View Full Version : Mark MacYoung makes a lot of sense about what he says

Pages : [1] 2 3

Knife Fighter 03
4/26/2004 1:13am,
I copied this from his website...

I have taken extreme flak from people about my views on grappling. Usually these people are grappling proponents and believe that my answers are too simplistic. I have three basic standards:

1) If you end up on the ground, you fucked up
2) Get up immediately
3) Submission fighting is to be used only on people whom you don't want to hurt.

Does this mean I am "against" grappling? Does it mean I don't think it's worth learning? Does this mean I am inexperienced on the ground?


What it does mean, however, is that I have experience with issues that grappling's "true believers" don't like to look at. And that is what we are going to discuss.

Why is grappling effective?
In his book The High Crusade Poul Anderson speculated on what would happen if an advanced alien species attempted to conquer earth immediately after the Crusades. The premise of the book was that these aliens had become extremely adept at long-range, artillery-type warfare. They were shocked and confused when the knights, instead of hanging back and attempting to do battle at a distance, charged them and overwhelmed their positions. This simple, savage strategy worked only because the aliens had lost the ability to effectively fight at close quarters.

The success of grappling is due, in a large part, to the failure of sports-based martial arts in the West. Ever since the introduction of gloved boxing, sport fighting has moved away from the old "bare knuckle/London rules" form. That kind of pugilism was designed to prevent clinches, headbutts, purring and a whole host of other vicious in-close tricks associated with their version of grappling. The addition of padded gloves prevented many of these moves. And in time, sport fighting became a "sniping" game. Opponents do not rush each other, but hang back and exchanged blows and kicks from a distance.

And in doing so, they forgot that an opponent could charge in.

Wrestling and grappling are very popular sporting events in South America, however. Brazilian Jujitsu matches are packed events. These fighters hadn't forgotten about charging in -- but it was still a sport. And that means it had events, rules, weight division, safety equipment and organizations to give ranks, belts and titles.

In the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, Northern Hemisphere fighters were just run over. Like the aliens in Anderson's book, they had forgotten that this kind of fighting even existed, much less had the vaguest idea how to counter it.

People flocked to the Gracie Jujitsu Academy(s) and other Brazilian Jujitsu schools to fill this hole in their training. You will notice, however, their reputation made, the Gracies withdrew from the later UFC events. We can safely assume that by that time, Northern Hemisphere fighters had begun to watch tapes, study their moves to discover ways to counter.

In short, both the shock -- and the new -- had worn off and people once again remembered that grappling was an issue to be dealt with.

This is not to disparage the Gracies, they are fine athletes and in their time they ruled the ring. But, as they introduced a new and evolutionary change to sports fighting, other people have continued to do evolve and introduce new developments -- including ways to counter their changes. Thus is the cycle of the martial arts, they is always changing and evolving to meet "new" influences.

It is never static, it is always changing. And sometimes what is "new" is something that is actually old, but left behind because people had found a counter. Often until the counter is rediscovered this will create the latest fad in martial arts training.

Return to top of page

Where doesn't grappling work?
While it is important to know how to keep your head when you go to the ground, let's start by saying that if groundfighting was all that effective, armies would lie down when they fought. As a matter of fact, they wouldn't carry weapons, instead they'd use submission holds and mounting positions to defeat the other army's soldiers.

Since that is not the case, we must assume that grappling is not as universally effective as its proponents would claim.*

To truly understand where grappling doesn't work, we must understand where it does work. (And I will admit works spectacularly).

1) In a one-on-one confrontation
2) In an open, but limited, space
3) On padded, clear surfaces
4) Without weapons
5) With rules
6) When people aren't trying to kill each other

In otherwords, in a sporting event.

We can also say that it works under *very* limited conditions in a 'real' fight. But it has to be a very specific kind of confrontation. So let's look at these elements.

Multiple opponents - Trouble most often runs in packs. If you don't plan to face multiple opponents, you are not really training for self defense. Seldom will a friend watch another friend be defeated without making at least a token effort to join help. That is human nature, and ignoring it is a dangerous mistake -- especially since a friend's help can often be in the form of a bottle or a rock. Since you are involved on the ground in a one-on-one contest with all your limbs engaged and limited mobility you are vulnerable to a second attack from above. There is also the issue -- in less reputable locations -- of spectators joining in and kicking you both ... just for the fun of it.

