be the more effective fighter. Beyond that, it’s a coin toss folks. Life IS a crap-shoot after all. But I think the old saying that “chance favors the prepared mind” (or “fighter” in this case) is applicable to this scenario.


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