The elusive Self Defence Version of Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Oily Dragon

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In self-defense there are no rules, no ref, and no illegal techniques.
Uhhhhh....is this advice intended for people *outside* Brazil?

Because...no.

Jutaijutsu vs GJJ? Also, no. That's a street I'm willing to die on.
 
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Oily Dragon

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Any take-down or submission hold that ties you up and entangles you with your opponent's body makes you vulnerable and should be avoided.
If you're a ninja in the 17th century maybe. Not in 2021, because there are a million videos of real fights ending just like that, and as far as I know, zero of someone in a dominant position being vulnerable to anything else. Does it happen? Maybe, but it's a unicorn as far as evidence.

Here's a theory: It's more likely that everyone will stand around you recording with their phones, than join in a scuffle with two people on the ground, even if one is trying to rape or murder the other. If the cops show up, be ready to eat a boot then.

Why do I find ninja jujutsu so funny? I don't know, I just do.
 
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dunc

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If you're a ninja in the 17th century maybe. Not in 2021, because there are a million videos of real fights ending just like that, and as far as I know, zero of someone in a dominant position being vulnerable to anything else. Does it happen? Maybe, but it's a unicorn as far as evidence.

Here's a theory: It's more likely that everyone will stand around you recording with their phones, than join in a scuffle with two people on the ground, even if one is trying to rape or murder the other. If the cops show up, be ready to eat a boot then.

Why do I find ninja jujutsu so funny? I don't know, I just do.

I agree with @tim po in that In self defence you want to be on the top if possible
However, thats a pretty common approach for BJJ practitioners as well and certainly many people build a game around takedowns and top position
Also its clearly a benefit for a self defence situation if you know how to fight from bottom position because at least one of you is going to be there

The point that I think is being made and I agree with is that in a self defence situation you probably dont want to pull guard unless youre really good at sweeps from there
And I agree that there are adaptions to take account of the rule sets or lack thereof
 

tim po

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Uhhhhh....is this advice intended for people *outside* Brazil?

Because...no.

Jutaijutsu vs GJJ? Also, no. That's a street I'm willing to die on.
not really sure what you mean here, if you are implying that defending yourself outside of Brazil is somehow different, I say we all are just as mortal, anywhere in the world, and better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Also, I think i said as much about Jutaijutsu VS. BJJ, but the mindset and strategy are worlds apart. The former was developed in a world where warriors fought to the death every day at close quarters. And depending upon who is teaching it, of course, it still contains the tactics of survival by any means that it was formed upon.

I am not talking here about fighting. i'm talking about responding to a sudden and violent attack from a person with unknown intentions. a bar fight is not the same thing, even if you are not a willing participant.
 

tim po

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If you're a ninja in the 17th century maybe. Not in 2021, because there are a million videos of real fights ending just like that, and as far as I know, zero of someone in a dominant position being vulnerable to anything else. Does it happen? Maybe, but it's a unicorn as far as evidence.

Here's a theory: It's more likely that everyone will stand around you recording with their phones, than join in a scuffle with two people on the ground, even if one is trying to rape or murder the other. If the cops show up, be ready to eat a boot then.

Why do I find ninja jujutsu so funny? I don't know, I just do.
you find Ninja so funny because there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation, outright fraud, and horrific technique out there claiming to be Ninpo, and you clearly don't know the difference.

you are talking about 'casual fighting', the kind of dumb BS that goes down wherever fools gather. i am not interested in that, and I do not get the impression that the original poster is, either.

Here's a scenario for you: how about, a stranger bumrushes you and seeks to tackle you to the ground and then...? you don't know. you're response is a skillful takedown that lands you on your back already locked into the arm-bar, and you seek to hold him there until he 'gives up'. instead he pulls a knife with his free hand and cuts both of your achilles' tendons before you even know he has a weapon. I suppose you think this is highly improbable, since you never saw it in a youtube video?

stay on your feet.
 

Oily Dragon

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not really sure what you mean here, if you are implying that defending yourself outside of Brazil is somehow different, I say we all are just as mortal, anywhere in the world, and better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Also, I think i said as much about Jutaijutsu VS. BJJ, but the mindset and strategy are worlds apart. The former was developed in a world where warriors fought to the death every day at close quarters. And depending upon who is teaching it, of course, it still contains the tactics of survival by any means that it was formed upon.

