Grappling and going to the ground in street fights vs in sport fight tournaments

Okay, so i’m going to post today about why it’s not advisable to get into a wrestling match and ground grappling in a street fight.

Now i know many people will say many things, criticize me, etc. on this and some will even say the most commonly used phrase used by the bjj guys, that “maximum of all the street fights end up on the ground”.

Let me first clear two things up, first, i myself have trained in jiu-jitsu, judo, dumog(filipino wrestling), and some bjj, so i know more than quite a few things about grappling standing up and on the ground.

Second, is when people say that most fights end up on the ground, well i don’t know what kinds of fights they’ve been in, no offense to them, but the majority of fights that i’ve been in and seen happen, didn’t last long enough to go to the ground, they ended with one of them standing and the other guy knocked the F out.

Now there is a different case in competition matches, like judo, bjj, mma tournaments, there those guys do go to the ground.

The only real instance where the majority of confrontations go to the ground is when a police officer is arresting a perpetrator and even that, if the guy resists arrests, so to restrain him they have to take him down. This is a fact and it’s that fact that has been propagated in a way that has lead to many misconceptions. Those statistics came from LAPD arrests in the 1980’s when Gracies taught them arrest and subdue tactics. They’re not real violence statistics.

Now, to my point of why it’s not only dangerous, but plain stupid to go to the ground in a real fight, especially if it’s on purpose.

1- Your opponent may have weapon/s, that you won’t be able to see because you’re distracted trying to take him down, you’d have limited visibility being too close to your opponent to see the concealed weapon/s, and yes, some people don’t remove their weapon/s until they absolutely need them or they just don’t want to show them to you at first, so he might not have the weapon/s already out before the fight, but might take it out, during the fight, as a desperate measure, in a mugging scenario of course, he’ll have the weapon out from the beginning, you might not see it though, but that’s a completely different thing than what we’re discussing here.

2- There are also chances of multiple opponents, you always have to assume, that your opponent has friends close by in case he needs back-up and you won’t see them until it’s too late to do anything about it.
Again, if you’re grappling, the already low chances of you seeing his friends become even lower.

3- Another reason it’s a bad idea, there will be limited to no options left for you to escape, when you’re grappling, the opponent will be striking and grappling with you back, resisting your efforts, if he’s holding you down, grabbing your t-shirt or whatever, you wouldn’t be able to escape as efficiently as you would if you weren’t being held by someone.

4- Grappling takes much more time to learn and understand it’s mechanics, there’s simply just too much to learn, what if you were attacked today, after your first grappling session, would you be able to do the things you did in the safety of your training environment on the hard, rough concrete, with all sorts of debris lying around and with all the panic and adrenaline rush going through you? I can guarantee that you’ll forget everything, as they’re your fine motor skills that are difficult to develop, not your gross motor skills that are your natural reflexes that are quite easy to develop.

5- Your opponent’s size is another factor, it’s pretty obvious that if the opponent is stronger than you, taller than you, then he would have the advantage in grappling more than you do. For one, he has a better reach than you, more strength to hold you down, even lift you up and throw you down on the concrete like a rag doll, while you’re attempting to apply joint lock/s, holds, or take-down/s.

6- The added weight of anything you have with you, not to mention the street clothes that you’re wearing at the time, in which you’re not used to training. I mean, you train in a comfortable environment with comfortable clothes or shorts or gi, but in real life, what do you wear? Pants? Jeans? Normal shirt? T-Shirt? Are you used to fighting in those types clothes?

7- Another major reason is the diseases you might catch from your opponent’s bites, scratches and from the ground itself that you’re rolling around on.

You don’t worry about those things because you train in an environment that is kept clean, the floors are regularly cleaned, there’s air-conditioning, you wear gloves and your training partner isn’t actually trying to kill you.

In competitions they don’t worry about these things because biting, etc. can get you disqualified.

They fight in their own weight classes and they always have a physical before the competition.

Not to mention, if even little blood is spilled the matches are stopped, unlike in a real fight where if the blood is spilled, the opponent will not stop, he doesn’t care about those things like you do.

In fact he’ll do more damage in his increasingly insane rage.

If you take him to the ground and start hitting, it’s called “ground and pound” a truly violent and angry attacker who doesn’t want to give up, won’t just take it, he might take out a concealed weapon, which you might not see, because you are too busy hitting him all over, and he can stab you anywhere with it, and in case you don’t realize, he won’t have the blade sterilized for stabbing you, he might have used that same blade on someone with a disease or he could have kept in a place that is unhygienic and his blade might have some microbes on it, that on contact, can infect you.

Now what if he stabs you in the liver, kidney or spleen?
Well, death is going to happen for sure, but if you’re extremely lucky, and get to the hospital in time, chances of which are really low, why? Because there might not be anyone there to help you, or you might not reach hospital in time.

As a result of many factors such as traffic or hospital might be far from the scene of attack or you might be in an isolated parking lot at night with no one to help you up let alone get you to a hospital.

When/If you do reach there, you’d still be contracting the disease from the blade used by your assailant and complications could occur, that is if you survive, it’s in your bloodstream.

If stabbed in the spleen, death occurs within few seconds due to rapid and major blood loss, other organs like liver, you start to bleed black blood and once that happens, especially if the stab is deep enough, you’re dead in less than 10-15(max) minutes.

I know the details are graphic, but it’s not something that everyone will tell you, and therefore people live in a fantasy world where they think taking opponent to the ground or trying to grapple with him or trying to disarm him, will help them “win” their fight/s, without realizing that there is no winner as far as real violence is concerned, it’s violence, an Assault on your LIFE, there’s only Surviving.

8- Another one is that these people on the street are not all trained, they just use what they’ve learned from years of experiences of what does and doesn’t work. They won’t always try to grapple you and try to take you down, they’ll just be striking you or doing everything to hurt you, that’s all.
Even if they try to do it, it’ll look something like this or this if he’s successful.

You see, this is one of my street fighting sessions, these two are my students who i train for a street fight, like a street fight. You know the saying- ‘Fight like you Train, Train like you Fight’.

9- There’s also the point where you wear gloves in a tournament, while in a real fight, you go bare knuckled.
Plus in tournaments, you’ll have your coach guiding you on what to do and what not to do and he’ll find an opening for you, whereas in a street fight there’s no one to guide you or try to stop the fight, like the referee in a tournament.

Again, let me clarify that I’m not saying these techniques are ineffective, as in they won’t hurt, maim or even kill your opponent, which they definitely will, depending on the user and the victim, but only if you do get the hit on your opponent perfectly, like you do in your training sessions, which is the highly improbable part and that’s why it’s ineffective.

You won’t have enough time to perform those complicated advanced techniques, that is, if you have trained in and practiced them for a long time on a regular basis and perfected them completely, which by the way, doesn’t happen in a day, and when you’re in that panicky and adrenaline filled environment, where your opponent is resisting and countering all of your efforts, you’d tire out soon trying to perform those techniques on him and he will gain the upper hand and you don’t want that, do you? These techniques are best suited to stay in the ring.

Street Fights are Unpredictable and Unfair, just like Life.

Remember, Striking takes much less effort and energy to do than any grappling would.

These are just few of the many more reasons, of why standing and ground grappling is a really bad idea in any real fight.

So even if the circumstances take you down to the ground, try and get up as quick as possible.

That’s why i’m not saying don’t train in ground fighting, do train in it, so you can learn to get out and get up as quickly as possible.

Remember, Train in everything but Use only what’s Needed and is the most Effective for you!

Thanks for reading.


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