Saturday, May 4, 2013
Please Watch This Video Before Reading This Blog!
How Dirty Kenpo Beats the BJJ Guard
I have taught stand-up self-defense in my school as well as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for the last 20 years. My stand-up background comes from old school Kenpo and JKD and I like to think I have a sizable amount of martial arts legal knowledge including being former law enforcement and one of the primary use of force and firearms instructors at my state police academy.
The thing that bothers me most about this video, aside from the lack of knowledge about what works in this particular scenario, is the proper use of force that should be applied in THIS self-defense ground fighting situation.
In our litigious society, gone are the days where a martial arts instructor can "proclaim" that students do whatever "they want" in a street fight without having to justify their reasoning behind it. It is now replaced with a new paradigm of "proper use of force" under rule of law. This means that whatever self-defense response you do is going to be given a good hard look by local law enforcement including how the encounter started, your fighting prowess (are you a black belt or MMA fighter?),the witness statements AND your responses to the encounter (whether you used too much force to stop the threat). There are also CIVIL penalties that can be brought to bear by the bad guy or the bad guy's family if you are prosecuted by law enforcement.
For all intents and purposes the "Guard" is categorized as a "Defensive Position." If YOU end up in someone's guard out on the street, chances are you were aggressive enough to put that person there in the first place, otherwise you would most likely end up on the bottom. Believe it or not, only idiots jump guard in the street. There are a number of easy and effective ways that a moderately trained fighter can use to escape the guard and simply stand back up on his feet and make an exit, otherwise he would then pass his opponent's guard and remain on top of the attacker.
The author of this video chose to use the most extreme (and one not so functional) ways of defeating his opponent. I typically see this from a few stand up martial artists who are "untrained" in ground fighting and who, not wanting to further their knowledge of the ground, always chose the, "I would just be the hammer to hit the nail" analogy of combat regardless of legal circumstances in a street fight. I see this a lot from Kenpo stylists who use a myriad of street lethal and great bodily harm technique against such things as a push or even a wrist grab, especially at low belt levels.
What they fail to realize is that using just a hammer does not build a house or in this case a proper self-defense foundation. These same instructors typically spend no time in talking to their students about the legal use of force considerations that can and should be used. In other words not every attack deserves an eye gouge. Lethal force (or great bodily harm) should only be used in certain perimeters under a narrow circumstance. I get this "Hammer" response from firearms instructors all the time who don't want to learn to fight. Everything is always "I would just shoot them."....really?
Back to Eye Gouging. Don't get me wrong, many people in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu don't appreciate the effectiveness of gouging someones eyes. My stand up instructors favorite saying was "A poke in the eye is worth a thousand words." The trouble is a poke in the eye is not the cure for every self-defense situation.
In this video the instructor seems to think that gouging an unarmed attacker in the eye is a "primary protocol." This WILL WORK but WHY is he using this from inside someone's guard? Are there multiple attackers? Does this person have a weapon? Doesn't the instructor have the skill set to do something less lethal? At the very least this video gives you NO explanation of "When" to use this technique. How do you know he is a BJJ guy? Did he tell you? Why didn't you train BJJ if you are so afraid and it's so effective? I'm so confused.
I would also add that getting at someone's eyes is a lot harder then it appears. We did numerous tests in groundfighting scenarios as instructors to see how easy it would be for someone to put a thumb or fingers ON someone's eyelids. The easiest position was from TOP mount and side control. The most difficult was from inside someone's guard where the person on their back can control hip movement, distance and can move their head around. Once the person on their back was aware of what the other person was doing then it was more than easy for them to launch an eye assault of their own because of the control of the guard. You are also exposing your arm to one of those pesky BJJ armbars too. You will only get this move on an inexperienced opponent from the guard position.
His second move was using the knee to strike "the groin." This actually is a coccyx strike or tailbone nerve attack. The groin is higher up and will not be reached unless the guy is an elephant. =) I have spent a fair amount of time physically analyzing the effectiveness of this move over the years because it has been previously taught at our police academy. This move WILL work on a non dedicated opponent with no ground skills whatsoever. Against a ground fighter of ANY respectable caliber or a dedicated opponent bent on your destruction you will not have a snowballs chance in hell of having the desired effect because they will fight through the pain. It isn't even more powerful then a punch to the face. I've tried this move on people and had it done to me with full force and couldn't break the guard open..No go.
His third move was finger breaking. This one is an olddy but a goodie by stand up guys. In theory, it should work pretty good but in reality (like an arm break) it doesn't have the desired affect against an adrenilized DEDICATED opponent. They will fight through the pain if there is any.
Another problem with this line of reasoning is that every BJJ guy who sticks around long enough will have the finger trick pulled on them a few times. It's not like it's a foreign move. I once had a guy do this to me when we were rolling and deliberately broke my index finger. I proceeded to get pissed and broke his finger. A finger for a finger right?
The last move he showed was "Rule #9" where he produced a knife and I think was NOT saying you should knife an unarmed opponent but that someone could knife you. Got it...that's probably the time you should eye gouge someone. I think mainly he wanted to show how cool he was when he took out his knife. Knives are cool. Baltimore Escape..RahRah.
I don't want people to think I'm all harping on everyone in Kenpo. It's my background too! I've harped on BJJ plenty of times. I'm just tired of a few stand up martial artists who WON'T take the time to legitimately incorporate some form of less than lethal, realistic ground defense into their curriculum in hopes of protecting their minimal ground knowledge. They repeat the same old tired defense cliches that they learned in the 80's and early 90's without regard to the legal ramifications (and effectiveness) of what they are doing in support of their badass "image" of being the hammer. Cops don't shoot every one they physically arrest in an altercation and martial arts instructors aren't required to hit someone in the throat from a lapel grab in every fight. You will go to jail.
That's the cool thing about Jiu-Jitsu, You can neutralize an attacker without having to kill or maim him! It's great self-defense in today's society!
The instructor in this video chose to attack bjj tournament guys like they are some how "helpless" in a fight. I think tournament guys might do ok in a street fight with the ground fighting knowledge you are presenting in your video sir and probably put you in a triangle that you haven't practiced against. I'm not sure why your picking on tournament guys...Pick on MMA guys too =).
In closing, I just couldn't stand by watching this video with the instructor actually thinking he had good answers for unsuspecting students. People will get sued and end up in jail over this video. I can't abide by that.
No Hard Feelings.
P.S. You can't justify your actions on information you learned later. Like.." I later found out this guy trained BJJ or MMA that's why I eye gouged him." You are only legally justified on what you know at the moment of the fight. Just sayin.
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