Anybody who has at least any experience in martial arts or street-fighting can agree that learning how to defend oneself on the ground is ABSOLUTELY needed in order to survive on the streets or in the ring. Oftentimes we fall or can be taken to the ground. Once taken to the ground, the average street fighter will most likely start punching you in the face, or get you into a headlock. What about triangle chokes or arm bars? Not likely… Lets go over some cold hard facts that many Jujitsu and sport fighters may not like, but are the simple truth. I will try to make this short and to the point as possible.
Rape awareness, Child-abductions, and overall self-defense:
If you were teaching your wife self-defense, in order to prevent her from being abducted, which techniques would you teach her? If you were teaching your child techniques in order to keep them from being raped or abducted, which techniques would you tech them? Jujitsu? Boxing?…maybe a little, but not likely.
If someone is trying to force you into a vehicle or put you into a position to be raped or kidnapped, the last thing you want to do is try to take your opponent to the ground. You are actually helping them succeed in their conquest. Also consider that many child-abductors and rapists do not work alone. Many female joggers are often pulled into moving vehicles by 2 or 3 attackers. Even if you did bring one to the ground, the other 2 are going to make you pay.
Or here is another example using fictional characters. “Billy” is a 12 year old boy who is 5’1 and weighs 105 lbs with a Jujitsu Black belt, and expert boxer. A 30 year old man who is 6’1 and 190 pounds approaches the boy and attempts to apprehend the boy and kidnap him. The boy gets the attacker on the ground and sits on his chest and attempts to punch him in the face. The oversized attacker flips the boy over, and simply punches him once in the face. The boy is knocked out cold, and is later abused and kidnapped…
What the boy should have done was attack the kidnapper with several strikes to stun him in vulnerable areas (testicles, eye’s, biting, headbutt) and ran like hell screaming to the top of his lungs! The problem with MMA, Jujitsu, western Boxing, and Kickboxing is their mentality. They teach their students to fight. Plain and simple. To fight until the very end. But, this attitude is very machismo and egotistic way of fighting. From a self-defense aspect, the goal should always be to stun the attacker, and get away. Their are only very few situations that warrant fighting until the attacker is completely knocked out.
Modern Martial arts vs Traditional…
Anytime you get a grappler against any opponent who isn’t skilled in grappling, the Jujitsu man will win 99% of the time in ordinary circumstances. In a kickboxing or MMA environment any traditional martial artist will be most likely embarrassed. But, what will the jujitsu man do if the Karate man pulls out a sword, or a long stick? What will the MMA man do is he meets a knife fighter? The fact is, in traditional martial arts like Kung Fu and Karate, unarmed tactics were only secondary forms of fighting. A man would always rely on his sword or knife before his fists.
If a jujitsu black belt threatened my life and challenged me to a fight, I would not assume a boxers stance. I would simply walk away. Yet if he proceeded to walk towards me, I would simply pull out my Tactical Baton that I ALWAYS carry with me. Thats right, I carry a weapon? But, thats not fair! Why not? This isn’t the UFC or a boxing match. This is my life we are talking about! If my life is on the line, I have no problem using a sword, stick, gun, bitting, heabutting, or hitting the groin of my attacker.
Preparing for an attack against a street fighting, not a MMA fighter…
The fact is, most people don’t train in martial arts. Maybe 10 out of 100. And thats being liberal. Jujitsu men spend hours learning how to defend against armbars, triangles, leg . But, these are techniques that you will almost never see from an untrained street fighter. The average street fighter is going to come at you with aggressive (and sloppy) Boxing, coupled with sloppy wrestling tactics, coupled with a box cutter, coupled with a gun, and he may have a couple of buddies, and he may hit you with a cheap shot from behind. At first, he didn’t sound so dangerous huh? In a street-fighting scenario, you don’t want to have a “contest” with your attacker. Screw the Knockout. And forget the submissions. You want to stun him, and get away. Simple as that.
If your fighting multiple opponents, Jujitsu will be even worse. Against multiple opponents you will want to use footwork, low kicks directly to the knee joint, pushes, trips, all while trying to run away. If three men are trying to attack you, it would be suicide to tie up with one of them and try to take them down. I once saw a video of a Russian Heavyweight boxer who actually defended himself against multiple attackers. He back peddled away, and counter punched each of them, knocking them down with a single blow.
If an attacker grabs your wrist, does it make more sense to grab his body, wrestle around for 2-3 minutes, and get him down, or just punch him in the face 1 or 2 times? You be the judge.
In the Ring, you are prepared, in the street, maybe not?