Furniture, curbs and other people - While the floor work itself may not take a lot of room, going down usually does. Objects such as tables, chairs and bystanders pose chances of serious injury if you fall onto them -- especially if you have someone else's body weight driving you there.

Asphalt, rocks, bottles, etc. - Many "going to the ground" techniques are designed to work on pads, mats and smooth floors. Seldom do these conditions exist outside the dojo. A slap fall on asphalt will not only tear up your hand, but it can result in a shattered bones. Hitting concrete with another person landing on top of you is a painful -- often fight stopping -- experience. Now you may think "that is the idea," but that is assuming that you are controlling the fall. A cagey fighter might not let you land on top of him, and that makes it as much your problem as his.

Without weapons - This is even more dangerous than assuming that you will only be fighting one person at a time. Once weapons come into play, it is no longer fighting, it's combat.

Knife Fighter 03
4/26/2004 1:15am,
Article Cont.

Rules - Although the UFC was touted as "no rules," or more specifically "no holds barred," many of the more nasty and brutal moves were banned. Until you have endured these moves, it is easy to assume that you can "tough them out." Experience proves differently. Many of these techniques are so savage that people don't believe others would stoop so low -- and are therefore unprepared to handle them.

Not trying to kill each other - Grappling is probably best understood as dominating your opponent. It is used to subdue and force him to submit. That is a social function, it is not, however, combat. In combat, you are not trying to prove anything, you are not trying to force compliance. You are trying to kill him before he kills you. There are severe psychological differences in intent. And you fight totally differently.

If you know where groundfighting is effective, you can then deduce where it isn't safe -- and why.

Knife Fighter 03
4/26/2004 1:16am,
I agree with everything that he says...very well put article.

4/26/2004 1:31am,

Also, see this article http://www.thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=24696

Knife Fighter 03
4/26/2004 1:44am,
OK... whats that supposed to mean? Just trying to share what I found....this site...all the people are really going down the crapper...damn...jerks..insulting people for nothing.. That aint right...grow up!. I don’t even see why I post here…I’m going to find a better more mature forum with people who actually have brains…why insult for NO REASON?

4/26/2004 1:51am,
Then why the **** are you still here?
If you don't want to be here, go.
No one is asking you to stay.

deus ex machina
4/26/2004 2:15am,
I can't take anyone who has a handle like "Knife Fighter 03" seriously.

4/26/2004 2:18am,
That is bad coming from the Kali guy.

4/26/2004 2:38am,
Hedge, because I'm finding that so danged amusing this late at night, sig!

4/26/2004 3:13am,

You called? What do you want?

Knife Fighter 03
4/26/2004 5:05am,
greese monkey...opps greese1- Im no kali guy

deus..whatever that is...and you think my name can't be taken seriosuly?? please! LOL

Get in the ring you buch of %$#$^!!!!

4/26/2004 5:29am,
Originally posted by Knife Fighter 03
deus..whatever that is...and you think my name can't be taken seriosuly?? please! LOL

The point was that your choice of name has connotations attached to it. His does not.

It's kind of like if you signed up under the name "d34d|y str33t f|gt3r", though not as bad.

4/26/2004 5:34am,
I will bother to say only this: Grappling can be trained full resistance; therefore, it is as close to 'real' fighting as you can reasonably get. It may be second to experience, but sometimes quantity can defeat quality, and learning the hard way is fatal.

Also, you're a wanker.

4/26/2004 6:41am,
I see nothing "new" in this article, it's the same old song and dance, his assumptions about multiple attackers, ground lava, mini-gun armed attackers, etc are noted, and have been debated on this forum since its inception, the consensus is carry a board with a nail in it, case closed.

4/26/2004 7:01am,
Please refrain from posting dumbass articles which focus on strawman arguements. Post one that's informative or don't bother.

P.S. This -


Was extremley funny.

Dr. Fagbot Q. MacGillicuddy, PhD
4/26/2004 8:10am,
say, what the **** is purring?

...do british people purr when they fight?