Re: Streets of Rage

Posted: June 13, 2013 by patrickasay in Uncategorized

As a “reality-based self defense” specialist, I found this to be a very interesting read, with a lot of excellent points.  I learned that I probably use the word “street” too broadly, and should probably make an effort to be more specific when instructing my students.  Thanks Brock!

Now, I used to have a reality-based instructor that did not believe in sparring in a sport-oriented fashion because there are “rules,” and, of course, there are no “rules” in a street fight (note my sarcasm).  I agree with Brock, that there are actually “rules” in just about any violent scenario, with terms and conditions.  For example, if I was to get in a fight with the average joe, on the “street,” I would have rules because of my responsibility as a martial artist.  Not necessarily that the judge would give a harsher penalty if I won because of my martial arts experience, but more that I have a personal responsibility to control myself and not harm the person more than is absolutely necessary to “stop” them, because I am trained.  

I do not share the same “hate” that Brock has when dealing with the term “the street,” because I think you have to have some way of explaining to the layman the difference between a sport-oriented fight and something violent that happens in the real world, outside of the ring, or cage.

Saying that an MMA cage fight is no different than a brawl in a bar because both can implement martial arts training does not give proper justice to factors like weapons (guns, knives, beer bottles, etc.), multiple attackers (the guy’s friends he’s with), and obstacles (chairs, tables, the jukebox, etc…all things that you don’t have to deal with in a sports-oriented fight.)  

Extreme circumstances may call for extreme measures.  For example, I would probably react much more harshly to an under-the-influence knife wielder throwing a strike at me than I would sparring with a fellow martial artist wearing gloves throwing a strike at me.  

Can you use skills from one medium (sports-oriented martial arts) in another medium (a “street fight”)? Yes.  They are transferable.  I have personally rolled with Brock in a safe, sporty environment and can very accurately say that I would be in huge trouble if I got in a fight with him somewhere other than on a mat.  He knows how to control me in such a way that an eye gouge (a common “reality based” technique) would be useless.  He would stay tight on me and my arms would be too trapped to strike.  

Nevertheless, I do agree that the term “the street” is too broad.  I will make a personal effort to be more specific about combat situations when teaching.  I just can’t promise that I won’t slip up and use the term “the street” when referring to a fight that does not occur on a comfortable mat, a referee, rules that are more “fair” than what could happen in a real-life attack, etc. Just because I am so accustomed to teaching high-percentage techniques that apply more closely to a more extreme violent situation than a sports match.  For example, for those of you who are familiar with Jiujitsu, I would first teach a beginner the basic arm bar from guard than I would the crucifix from side mount.  One just happens more often than the other, so I therefore prefer to include it in a “reality-based” curriculum for the typical joe that just wants to be able to defend himself on “the street” (sorry Brock).  Because perhaps his goal is just that, to be able to defend himself, and not to become a black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu.  

Excellent article, Brock.  Not nearly as controversial as I was expecting it to be based off your warning earlier 😉




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