Since the introduction of Ultimate Fighting, the grappling craze has taken the martial arts community by storm. The Gracie family and their style of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has earned world-wide acclaim for the effectiveness of their grappling system in one-on-one, no holds barred competition.
The rules of UFC and MMA in general have since changed in order to get the ban imposed by various local authorities lifted. “Dirty” techniques, like groin strikes, hair pulling, striking the spine or the back of the head, etc. were thus removed and timed rounds and referee intervention were added.
The UFC ring, in either format, however, is still a controlled environment. Opponents don’t wear shoes or any kind of clothes that can be used to help or hinder him. And in the spirit of the competition, no one genuinely wants to seriously hurt or kill their opponents, as can be the case on the street.
Additionally, it doesn’t take into account various tactical disadvantages that come up in ground fighting in real self-defense situations.
This is not to say that ground defense skills aren't useful - they are. It's important to know what to do should you ever get taken to the ground against your will. Arts like Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu can teach you a great deal about how to use technique and weight distribution to your advantage.
That being said, sound knowledge of ground tactics doesn't mean that you would necessarily want to be on the ground in a real defensive situation.Here are the six main tactical disadvantages of fighting on the ground:
On top of all the tactical disadvantages of fighting on the ground, the relevance of the widely touted, unconfirmed statistic that 80-90% of fights end up on the ground is being called to question. Many people who work in security, police officers, bouncers, etc., say they’re never taken to the ground against their will.
Since the people who dispute this traditional statistic are all trained in combative arts to one degree or another, it may be more accurate to say that 80-90% of untrained fights end up on the ground and that someone with training is better able to stay on his or her feet.
Whatever about the ongoing dispute over that statistic, even if 90% of fights end up on the ground, 100% of them (or close to it) still start from a standing position.
For more information on street-oriented ground defense, check out Lori O'Connell Sensei's nebook, When the Fight Goes to the Ground.
(*The 6 tactical disadvantages of ground defense here were paraphrased from George Sylvain’s book Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu 2000.)
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This martial arts/self-defense school is located in Richmond BC, easily accessible from Vancouver, Delta, New Westminster, Burnaby, Ladner, Surrey, Tsawassen and White Rock.