I am not talking here about fighting. i'm talking about responding to a sudden and violent attack from a person with unknown intentions. a bar fight is not the same thing, even if you are not a willing participant.
Always with the bar fights...

What I meant was the idea that there are "no illegal techniques" outside competition is just not true, unless you live in a lawless part of the world. or a Brazilian favela.

There are very few "legal" techniques to use in a SD situation, because the range of what you can do to another human without going to jail is pretty small.
 

Oily Dragon

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you find Ninja so funny because there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation, outright fraud, and horrific technique out there claiming to be Ninpo, and you clearly don't know the difference.
I know enough to know that you probably train a mostly dead Samurai art, but you also just said you're an excellent grappler, which means you're the latest person on the internet to claim to be that elusive unicorn, the ninja ground master who trains on his feet, but knows the ground well enough to not want to be there.

Was I close?

Either way, what the heck is "casual fighting".
 

Oily Dragon

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Here's a scenario for you: how about, a stranger bumrushes you and seeks to tackle you to the ground and then...? you don't know. you're response is a skillful takedown that lands you on your back already locked into the arm-bar, and you seek to hold him there until he 'gives up'. instead he pulls a knife with his free hand and cuts both of your achilles' tendons before you even know he has a weapon. I suppose you think this is highly improbable, since you never saw it in a youtube video?
It's highly improbable because you just made it all up.
 

drop bear

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In any event nobody is really forcing you to roll off mount in to arm bars if you desperately don't want to. (At least not in rolling)

If your focus is to take people down but then be in a position to stand back up if you want. Then you just change your go to positions and submissions. I do kasegetami a lot because on the street other top positions used to scratch my knees up.

Cops who use handcuffs tend to use kimouras.

There is still a vehicle to pursue these special interests.
 

tim po

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I know enough to know that you probably train a mostly dead Samurai art, but you also just said you're an excellent grappler, which means you're the latest person on the internet to claim to be that elusive unicorn, the ninja ground master who trains on his feet, but knows the ground well enough to not want to be there.

Was I close?

Either way, what the heck is "casual fighting".
you're a gem. I am no ninja. Nor am I Shinobi No Mono. I'm not even Japanese, and no, I don't have a magical horn protruding from my forehead. I have experience, and the desire to engage in friendly conversation with fellow martial artists, in the name of sharing our experiences so that we all may expand our skills and awareness.

Casual fighting is what is occurring between two meatheads while all their friends are standing around filming it on their phones, as per your example intended to illustrate 'the way things really are'. it's quite common, and most of the time, it is a struggle for territorial and social dominance, and does not fall under the terms of life-or-death self-defense. Therefore rules of a sort still apply, you will gain no respect amongst your peers if you voluntarily enter such a contest, then immediately strike your opponent in the throat. it is 'expected' that you square off and duke it out with your fists, otherwise there is no display of dominance.
 

Oily Dragon

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I think actual examples of real world violence is the best way to challenge theories about what happens in a "real" life or death encounter.

This woman was raped on public transportation in front of at least 10 witnesses. Nobody stepped in, many filmed it.

So if this happens with a rape in public broad daylight...nobody even attempts to remove the man in dominant position. Whether scared or apathetic, it's very telling.

If she'd had some BJJ SD training on the other hand...far more trustworthy than spectators, apparently.

 

tim po

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Always with the bar fights...

What I meant was the idea that there are "no illegal techniques" outside competition is just not true, unless you live in a lawless part of the world. or a Brazilian favela.

There are very few "legal" techniques to use in a SD situation, because the range of what you can do to another human without going to jail is pretty small.
I agree. our world has laws, and appropriate use of force will need to be justified. It is always paramount to do as little as is necessary, but that does not imply stopping short of as much is necessary. Each person must reflect on this for themselves, and training will reduce the fear and insecurity that often causes people to overreact.

Contextual awareness is the key. If i was at a party and didn't know most of the people, for no reason some lug picks me to pound on and I have done nothing to encourage it, it is a self-defense situation. However, it is a very different scenario than being jumped in an alley by an unknown assailant. In the first case, I would try hard to do as little as possible. in the second, i would try harder to do as much as i can, and worry about repercussions later, if i'm still alive. these two cases would be viewed very differently by the law, but you are very right, my 'self-defense' might not be over and i may need a lawyer.
 

tim po

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I think actual examples of real world violence is the best way to challenge theories about what happens in a "real" life or death encounter.

