BJJ & Self Defense, who cares?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Davii, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Davii

    Davii Blue Belt

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    This may be a bit of blasphemy, and the title is more to catch people's attention while I take an extreme perspective, but I've always wondered this:

    Why is self defense stressed so much? Especially in these "Street Fight" topics?

    Yes, it may be true that many of us got into BJJ because of some self defense motive, or through watching MMA and wanting to learn how to fight. However, after training for a while, doesn't self defense become secondary, if not tertiary to your training motives? I believe staying in BJJ for the pure reason of self defense limits your BJJ experience, and takes you away from a lot of new and innovative elements that make this such an exciting art.

    If you ask someone "why do you train BJJ" I rarely hear self defense as the first answer, if at all.

    Why? I believe it is because we know it is efficient, and the confidence that comes along with being fit (and training a combat sport) carries over into everyday life. If some untrained guy wanted to fight one on one, I believe most blue belts and above could handle themselves fine - everything else being equal.

    Don't get me wrong. I understand the roots of BJJ, but I truly believe that most people enjoy the game and the competition over the theoretical self defense scenarios that may never even occur. So when someone puts down a school for being "sporty," I just shake my head.

    In the end, you're going to get much more excitement, training, and development from embracing the sporting aspect. Nothing says that you can't defend yourself in a one on one scenario. Could someone that trains purely in self defense do better? Most likely yes, but how often will they get to enjoy this... if you can call it enjoyment at all?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. Jagcorps_esq

    Jagcorps_esq Red Belt

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    Self defense is important because people that train in a martial art, even knowing that it has a very heavy "sport" influence, still want to believe (and I think they have the right to) that there is a practical application for that training.
     
  3. Davii

    Davii Blue Belt

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    Great point, and I sort of hinted at that in my post. But in your opinion, how important is self defense to your training? Does it drive you to become better, or is there another motive?

    I think we get into BJJ for said purpose, but do we start to look past self defense at a certain point?
     
  4. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    I train BJJ for self defense and I do enjoy training advanced BJJ techniques as well i.e DLR, sit up guard etc...

    Once you grasp the principles of JJ, you can use it in self defense and sport applications as well.
     
  5. BSRufio

    BSRufio White Belt

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    I don't care very much.

    The odds that I get put in a self defense situation are slim. If I'm put in such a situation I will run before fighting.

    Assuming I can't get out, I think the odds that I'll be fighting one opponent are similarly low. I don't think bjj is very good for multiple opponents.

    If I'm forced to fight one person, I feel fine knowing I could rely on my bjj, but to be honest the odds are so stacked against this situation that devoting a huge portion of my time to preparing for it is a little silly.

    So I guess I care, but only barely.
     
  6. Doctor Venture

    Doctor Venture Black Belt

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    Agreed. Most of the kids that I know that say they dont want to do gi BJJ because "some random guy on the street isnt going to be wearing a gi that I can pull on or choke him with" just get a laugh and a head shake because they have never even been in a fight.

    I dont even think its takes a blue belt to completely tool someone who isnt trained on the ground. Being in shape, knowing you can take a punch, give one back, and defend takedowns/escape bad spots if you wind up in one should give you confidence, but also keep you modest. Knowing that tough guys come in all shapes and sizes and not to judge a book by its cover goes a long way in keeping you safe, whether you train for sport or self defense.

    In my opinon self defense is as much a philosophy as it is technique. I prefer to train in a sport context, but I think its smart to look at what you learn and think about how you can apply it to self defense even if you dont plan on using it. It couldnt hurt.
     
  7. lethalazn

    lethalazn Purple Belt

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    preferably behind you, with both hooks sunk in
    I don't think you need a blue belt to tool someone who's way bigger (and untrained), if you're supposedly already halfway to your blue and you still can't do it, you're doing something horribly wrong with your BJJ

    I wouldn't put down a school for being "too sporty" but at the same time, I'm sure we all feel a little more secure about ourselves knowing that the same rear naked choke we've been practicing all those years in "sport BJJ" works just as well outside of training
     
  8. bjjaz

    bjjaz Got the Rock...Time to Roll

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    This sounds good to me.

