• Editorial (aka Ranting)

    Lets get a couple of things straight. There has been the usual banter on the Internet forums of the relative merits of BJJ as a method of self-defence and whether other fighting systems are better. What BJJ does do better than anything else is provide you with skills to effectively control an opponent on the ground, either from the top or underneath. Now given that fights regularly end up here it’s a great skill set to have. Secondly BJJ provides you with a training philosophy that forces you to deal with a non-compliant opponent all the time, every training session in fact consists of aliveness. These two things alone make it better than most other systems. But who the hell wants to be on the ground in a punch up if it can be avoided….not me. So the next part of the equation is stand up and clinch and for these two things we need boxing and wrestling, again two “aliveness” systems centred around going all out with someone intent on stopping you. In boxing its getting and being hit hard and in wrestling its all clinch, takedowns and sprawls. The end product of this gruelling evolutionary process is MMA, which seamlessly integrated the transitions between these 3 ranges. Once again though, MMA contests are one-on -one match scenarios with rules, refs, timers and buzzers. A sport, not a fight. What gets me though is these dingbats who then decide because of this that their classical combat system is leaps and bounds better than both BJJ and MMA in dealing with live situations without pressure testing anything. If ten years of the UFC has taught us nothing else it is what works most of the time for most people in a one on one confrontation. A controlled trial, if you like, of the effectiveness of fighting arts. Reliable and Reproducible. To train in anything else and think it makes you a better fighter is ignorant at best and lunacy at worst. Now the trick with all this stuff is that it takes a long time to learn, years in fact. You can spend a lifetime in any of the 3 disciplines and still be learning. So you need to analyse and train the basics or fundamentals in each system and these do not ever change for anyone. These are rock solid principles that go beyond a particular technique like eye gouging, for instance, which seems to be the classic get out of jail free card pulled up by these Muppets. Try your secret techniques on me and see if it works. The result may surprise you. So therefore, develop and train fundamentals in stand-up, clinch and ground. Now that we have the skills next we need to make the leap to self defence training by introducing adrenal responses, verbal, pushing and shoving, contact cues, startle/flinch responses, fences etc. all this has been covered by many authors. My favourites on this topic are Thompson, Blauer and Grossman. And without these things this is where BJJ and MMA can and will fall down in a real situation. But the skill set is still 100 times better than anything else out there. Period. That jump to combat effectiveness is in the training, psychology, awareness, avoidance, stress coping, mechanisms and scenario training NOT the techniques. So train in alive arts like boxing, wrestling, BJJ and Judo and leave the other stuff behind. Keep it real.