This woman was raped on public transportation in front of at least 10 witnesses. Nobody stepped in, many filmed it.

So if this happens with a rape in public broad daylight...nobody even attempts to remove the man in dominant position. Whether scared or apathetic, it's very telling.

If she'd had some BJJ SD training on the other hand...far more trustworthy than spectators, apparently.

or........if maybe the ten people who were there weren't total assholes.......

i grew up in philly. if it were anywhere else, i'd be surprised.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Here's a scenario for you: how about, a stranger bumrushes you and seeks to tackle you to the ground and then...? you don't know. you're response is a skillful takedown that lands you on your back already locked into the arm-bar, and you seek to hold him there until he 'gives up'. instead he pulls a knife with his free hand and cuts both of your achilles' tendons before you even know he has a weapon.
I'll share my thoughts on this scenario from my perspective as a BJJ instructor (over two decades) with a background in the Bujinkan (about a decade) and significant experience in various other systems, including multiple weapons arts.

  1. I always teach my students that if a fight goes to the ground, top position is better, especially in a street confrontation. The guard is our backup plan in case staying on top fails, not our first choice. The only possible exception is in certain competition rulesets which are designed to equalize the chances for the top and bottom player. Even for people who intend to compete under those rulesets, I advocate a preference for top game because it carries over better to other contexts. Thus in the situation you present, I would always advocate that my students prioritize stopping the attacker's takedown attempt.
  2. Your description of the defender's response is unclear. You say "a skillful takedown", but then "lands you on your back already locked into the arm bar." If you are the person performing the takedown you shouldn't be landing on your back. Are you envisioning the defender landing in guard and doing an armbar from there? Or are you thinking about the defender throwing the attacker, holding on to the attacker's arm, and then falling off to the side to perform an armbar? If it's the latter, then I wouldn't personally recommend or teach that approach in a self-defense situation (for a variety of reasons). If it's the former, then it means the defender failed to stop the takedown and is at least attempting an immediate counter attack rather than just laying on the bottom waiting to get beat up.
  3. In a real fight, you don't use an armbar (especially the type of armbar you seem to be describing) to hold an opponent until he gives up. You just break his arm and then immediately move on. If the situation is not one which justifies breaking his arm then you shouldn't be going to an armbar position. There are plenty of other positions which are much better for controlling someone that you don't want to injure.
  4. If you have an undeployed knife and someone is in the process of breaking your arm with a properly locked in armbar, it's not actually very easy to access and deploy your weapon. Especially before your arm is already broken. It can be done, but it's not easy. (It's a lot easier if you have the grappling skill to defend the armbar while you fish for your knife.) If an unprovoked street attacker has the will and the skill to draw and use the knife while he is being arm barred, then he probably would have had the knife out and been attacking with it in the first place rather than attempting to tackle his victim with empty hands.
  5. If you are able to deploy your knife while being arm barred, then the achille's tendons are not a prime target. They aren't in an easily accessible position (assuming your opponent knows how to apply the armbar correctly) and you're likely to end up injuring yourself in the attempt to slice them. Much better to just stab your opponent in the leg. Mid thigh will be the most accessible target.
  6. In any case, unarmed against a knife-wielding attacker is just a bad matchup overall, no matter what art you practice. I've been training martial arts for 40 years and have practiced a lot of knife defenses from different systems and done a reasonable amount of sparring with training knives. I have my preferred tactics for unarmed vs knife, but I'm not going to pretend that any of them give the kind of odds you would want with your life on the line.
the strategy is taught mainly from a sport-fighting perspective.
A non-sportive context does change some aspects of application. (Not the overall physical principles, just tactical approach and some technical details.)

IMO, the best approach to understanding those details and tactics for someone who wants "street applicability" is to add in some sparring/live training where you change up the allowable techniques and tactical goals. Grapple with hair pulling allowed. Grapple with strikes. Spar two on one. Spar/grapple with training weapons. Grapple on furniture on in cars. Set asymmetric goals (partner A is trying to hold his opponent down and punch, partner B is trying to get up and get to the exit). The possibilities are endless.