    I still respect the self-defense part though and the pioneers...
     
  9. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    People who claim they will run before fighting are talking bollocks. Chances are that a fight will break out in a drunken situation, it won't feel like "life or death", a lot of your friends will be there to witness your running away, you will have drank enough to feel confident enough to talk your way out of it, or to handle it physically, etc. etc.

    Even just getting the chance to run away would be nice.

    I don't see why people feel the need to show how "mature" they are by saying they're not afraid to run from a fight. I'm honest enough to admit that, in most situations, more damage would be done to my quality of life if I ran instead of standing up for myself. Sometimes, having one fight today is two fights avoided tomorrow. Doesn't mean I'm a hero for saying so, but this strange clich
     
  10. Davii

    Davii Blue Belt

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  11. war path

    war path White Belt

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    although i look forward to belt promotions and compete in lots of tournaments probably more than ya'll my main motive is self defense. i frequently walk the streets in a shady part of the city that has lots of bums. i've also had people hate me for no apparent reason at all. all of this has instilled a self defense mentality first.
     
  12. Kyuktooki

    Kyuktooki Blue Belt

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    I do care about the self-defense aspect a bit but the way I see it although those few tricks that self-defense experts which actually do work teach are actually very basic (weak points in the body, situational awareness, using the edge or palm of your hand, etc.). A combat based sport that emphasizes sparring heavily is going to do a lot more to prepare me for a physical confrontation than these so-called self-defense experts are because it is going to help me improve my condition, my ability to use technique against an opponent who is aggressively resiting me, and because it is going to prepare me for the actual stress of combat. I agree that running away or talking people down is the best self-defense. I am pretty good at the latter and decent for a guy my size (6'6 270lbs) at the former. The truth is I think most self defense arts are a combination of complete BS and common sense. I focus on BJJ because I know at my size and with my university experiences as a bouncer, I am rarely going to find people whom I am going to have issues with when it comes to striking.
     
  13. Spoken

    Spoken Gold Belt

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    I never think about self defense in BJJ. Though Gracie Barra brings it up a bit, I honestly don't think about it at all.

    I did a lot of krav maga with my previous professor though so I feel fine in a self defense situation, but BJJ for me has never been about self defense. Its always been about the sport, fun, and exercise.
     
  14. juji gatame**

    juji gatame** Brown Belt

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    You make some good points TS. Unfortunately there's no BJJ schools around where I live but I took up Judo and I joined purely with a competition mindset and I think I can handle myself in a street fight.

    I think if you strive to get better at your martial art and compete, you will also learn valid self defense technique against a resisting opponent (besides turtling in Judo, and pulling guard in BJJ lol)>
     
  15. The Big Show**

    The Big Show** Banned Banned

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    I think you would get your head stomped slammed to a KO and dripping with blood from your elbows and knees if you tried BJJ on the street!

    That is WHY the ground game diappeared from traditional martial arts a long time ago!
     
  16. Davii

    Davii Blue Belt

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    Thanks - and I agree, pulling guard is probably a bad move in a self defense situation. But hey, knowing is half the battle right? If you compete, you should know a few takedowns (from a bjj perspective) this should give you a clear edge as well.
     
  17. The Big Show**

    The Big Show** Banned Banned

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    You sound like one of these TKD blackbelts who would get KTFO by any average boxer!

    Cage fighting is cool because it would work on the street with minor adaptions BJJ alone is not enough!
     
  18. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Funny how people always mention pulling guard when talking about BJJ.
     
  19. Davii

    Davii Blue Belt

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    I always say this myself. People associate guard with BJJ a bit too much
     
  20. futang17

    futang17 Green Belt

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    yeah as a bjj player, if i get side mount, back mount, and mount i will immediately give up those position and engage my opponent in guard... since that's what we're known for, we don't go through the "position (back mount>mount> side control>guard) before submission" process
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010

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