Sunday, April 15, 2018

a short disquisition on judo throws

I found this humorous video on why "Judo Throws Don't Work" on YouTube:

I love how the guy uses "MMA" to mean "Mexican Martial Arts."

While I'm pretty sure there are millions of judoka who would disagree with this dude's assessment, the dude builds a decent case in the brief amount of time he has (keeping in mind that this is basically a parody video: the guy's been associated with Master Ken). This has been one of my criticisms of styles like Brazilian jiujitsu: based on what I've seen in video demonstrations and Ultimate Fighting matches, it's a style that commits the fighter to one opponent so completely that, if the opponent has friends, there's little that the BJJ practitioner can do about them. To be fair, I don't know what the advanced syllabus looks like in BJJ; in taekwondo, for example, advanced students are expected to fight multiple opponents during testing, so they train for this. It could be the same for BJJ, but I've never seen a BJJ practitioner take on more than one opponent. YouTube to the rescue...?

ADDENDUM: here's video of Ryron Gracie taking on three opponents. The fight looks a lot like two slugs mating. (Some of the comments below the video are surprisingly intelligent, but you do have to wade through a bunch of chaff to get to them.)


Charles said...

Based on my brief experience with BJJ, I can say that pure BJJ is probably not the best approach to street fighting. Then again, most martial arts on their own are not the best approach to street fighting.

A long time ago, when I was studying karate, my teacher told us the story of a student who had been in Harlem one night when a guy came out of nowhere, pinned him against a wall, and held two knives crossed at his neck. The guy then proceeded to steal the student's wallet. The student later went to his teacher, told him about what had happened, and asked, "What should I have done in that situation?" The teacher looked at him gravely and answered: "You shouldn't have been in Harlem."

Who knows if this story actually happened (keep in mind that you are now hearing this thrice removed from the source), but the moral of the story is clear: the best way to win a street fight is to not get into one in the first place.

Anyway, your concerns about BJJ are real. That video of Ryron Gracie is neat, but notice how all of his opponents are only using grappling techniques. All you really need is one guy to tie him up and another guy with a pipe and it's game over. (I also think it's hysterical how the guy narrating the video says that if you add the belts of his opponents up you get a black belt with four stripes, at least. I'm pretty sure that's not the way it works.)

That being said, while individual styles may not in and of themselves be ideal for street fighting, the techniques you learn from them can definitely help. Knowing the principles of leverage and how the body works (and doesn't work) can allow you to disable (if only momentarily) one opponent so that you can concentrate on another. In the end, though, nothing beats common sense (to avoid the fight in the first place) and a quick pair of feet (to beat a hasty retreat if necessary).

Kevin Kim said...

"All you really need is one guy to tie him up and another guy with a pipe and it's game over."

Yeah, that's my criticism in a nutshell, and it was reflected in a lot of the comments appended to that video.