In my experience, the primary driver of success in these drills is the time spend polishing fundamental skills in "sportive" sparring. You do need the mental flexibility to adapt to the new variables on the fly and it helps to do these drills to get a feel for what you have to tweak to account for the changed circumstances. (One pleasant discovery is that many of the adaptations for "street" application can actually feed back to make your "sportive" sparring better. For example, being aware of the possibility of head butts can lead you to put your head in a better position for pure sport grappling.)

Bottom line, "sport" grappling and "street" grappling don't have to be at odds. There are specialized techniques you can do for sport which take advantage of the tournament rules but aren't so good for a real fight. But there are also plenty of foundational techniques and tactics which work really well in both contexts. (Even a lot of the crazy tournament techniques can still teach some really good lessons about body mechanics and movement, so they aren't a total loss for someone approaching the art from a martial perspective.)
 

tim po

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I'll share my thoughts on this scenario from my perspective as a BJJ instructor (over two decades) with a background in the Bujinkan (about a decade) and significant experience in various other systems, including multiple weapons arts.

  1. I always teach my students that if a fight goes to the ground, top position is better, especially in a street confrontation. The guard is our backup plan in case staying on top fails, not our first choice. The only possible exception is in certain competition rulesets which are designed to equalize the chances for the top and bottom player. Even for people who intend to compete under those rulesets, I advocate a preference for top game because it carries over better to other contexts. Thus in the situation you present, I would always advocate that my students prioritize stopping the attacker's takedown attempt.
  2. Your description of the defender's response is unclear. You say "a skillful takedown", but then "lands you on your back already locked into the arm bar." If you are the person performing the takedown you shouldn't be landing on your back. Are you envisioning the defender landing in guard and doing an armbar from there? Or are you thinking about the defender throwing the attacker, holding on to the attacker's arm, and then falling off to the side to perform an armbar? If it's the latter, then I wouldn't personally recommend or teach that approach in a self-defense situation (for a variety of reasons). If it's the former, then it means the defender failed to stop the takedown and is at least attempting an immediate counter attack rather than just laying on the bottom waiting to get beat up.
  3. In a real fight, you don't use an armbar (especially the type of armbar you seem to be describing) to hold an opponent until he gives up. You just break his arm and then immediately move on. If the situation is not one which justifies breaking his arm then you shouldn't be going to an armbar position. There are plenty of other positions which are much better for controlling someone that you don't want to injure.
  4. If you have an undeployed knife and someone is in the process of breaking your arm with a properly locked in armbar, it's not actually very easy to access and deploy your weapon. Especially before your arm is already broken. It can be done, but it's not easy. (It's a lot easier if you have the grappling skill to defend the armbar while you fish for your knife.) If an unprovoked street attacker has the will and the skill to draw and use the knife while he is being arm barred, then he probably would have had the knife out and been attacking with it in the first place rather than attempting to tackle his victim with empty hands.
  5. If you are able to deploy your knife while being arm barred, then the achille's tendons are not a prime target. They aren't in an easily accessible position (assuming your opponent knows how to apply the armbar correctly) and you're likely to end up injuring yourself in the attempt to slice them. Much better to just stab your opponent in the leg. Mid thigh will be the most accessible target.
  6. In any case, unarmed against a knife-wielding attacker is just a bad matchup overall, no matter what art you practice. I've been training martial arts for 40 years and have practiced a lot of knife defenses from different systems and done a reasonable amount of sparring with training knives. I have my preferred tactics for unarmed vs knife, but I'm not going to pretend that any of them give the kind of odds you would want with your life on the line.

A non-sportive context does change some aspects of application. (Not the overall physical principles, just tactical approach and some technical details.)

IMO, the best approach to understanding those details and tactics for someone who wants "street applicability" is to add in some sparring/live training where you change up the allowable techniques and tactical goals. Grapple with hair pulling allowed. Grapple with strikes. Spar two on one. Spar/grapple with training weapons. Grapple on furniture on in cars. Set asymmetric goals (partner A is trying to hold his opponent down and punch, partner B is trying to get up and get to the exit). The possibilities are endless.

In my experience, the primary driver of success in these drills is the time spend polishing fundamental skills in "sportive" sparring. You do need the mental flexibility to adapt to the new variables on the fly and it helps to do these drills to get a feel for what you have to tweak to account for the changed circumstances. (One pleasant discovery is that many of the adaptations for "street" application can actually feed back to make your "sportive" sparring better. For example, being aware of the possibility of head butts can lead you to put your head in a better position for pure sport grappling.)

