Oftentimes, people who have zero understanding of real life self defense attempt to tear down the abilities of people who actually train legitimate self-defense martial arts. When someone who doesn’t understand ground fighting tries to fight a grappler, the match is usually very short and painful for the non grappler. However, in an effort to save face the non grappler will usually dig up two absolutely classic critiques. Seriously people have been trying to discredit the importance of grappling for 25 years with these misguided arguments.
#1 Ground fighting will get you “killed in the street” against multiple opponents
#2 Grappling will get you “killed in the street” if your opponent has a knife.
Apparently the streets
are absolutely LITTERED with corpses, because according to these triggly puffs pretty much everything will get you “killed in the streets
” I’d like to point out that the people making these claims usually look like they’d get winded if they leaned over to tie their own shoelaces and often do their “self-defense” training wearing a costume not unlike Dolph Lundgren in “Showdown in Little Tokyo”
#1 Ground fighting doesn’t work against multiple attackers.
What I love about this claim is that the exact opposite is true. Yes, in an ideal world you would not go to the ground against multiple attackers. In an ideal world you RUN from multiple attackers. Actually that’s not true either, in an IDEAL world there are no attackers at all and you’re in your house as the Sol Food delivery guy shows up, your meal is free and ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ is starting on TNT. That would be an ideal world. Let’s all just take a minute to live in that happy daydream…..
Anyways, let’s get back to all the carnage on the streets where you’re surrounded by the dead bodies of people who foolishly trusted in Jiu Jitsu instead of San Soo Kung fu. Imagine 2 or 3 guys are trying to beat you up. Getting away is ALWAYS the best call in about 99% of self-defense situations and against multiple attackers, double down on that. However, getting away when you have 3 people surrounding you isn’t always an option. If you haven’t seen many 2 on 1 fights (or 3 on 1, or 5 on 2, or whatever) allow me to let you in on a secret: the larger group almost immediately tries to tackle the smaller group to the ground and pin them down, after which a gang up face-booting usually ensues. Put yourself in the shoes of the “bad guys” in this situation. If you and 3 of your buddies had to knock out one guy, one of you would look to tackle and grapple while the others rained down blows from above. This is by far the quickest, least risky, and most effective way to take out one person if you are in a group. This is fairly obvious and just plain common sense… Or maybe I’m just a horrible person. When you are attacked by more than one opponent, you don’t get to choose whether things hit the floor or stay queensberry. Initiating a clinch and grappling you to the floor is the group’s goal. Don’t take my word for it. If a picture is worth 1,000 words than a video has got to be worth, IDK, at least 12,520 words or something. Search YouTube for “2 on 1 fight” or “gang fight” and you’ll see the larger group take the fight to the ground or spend the majority of the fight attempting to get to the ground. The ability of the person getting attacked to be able to avoid getting taken down in clinches and, if they do go down, grapple their way back up to their feet are the two MOST important skills in a multiple attackers scenario.
Now ask yourself this, who’s going to be more effective at wrestling their way back up to their feet, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt or a Tae Kwon Do black belt? Who gets back to the standing position quicker and breaks that attacker’s grip, the college wrestler or the krav mahgeerrd dude? In a broader sense, for self defense purposes grappling should obviously be supplemented with striking and pre-fight training, but the ability to grapple (or more accurately, use your grappling skills to “anti-grapple”) is likely going to be the difference between victory and defeat.
Grappling isn’t “useless” against multiple opponents, it’s likely going to be what saves your life.
Now I have yet to address the second point but that will have to wait until tomorrow, I’m pressed for time. My academy opens in 45 minutes and unfortunately I’ve got to go outside and use my giant “corpse rake” to clear out all the dead bodies that are piled up along the streets in front of my gym. I mean, I’m running a business here.