When you fight in the ring, both you and your opponent are in neutral corners. Both of you agree not to use any “foul” tactics, and the referee stands between you. You have breaks between rounds also and doctors at ring side. An MMA fight sometimes lasts for over 15 minutes. A boxing match can last more than 30. Yet, a street fight or self-defense scenario only lasts between 10 seconds to no more than 2 minutes. And its between those 10 seconds and two minutes that you can be killed. All the training in the world can’t prepare you for a surprise attack. Martial arts will not make you invincible. It will only increase your chances of survival. That’s it. In the streets, there are no guarantees. My training has helped me survive some fights. While other times, my training was useless.
Especially in situations where I was held up, and had to negotiate. The UFC has a famous catch phrase with their company, its “As real as it gets”. a controlled environment, MMA is the most realistic form of televised fighting. But, its still not the street. The “Dog Brothers” hold the honor of “most realistic fighting competition” because they have no weight classes, no gender classes, and they use weapons. But, they are still not trying to “kill” each other. They still have someone to “pull” the opponent off when things go to far. There are no substitutes for the real thing. No matter how realistic…
Different goals for different people…
All martial arts are beneficial to a person in one way or another. Self-defense is only one aspect of martial arts. The sport, the self-defense, and the spiritual aspects all important. Each martial art gives you something unique. No matter what the style, any martial arts can help. This article is not intended to promote or disprove the practice of any art. They all help us achieve something special within ourselves.
Is Jujitsu any good as a martial art? Should it be trained?
Without question!!!! Jujitsu is one of the best martial arts around. Just like any single style, it has pro’s and con’s. When I teach women’s self-defense, I do teach them how to reverse a full-mount, how to get out of headlocks, and other common grappling methods. If you are grabbed or taken to the ground, you must know how to to defend yourself. And Jujitsu will help you achieve that. Also, Jujitsu is a great restraining art for Police officers and Military personal. If you simply want to apprehend someone and not hurt them, Jujitsu is also a wonderful art. Many jujitsu tactics are practical for self-defense, especially the chokes and escapes. Chokes are much more practical and easier to achieve than many joint locks. Japanese Jujitsu and many Kung Fu systems actually promote small-joint manipulations (breaking of the fingers), which is banned in MMA. Below I will quickly discuss the differences between Japanese Jujitsu and Brazilian Jujitsu
Which styles of martial arts are best suited for the streets?
If you train ANY style of martial art, you will be better off than some couch potato that doesn’t exercise. But, the best styles of martial arts are the onces that are aggressive, direct, and give you many options. Here are some good examples
1. Non-sportive Muay Thai- Knee strikes (groin), elbows, also teaches footwork and long range tactics. In traditional muay thai, you may also learn “Krabi Krabong”, the weapons system.
2. Wing Chun- Very quick and progressive punching to the centerline. Attacks are aimed at the eyes, throat, chin, groin, and kicks to the knee joints. Wing chun also has knife and stick training
3. Kali- Teaches you how to fight with sticks, knives, and also some standing wrestling/clinching tactics mixed with basic yet brutal striking like headbutting.
4. Judo/Japanese Jujitsu- One solid hard throw to the concrete and you wont have to go to the ground, because your opponent will be broken. Japanese Jujitsu covers different ranges (striking, weapons, and grappling) of fighting unlike the Brazilian version that only focuses on the ground.
5. Krav Maga- gun defense, knives defense, tiger claw, eye pokes, knee strikes, you name it! A military martial art.
These are just a FEW martial arts that I enjoy for self-defense. Although with the right mind-set ANY style can be made effective. Xingyiquan, western Boxing (the footwork), and many other styles can give you attributes as well. That’s why I like to learn from everyone. Fighting is very unpredictable. Each style has pro’s and con’s. I enjoy practicing wing chun, xingyiquan, and western boxing more than anything in my free-time. But I am not an idiot. I realize that other skills must be learned. That is why I remain humble and have spent time cross-training with Krav Maga, Kali, Jujitsu, and other martial arts. I don’t care what style of martial arts you practice. If you are realistic, and have great knowledge, I want to learn from you! In this world, the only way to learn is to be humble and honest. In fact, you may not even agree with this article. And that’s fine. I respect all opinions. Enough of that, let’s move on…
Mindset and conclusion…
Self-defense requires an “escape” mentality. It may not win you any championship belts, but it will keep you alive. The only time you need to fight to the end, is if your opponent is extremely tough, or if you are protecting a 3rd party (wife, sibling, friend, etc). If you wish to be an MMA fighter or Boxer, you are expected to “finish” the fight. Its two different worlds, and two different mindsets.
Self-defense vs sport fighting. Consider that MMA has over 30 rules. A good analogy -defense is a 50 yard dash. And being a ring fighter is like being a marathon runner. They are two different worlds. If you put one in the other, his chances will not be good. Self-defense is a deep topic. Legal issues, and many things must be considered. Love me or hate me, I love all martial arts, and I never want to see anyone be put down because of their choice of music, martial arts, or religion. Everything has value. Mindsets vs Skill-sets are basically what this article comes to.

By Laura