Excellent article on MMA and tactical SD
I read this article last month and decided that the bullshido.net could benefit from discussing it. I am primarily interested in the resulting discussion but as I know I am not supposed to post articles without personal comment I shall add this. He's right about Geelong.
Ta'kody, Jermey 'To Break or Not To Break?- Mixed Martial Arts techniques and their place in self defence' in ' Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine" Vol 19, No.4, 2005.
With all the hype surrounding Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting techniques recently, few people are really looking at how they might actually function in the street. Former ĎBlitzĒ editor Jeremy Taíkody, a shoot fighting and BJJ instructor who has worked extensively as a nightclub bouncer, exposes some of the ultimate fighting myths.
Itís common knowledge that MMA or no-hold barred (NHB) sport-fighting has highlighted the necessity of more rounded skill-sets for full contact fighting and self-defence and, in particular, the functionality of wrestling and ground-fighting skills. However, may people assume that MMA techniques will equip them for defending themselves on the street. To a considerable extent, this is true, but several problems arise in following this approach.
To analyse MMA in action is to look at three distinct components and the tactics behind them. In no particular order, the first skill set used by NHB fighters is Muay Thai kickboxing. The basic tactic of Muay Thai is to use eight fundamental weapons to inflict as much damage as possible upon the opponent, and to knock them out. Standout techniques are boxing skills, hard-hitting leg kicks and the incredibly effective knees and elbows from close range or the clinch.
The second skill-set is freestyle wrestling. The main tactic or wrestling is to break the opponents balance, either from a clinch or tackle position, and to pin the opponent on his back. Typical techniques are single-and double leg takedowns, and the awesome close-quarter grappling skills involving pummelling, arm-drags, whizzers and duck-under-go-behinds.
The third skill set in mixed martial arts is the dynamic art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or submission grappling. The main tactic of Brasilian Jui Jitsu is to control the opponent on the ground via a dominant position, and subsequently set up a variety of joint-locks and chokes to finish the fight by submission or render the opponent unable to continue.
The main advantage if integrating these arts is immediately apparent when observing modern MMA fighters against exponents of more traditional arts, but problems do occur when MMA tactics are applied in the street. For example, many BJJ techniques which provide an extreme advantage in one-on-one fights, drastically lose their practicality when placed in the real world. There are no mats, and fights that end up on the ground attract multiple opponents. Ground-fighting is a reality of real fights, but so are multiple opponents. So, the most obvious problems arise when there is more than two people involved in a confrontation. I know this is an old argument, but its very valid.
Another problem is that, in my experience, itís hard to be tactical when the **** really hitís the fan. You end up fighting how you train. Therefore, if youíre only practicing grappling and submission moves, thatís how you will react. Even when youíre in a one-on-one situation, most submission holds are so damaging that it may be hard to justify your actions. So again, how effective is Mixed Martial Arts training for self-defence? The answer depends entirely on how you train, either from a tactical perspective, or from a technical perspective.
A tactical perspective allows for a much more rational approach, whereas a technical perspective simply looks at each individual move and not really the context in which it is applied. In my opinion, most school are far more technical, with not enough emphasis on tactics.
The real problem occurs when the distinctions begin to blur. Techniques that are extremely effective become life-threatening when applied in the wrong context.
So, it all depends what you want you skills to do. If you want to be a UFC champion, fine but if you want to train for self defence then you must make some very clear tactical distinctions, which in turn will decide which techniques you practice.
The real world of street-fighting is ugly, extremely aggressive and very, very messy. Taking the approach of using what works and discarding the rest, it becomes apparent that many MMA skills and techniques are very effective for developing certain attributes., but the key is to understand the difference that the environment makes over subsequent tactics. The following story illustrates some of the problems with training MMA: