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  1. #1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Excellent article on MMA and tactical SD

    I read this article last month and decided that the 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:

  2. #2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Most of my experience with real fights was accumulated through working as a bouncer. I spent the last few years of my security career in Geelong, an hour from Melbourne. It was a fairly industrial town thatís seen its fair share of fights. On a good night my fellow workers and I would leave wearing the same shirts and badges, on a bad night we may have gone through a few shirts, a couple of badges and accrued more than a few bruises.
    One of the last places I worked (as a security manager) was a hotel frequented by uni students and the like. Occasionally we had trouble with bikers, but by and large it was a good place to work. Most nights Iíd either be serving drinks or on the front door, filling both roles to save the owners some money. One night two young lads (who appeared to be off their heads) walked in when I was behind the bar, and, despite being refused service, made their way into the pool room. I promptly followed them, noting that there were a number of regulars playing pool, including a pair of Irish lads and the former head of security. The good thing about working in the same venue for a while is that you learn who will back you up in a fight and who wonít. I knew these guys would be up for anything if it meant a bit of biff.
    After I again asked the newcomers to leave, the scene got heated, one of them taking off his jumper and shouting at me, daring me to come and throw him out. Had this happened earlier in my career, this could have been a big mistake, but after banging on for a few years you get sick of smacking people about, so despite their aggressive behaviour I gave them every chance to leave peacefully. Had circumstances been different I might have reacted another way, but with at least three other reliable people nearby, I chose to wait it out.
    Another thing Iíve discovered is that after a few hard punches to the face, most people who might have left with a little less trouble become vengeful and bitter. In a relatively small town like Geelong, it usually meant I would see such people again, and how I handled myself the first time would often determine how well I was treated the second time around. So after years of going hard, I would it easier to exhaust negotiating skills and avoid fights, rather than simply beat up aggressors and throw them out. Anyone whoís done this kind of security work knows that this can be a very tiresome cat-an-mouse game.
    Anyway, I soon got sick of being nice and nodded to Matty, the former head of security, then took hold of the nearest guy. I was looking to arm-drag him and get to his back, but he was ready to fight and started throwing punched like there was no tomorrow. Matty had grabbed the other guy so I was free to clinch, taking hold of the guys head and doing a neck-twist turn. Iíd intended to get to his back and drag him out, but he lost balance and fell to the floor. I kept his head twisted and landed on top with my knee on his chest, a classic shoot fighting takedown and control. By this time the two irish lads had jumped up and were ready to lay the boots in. Matty was a lot bigger than the guy he grabbed, so he easily dragged him out the door. So there I was, kneeling on the crazy guy. It was an eerie moment, looking down at his contorted face, his arms outstretched in an attempt to push me off. By instinct I shifted my weight and like a fool, almost arm barred him. It would have been a great technique but not tactically smart. As I tried to regain my control, the crazy guy scrambled back up and I was forced to take him down again to avoid getting kneed in the face. I quickly got the knee-ride again, while the two Irish lads were there trying to drag him to his feet. Again the instinct was to arm-bar him but I couldnít justify breaking it. Had it been a sport fight, it would have been over in a second, but I resisted the urge to submit him and instead began working on turning him over and then standing him up to walk him out .
    Controlling his wrist and elbow, I allowed the guy to get to his feet and after a bit of manipulation from the Irish boys, began moving him towards the door.
    Then, in an amazing feat of flexibility and strength, the guy twisted out of our control and spun back to face us, dropping on his arse before getting back to his feet. I resisted the urge to kick him in the face as he stood back up, but then he went to hit me so I instinctively too him straight back down. This was another mistake, as it is easier to remove a person who is standing.
    I clearly remember slapping the guy in the face and saying ďIím really trying to be nice mate, donít make me hurt you.Ē By repositioning my knee on his stomach to his ribs, I think he briefly understood what I meant and he began begging me to let him up.
    ĎAre you finished or do I have to kick the **** out of you?Ē I asked with my knee on his chest. The guy did well to speak, again began begging me to let him up. I was again forced with the decision to break his arm or not to break his arm, and again I opted not to. But as soon as I had him under control and locked up on his feet, he did exactly the same thing, spinning in a weird, contorted way to escape. He felt double-jointed; it was as though heíd practiced getting out of this particular hold, despite the crunching I felt in his wrist as he spun away.
    He tried to throw a few more wild punches, but I managed to avoid them and simply stood there and changed how I felt inside, as it were. This is a weird thing to explain, but when two people look at each other, what goes on inside can show through the eyes, and despite the fact that this guy was wired, he decided to back out of the side door, throwing a few kicks at the wall and door on the way out to show that he was still the man. From the outside I must have been standing there with my chest out, posturing like a hero, but the guy had got the drift. Maybe it was the fact that the two Irish lads were ready to rip his head off that helped him change his mind.
    All this had taken just a few seconds, and it was then that I became aware that Matty had mounted the other guy outside and was busy pinning him on the ground. No sooner had his mate left the venue, he helped out his friend, king-hitting Matty across the back of his head. The two Irish lads didnít take kindly to this and a brawl promptly ensured outside. Sometimes you have to hurt people for them to get the idea, and thatís what eventually happened to these guys after refusing several opportunities to leave peacefully.

  3. #3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This sort of thing has happened to me on a number of occasions, though admittedly mostly while working on the door. Although I laughed about it afterwards, trying an arm-bar was one of the most stupid things Iíve ever done. Itís a great technique, but it was not the time or place.
    Another problem Iíve found with applying mixed martial arts submissions is that not only are you left in a compromising position, but it is very difficult to justify breaking the limb.
    Chokes are great, but you must get away while your opponent is unconscious, or be prepared to have another punch-on. Quite often Iíve released someone from a submission hold only to have them attack again with renewed venom. One night I choked out the same guy no less than six times over a period of a few hours, before he was finally locked up by the police. Other times Iíve reacted by taking people down, only to have boots laid in by their mates, or even accidentally by my colleagues trying to lend a hand.
    Generally, most submission holds are only made possible by your ability to wrestle well, especially when thereís more than one opponent, but you must be careful not to hold on for too long and expose yourself to being hit by other people. If you do clinch, try to use the person you are grappling with as a shield until you can finish them off with strikes or a rear choke.
    So in all, you should train submissions so that you have them up your sleeve, but most people donít get the drift unless you hit them a few times, which brings you back to wrestling and striking. Itís interesting to note that the current trend in MMA also reflects this, although several recent rule changes have also influenced this direction.
    Another thing most people donít talk about is how much it hurts to look into the face of someone you have just seriously injured. Despite the rush of adrenaline, many MMA submission tactics can result in very real and lasting damage. Even striking someone in the face a few times, you can usually see their spirit crumble. Iím sure that some people thrive on this, but towards the end of my security career it started to disturb me. So after a few years I began to focus more heavily on those areas of training that worked but still allowed me to minimise the damage Iíd need to do, such as clinch work and removal techniques. The better I got, the less striking I needed to use, unless of course there was more than one person to deal with. In those circumstances, wrestling skills and Thai boxing were invaluable.
    In light of my past experiences, in the next issue of ĎBlitzí Iíll present a tactical analysis of which Mixed Martial Arts concepts work for self-defence, which ones arenít so good and why..
    (Jeremy TaíKody is the principal instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Malvern Martial arts ( and a sought-after personal trainer. He also teaches Muay Thai and shoot fighting, and is currently filming a documentary series on grappling-based martial arts a a DVD instructional series on shootfighting for self defence) END ARTICLE

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Great articles. Although I never knew Geelong was such a hardcore town.
    Rad ki was made up by adolescents. I do not know who created trad ki but it was not made by adolescents. your an ass dude, Im not being a little bitch you are, your past the level of a bitch. Your beyond Bitch! If im easting my time with ki and psi, then your wasting time to prove frauds, and all **** like that! -theoutsider

    Kick boxing is ok, but don't expect do beat a man like Rickson Gracie with that. You need a real martial art. You need Xing Yi Quan. -Emptyflower

    The splits, how ever, have a few martial uses. Doing the splits for me, can put my fists in testical strike range.

    dont ignore the Art for the Martial or else your just kick boxing

    Yes i am serious, there are kicks that can block punches. we have them in Moo duk kwan.
    I want to learn how to use them in case my arm gets broken in a fight.
    what would you have me do? if my arm gets broke, not block punches? -sempi-stone

  5. #5
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Kinda like bendigo or ballas i suppose-more fights with consent between guys lthat want to and a whole let less katana slashing than melbs.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    SF Bay area
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "The two Irish lads didnít take kindly to this and a brawl promptly ensured outside."

    Brilliant article, Mate.
    "You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."

  7. #7
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was bloody impressed by it. Anyone here know this bloke or train under him???

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I know Jeremy and have trained with him quite a bit in the past. He's a really nice guy and a very good martial artist. He's actually producing a DVD Magazine which should be out in a few weeks and sounds brilliant. Here's what he wrote about it:

    "Masters of Grappling DVD Series Volume one is a crazy five hour instructional documentary featuring Rigan Machado, Frank Shamrock, John Will, King of the Cage Fighter John "the Rev" Jensen, Paulo Guimaraes, wrestling phenom Talgat Ilyasov, Close quarter combat instructor Glenn Zwiers, BJJ brown Belt champ Rodrigo Viera and load of techniques from Murray Ballenden, Andrew Gorton, Cameron Rowe, Joss Richardson, Phillipa Katon and David Obrien.
    Seriously guys this DVD is f*#king huge, two double layer DVD-9 Discs, over 300 minutes long. It's basically a magazine that you "watch" instead of read. It's not a hollywood production, but it still kicks arse! .....
    Volume two also features Frank Shamrock, Rigan Machado, John Will as well as Larry Papadopoulos, former wrestling world champ Toshio Asakura, Elvis Sinosic, Igor, George Soturos (Sotiropolos) and many others."

    I'll let you guys know when it comes out and do a review.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have a couple of bones to pick.First off teaching tactics is strange to me.As this guy points out self-defense situations vary wildly.Therefore tactics must.I can spend a year teaching you to fight vs gangs weapons etc...then yyou might find yourself fighting on the deck of a sailboat running over rough seas.If you stand you might fall in so you gotta pull guard.
    A silly example no doubt but this guy seems to be advocating that we somehow train understanding tactics.You can't.Situations are just too random and must be dealt with differently.
    Therefore the SOLUTION is to find stuff to train that are flexible.Moves that can be used in a wide variety of situations.Like double legs RNC's and straight rights.
    Tactics are common sense.Common sense can't be taught.You either got it, or you don't.

    Beating up one strong and pissed off unarmed man is hard and dangerous.
    Worrying about fighting 3 armed guys before MASTERING MMA technique is backwards.Once you are Fedor you can maybe worry about fighting 2 tough guys or a guy with a knife.

    Also his stressing the horror of hyperextending(or just unnaturally twisting limbs) is very strange.
    First off if I hit someone in the head 20 times he may die or get maimed so bad I get charged with mayhem.If I break his arm I may get mayhem but he will not die.
    Submissions holds is the lesser of evils.
    This tells me the writer was looking hard for a way to make a distinction between MMA moves and real fight moves.He strained his arguement to make a weak point.Which tells me something.
    I have many times looked into peoples faces as I tore a limb up.In class, competition whatever.It isn't that big a deal.
    Who in a real fight would hesitate to bend an arm too far or be revulsed if they did? Not me.Nor the MMA guys I know.
    As far as his "choking someone out 6 times in one night" and his having guys "attack when he let the submission hold go".
    I can say only that this guy seems to be a strange choice to tell us about MMA in the street.He may be a badass but he tells stories which suggest his tactics weren't great.
    Some of the guys I train have violent jobs.I can't imagine them having to worry about the guy hitting them when they let the submission go.
    Only someone without common sense would have to worry about that.
    Choking someone out 6 times in one night is amazing.
    Only luck kept him from getting stabbed or shot.
    There is no reason why doing so twice should ever be needed.

    I read about MMA submissions leaving you in a bad position.
    Thats why they are SO CRUCIAL.
    I can break your limb or choke you out when I am forcilbly put in a bad position.
    Obviously I want knee on stomach.
    But shouldn't I also train how to hurt you when I'm under mount?
    That is MORE important to train.How hard is it to smash a face in when you are in control? It isn't.

    I should add that I liked the article.It at least attempted a more even handed approach than most self-defense articles which relentlessly bash sort training.But still I find it biased.
    Last edited by Strong Machine; 5/02/2005 11:43pm at .

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Strong Machine,
    I think Jeremy made the point that being a small town (around 150K people), if you break someone's arm badly they've got a six week reminder of what you did to them in the form of a cast. So if you hurt them badly, then they might come back and hurt you worse when the odds favour them.
    Having worked security myself for 7 years, I can fully understand having the opportunity to finish the fight easily, but not doing it because in the long run it will make things worse. There's a difference (and I perhaps Jeremy needs to explain this) between self-defence and removing someone from a pub or niteclub. If you're getting your arse kissed then of course you'll break the guy's arm, but if you're just trying to get the guy out the door then it doesn't make sense to do so.
    In the story that Jeremy wrote about, I personally would have choked the guy unconscious with a RNC and dragged him outside rather than using a restraint hold, especially if the guy was putting up that much resistance. Breaking the guys arm though because he refused to leave the club could be seen by the law, and your manager, as being excessive.

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