Grappling Techniques for Self Defense
I remember back in the seventies when kickboxing became popular.
It was said and commonly thought that kickboxing was the "way" and
that your karate or taekwondo techniques were obsolete. In the past
few years with the advent of the UFC and other "no holds barred"
tournments, that kickboxing, karate, kung fu and just about any
other striking arts were "proven" ineffective for self defense.
Here is my view of some of the realities. First, how often is the
average person who is attacked on the street going to come up against
an experienced and trainined Brazillian ju-jutsu practicioner or
other grappling art student? Probably, never. Why? Because most
street thugs do not have the self discipline to attend classes and
practice their art for years to become good at it.
More often those attacked are done so by ordinary criminals who,
although might be street savy, are not particularly effecient at
any martial art. For self defense to be effective we must prepare
ourselves for the 'most likely" attack. That probably won't be from
a trained grappler, trying a quick, one leg takedown. No, more than
likely is will be one of the 30 most commond street attacks we address
Self Defense 101.
Some will say that the UFC has 'proven' that grappling is the best
in all out 'fights'. While I might agree with them in the ring (although
today most of the champions have crossed trained in the striking
arts as well), street self defense is another issue.
Real self defense must consider that there is a good chance that
there may be more than one attacker. Grappling has a definite disadvantage
So should one ignore grappling altogether? No, I think that a few
basics should be learned. More than that would require a great deal
of training and practice to make the technques cognitively available
under duress. One should learn the basics so that should they find
themselves on the ground with an attacker, they can combine their
striking skills with some basic grappling knowledge that could help
It comes down to this. If you are not willing to devote many years,
several times a week, to learn grappling skills, it may be better
to just learn a few important defenses and escapes from the ground
and focus your limited time on striking skills that are more apt
to come into play in real street self defense.
Learn more about learning these skills at Street
Self Defense 101 and our groundfighting
Shihan Michael Pace