Bottom line, "sport" grappling and "street" grappling don't have to be at odds. There are specialized techniques you can do for sport which take advantage of the tournament rules but aren't so good for a real fight. But there are also plenty of foundational techniques and tactics which work really well in both contexts. (Even a lot of the crazy tournament techniques can still teach some really good lessons about body mechanics and movement, so they aren't a total loss for someone approaching the art from a martial perspective.)
Well said and all on-point from my perspective. you asked about the example i'd given, though I can visualize several ways to take a person down directly into an arm-bar, what i was imagining was that being blindsided you were already going down, and turned the fall into a takedown. you don't land on your back, but roll there. it's never easy to describe moving technique.. but as you summed up, once there, you want to get out of there as quickly as possible. the arm should be broken immediately and mobility restored.

i fully agree about the nightmare of facing a knife attack, armed or not. as for drawing while in an arm bar, there is only one thing to be done once someone has effectively employed such technique - let your arm break, and keep fighting. i was only trying to point out that outside the ring, there are myriad unknowable variables, and certain adjustments need to be made if your learning an art as a sport, but intend it for self-defense, as was the idea behind the origin of this thread.

it seems I have given the impression that i am in disfavor of sport grappling. in my first post on this thread i explained that i hold GJJ technique in high regard, because it has to work within the rules. it is only in overall strategy that i meant to point out discrepancies that affect SD.
 

Oily Dragon

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or........if maybe the ten people who were there weren't total assholes.......

i grew up in philly. if it were anywhere else, i'd be surprised.
This is why we don't have many stories of BJJ, and self defense types, being the heroes in these types of stories.

I remember a BJJ professor getting knifed to death on a bus for trying to stop a robbery a few years back.

Might even have been in Brazil. Maybe somebody remembers. When I read it my first thought was "wait...do they even teach knife defense in BJJ?"
 

drop bear

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you find Ninja so funny because there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation, outright fraud, and horrific technique out there claiming to be Ninpo, and you clearly don't know the difference.

you are talking about 'casual fighting', the kind of dumb BS that goes down wherever fools gather. i am not interested in that, and I do not get the impression that the original poster is, either.

Here's a scenario for you: how about, a stranger bumrushes you and seeks to tackle you to the ground and then...? you don't know. you're response is a skillful takedown that lands you on your back already locked into the arm-bar, and you seek to hold him there until he 'gives up'. instead he pulls a knife with his free hand and cuts both of your achilles' tendons before you even know he has a weapon. I suppose you think this is highly improbable, since you never saw it in a youtube video?

stay on your feet.

How does he get both Achilles tendons?

I mean you are going for a submission from your back. Your feet are generally out of the way.
 

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drop bear

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This is why we don't have many stories of BJJ, and self defense types, being the heroes in these types of stories.

I remember a BJJ professor getting knifed to death on a bus for trying to stop a robbery a few years back.

Might even have been in Brazil. Maybe somebody remembers. When I read it my first thought was "wait...do they even teach knife defense in BJJ?"

Nobody teaches knife defence to a point where you are even vaguely safe.

That sort of evidence is kind of a scam.

What they would need to do is build a case to suggest their system can counter a real live knife attack.

But. Basically nobody can. So instead they pick a style that has failed against a knife and suggest if that system doesn't work. Then therefore mine does.

Otherwise BJJ does teach the components of knife defense. Which is generally standing arm controls. Just without the knife.

Arm drag concepts are good(ish) for knives.

 
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Tony Dismukes

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Nobody teaches knife defence to a point where you are even vaguely safe.

That sort of evidence is kind of a scam.

What they would need to do is build a case to suggest their system can counter a real live knife attack.

But. Basically nobody can. So instead they pick a style that has failed against a knife and suggest if that system doesn't work. Then therefore mine does.

Otherwise BJJ does teach the components of knife defense. Which is generally standing arm controls. Just without the knife.

Arm drag concepts are good(ish) for knives.

This is the reason for the title of the Dog Brothers video series Die Less Often. Theyre not claiming that they can get you to the point of reliably defending against a knife attack. Theyre just suggesting that they can improve your odds, so that in the myriad parallel universes where you are attacked by an assailant with a knife you could die less often.
 
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