September 24, 2014

    Today after my morning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Basics Class me and some of the students got to talking about self-defense. Specifically, We talked in great detail about the type of martial art that would really work in REAL street fighting situation.

    Oh and let me assure you, Krav Maga was not mentioned at all 🙂

    Not just what martial art style works best but also what it takes to be the kind of person who can take what they learn in martial arts classes and successfully use it in a street fight.

    And I mean a life or death, you or them fight. Not one guy pushes another guy and then a bunch of friends break it up. That’s not a street fight, that’s a shoving contest, nothing more.

    I’ll be straight up, i consider myself an expert on street fighting. Why? Because while 98% of folks out there have never been in a real fight I’ve been in well over 100.

    I’m not telling you this to be like “look at me, i get in street fights so i must be cool”, no i just want you to know that I know what goes down in a street fight and what skills work to save your tail.

    For street fight mastery, you need to know and train in the following styles:

    • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
    • Muay Thai Kick Boxing
    • Wrestling

    In all my years (almost 25 years as of right now), I’ve never seen or learned any style of martial art better then the three listed above. If you combine all three you’re going to be a very dangerous person, make no mistake about it.

    Even if your knowledge of these styles is just above basic level, you’ve still got a huge advantage of the untrained barroom brawler.

    You can use the skills of Gracie (Brazilian) JuJitsu to get them in chokes/joint locks while on the ground. The skills of Wrestling (Takedowns) can be used to take the fight to the ground or keep it standing, you choose.

    And then to top it all off you’ve got the powerful and super effective punches, kicks, clinch, knees and elbows from Muay Thai Kickboxing. That’s the icing on the cake right there.

    Put all those styles together and that’s a tough set of skills to bet I assure you. For me, I’ve never seen or used any better 3 styles of mixed martial arts.

    There’s a reason why all the top level fighters in events like the UFC only train in BJJ, Wrestling and Kickboxing. These styles work best for real fights. Because of that, they also give you the best chance of surviving a street altercation.

    Bottom Line…. If it works for UFC fighters in the cage it’ll work for you on the mean streets of wherever.

    But…you need more then just MMA skills to truly be safe on the streets.

    Does simply knowing the best mix martial arts skills really make you a good “street fighter”? The answer is no, it doesn’t. You need a little more then that. You need a mindset that’s capable of handing the streets.

    You can have all the martial arts skill in the world and still get the dirt beat out of you in a real fight. Being an effective fighter on the streets also means having the right kind of mindset and attitude. Skill alone isn’t enough.

    The mindset I’m talking about allows you to think fast, act fast and know what to do and when to do it at the drop of a hat pace. This mindset also means having the willingness to do whatever it takes in order to win the battle.

    That battle could very well mean life or death. I’m not kidding either. This type of attitude/mindset isn’t something most everyday people have within them.

    Can a Winning Self-Defense Mindset Be Coached?

    Yes, I do believe this type of mindset is something that be taught, or rather gained through MMA, so that’s good news. Over the course of time in your MMA training, you’ll get better at MMA as a whole, and as your skills get better so will your confidence.

    Once you reach a certain level of confidence your mindset will change and so will your attitude. That change is the key to not being the victim of a beat down in the real world.

    You need to know in your heart and hearts that what you’re being taught in the martial arts dojo will really work when/if the time comes for you to ever use it.

    Once you get a good understand of the skills associated with MMA and you combine that with the attitude and confidence also gained from the training, I would tend you think you should be more then prepared to handle some would-be attacker during a bar fight.

    Why Fear Getting Into a Self-Defense Situation?

    I’ll just toss this out there…. untrained street fighters can’t fight…at all. They lack any real skills and more often then not can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag from shoppers.

    Knowing that should give any well trained student of MMA a massive boost in self-confidence. Think about it – You know more then the street fighter, and if needed, you could hand them their ass on a silver platter.

    That’s how I want you, the trained or thinking of taking classes student to think about it. Call it cocky sure, and I get that, but I’d rather be cocky going into a street fight then unsure of myself.

    After a while, you’ll get bored with street self-defense.

    I know for me, once I got a good feel for the skills in MMA, even if it was at a very basic level, everything changed in my life, and changed in a very good way.

    For the most part I stopped fighting in the streets and lived like a normal young adult should. I stopped because after a good amount of time testing/using my MMA skills on the local Philly tough guys, and never losing, it started to get pretty boring.

    It was just way to easy for me to whip the crap out of said “tough guys” and walk away from the fight without a scratch on me and any real skills I had completely untested.

    So I stopped with the street fighting stuff and starting competing in mixed martial arts cage fights and BJJ tournaments all over the world. Looking back on it, that was 100% the right thing to do.

    Both were not only much safer then street fighting but also far more challenging due to having to fight guys who can actually fight and possess real fighting skills.

    Long story short: Learn as much as you can about the major styles of mixed martial arts like Thai Boxing, Wrestling and BJJ. Take classes from a real MMA Academy with real instructors.

    If, and I hope this never happens, you get into a street fight on some corner in Annapolis, those same skills learned in class should make coming away from the whole ordeal as easy as a hot knife cutting through a stick of butter 🙂

    Thanks for reading! Feedback can be left below in the comments section.

    –Daniel Ives
    P.S. I just want to be clear, I’m not in any way, shape or form advocating getting into or causing street fights! These are just my thoughts and opinions about what it takes to defend yourself in a bad situation. But please, AVOID GETTING INTO STREET FIGHTS IF POSSIBLE!!!



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