Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

How ‘Bout Now…

Posted: July 11, 2013 by beforethefire in Humor
Tags: , , , , , ,

These Jiu-jitsu practitioners address the problem of eye gouging when ground fighting. For those who don’t know, eye gouging and other dirty fighting tactics are a common argument against Jiu-jitsu training.

How do you defend against dirty fighting tactics?


There are some parts of martial arts culture that I will sometimes criticize, but naming your style after an animal will never be among them. I sometimes get jealous of the Kung fu guys that get to say they use crane or tiger or monkey technique (I would hate to fight monkey style, because chimpanzees scare me). Being a Gracie Jiu-jitsu practitioner, I kinda miss out on the whole animal mascot thing, but maybe it’s not too late to change. So that gets me thinking, which creature of the animal kingdom best represents Jiu-jitsu as I know it?

Snakes are okay, or maybe even great. They strike. They constrict. They’re definitely grapplers with potent striking power. But snakes have been done to death (thanks a lot, Kobra Kai Dojo). So what is another animal with a reputation for constricting and grappling with its prey?

This is what I want my opponents to see when I settle into side mount...

This is what I want my opponents to see when I settle into side mount…

Behold the mighty octopus! Seriously, I don’t think this real-life Krakken gets enough face time on martial arts tee shirts or academy logos. And if you think about it, this is an animal totally dedicated to grappling, and has a famous reputation for its stealth and intelligence. Though the Muay Thai guys might be miffed that I’m claiming a truly eight-limbed animal, I lay my claim to the wise, mighty octopus as the mascot of my Jiu-jitsu style!

What animal best represents your martial art?


Allow me a moment to rant about one of my pet peeves: when people refer to “the street” when talking about martial arts training. I know this is a term used by many legitimate, tough, intelligent martial artists to describe the conditions of combat outside the training center or competition, but I still hate it. It’s a generalization, an ill-fitting blanket term, for the infinitely complex problem of interpersonal violence, but paints it like a scene from a bad movie.

I mean, who doesn’t imagine a mugger wearing a ski mask or some sort of brawl between one martial artist and a bunch of bad guys wearing leather jackets when they hear that term? I’ve been in a handful of violent confrontations in my life, but usually my assailants were just stupid kids, not the inhuman skinheads featured in much of self-defense literature. In my humble opinion, “the street” is a term that paints a very limiting picture of who we might have to defend ourselves against.

This is what people think of when they talk about "the street"...

This is what people think of when they talk about “the street”…

I also feel like this term can limit our training. Many martial artists categorize techniques into “street techniques” and about everything else. What is the definition of a street technique? Usually, one that’s so effective, you can’t actually use it in training against a fully resistant training partner for fear of maiming or killing him. Pardon my raised eyebrow. A technique you can’t actually practice? So how do you know you can actually do it? I heavily disagree with martial arts trainers and instructors who shy away from controlled sparring in class because of this philosophy. Often, these martial artists criticize MMA competitors and other combat sport practitioners for training with too many rules to be effective. Because of the “street” philosophy, many martial artists are missing out on opportunities to develop their most basic and critical fighting instincts.

And as for those rule-based martial artists, I’m not actually all that worried about their “street” worthiness. I’ve actually read several news articles in recent months with headlines like “MMA Fighter Stops Bank Robbery”, and “Man Attempts to Carjack Cage Fighter, Ends Up in Hospital”. Google them if you like, they’re very interesting. In these stories, you’ll find the good guys used very basic, well practiced techniques like the Rear Naked Choke or Rear Mount Control to subdue their attackers. No groin kicks, no eye gouges, no throat ripping. It goes to show, most basic techniques that you can pull off against a fully resistant opponent in a competition might actually work quite well against real-life combatants, especially since they tend to be less trained than competitive martial artists and lack rules to protect them, just like you.

Lastly, I would like to point out that martial arts training is not so neatly separated into “street” training and everything else. Be more open minded with your training. If you want to categorize your training, use things like “law enforcement”, “non assaultive”, or “battlefield”. Fighting is, after all, a form of problem solving that can be applied to a wide variety of problems, and not just for muggings, home invasions, or random street brawling. All fight scenarios have rules of some kind. I do not believe in true combat situations where an accountable fighter is free of any rules of engagement. I would recommend training the strategies and tactics that allow you to accomplish a wide variety of goals in a fight, such as escape, incapacitate, control, and survive. You will be more likely to adapt to most violent encounters in which you may find yourself.

What kind of training do you think best prepares people for real fights?

After my previous post on the responsible use of force, I decided to show this clip from Enter the Dojo. It features my favorite fictional martial artist, Master Ken, teaching his students his own unique style of martial arts, Ameri-do-te. During the lesson, he teaches an extremely violent defense against when someone points their finger at you (don’t you hate it when they do that?). Listen to Master Ken’s justification for the incredibly inappropriate force response and behold the perfect example of what not to do.

Please excuse the NSFW language.

What is the most overkill martial arts technique you’ve ever learned?