Grappling Techniques for Self Defense
I remember back in the seventies when kickboxing became popular.
It was said and commonly thought that kickboxing was the "way"
and that your karate or taekwondo techniques were obsolete. In
the past few years with the advent of the UFC and other "no holds
barred" tournments, striking techniques like those used in kickboxing,
karate, kung fu and just about any other striking arts were "proven"
ineffective for self defense.
Here is my view of some of the realities. First, how often is
the average person who is attacked on the street going to come
up against an experienced and trainined Brazillian ju-jutsu practicioner
or other grappling art student? Probably, never. Why? Because
most street thugs do not have the self discipline to attend classes
and practice their art for years to become good at it.
More often those attacked are done so by ordinary criminals who,
although might be street savy, are not particularly effecient
at any martial art. For self defense to be effective we must prepare
ourselves for the 'most likely" attack. That probably won't be
from a trained grappler, trying a quick, one leg takedown. No,
more than likely is will be one of the 30 most commond street
attacks we address in Street
Self Defense 101 and have elaborated on in Volume II.
Some will say that the UFC has 'proven' that grappling is the
best in all out 'fights'. While I might agree with them in the
ring (although today most of the champions have crossed trained
in the striking arts as well), street self defense is another
Real self defense must consider that there is a good chance that
there may be more than one attacker. Grappling has a definite
So should one ignore grappling altogether? No, I think that a
few basics should be learned. More than that would require a great
deal of training and practice to make the technques cognitively
available under duress. One should learn the basics so that should
they find themselves on the ground with an attacker, they can
combine their striking skills with some basic grappling knowledge
that could help them survive.
It comes down to this. If you are not willing to devote many
years, several times a week, to learn grappling skills, it may
be better to just learn a few important defenses and escapes from
the ground and focus your limited time on striking skills that
are more apt to come into play in real street self defense.
Learning to ground fight is quite different from traditional
grappling skills. The former are more street adapable, while the
latter are better suited for the ring or no holds barred tournaments.
Learn more about learning these skills at Street
Self Defense 101.
Shihan Michael Pace