Thursday, April 23, 2009

Case Study: Grappling Defeats the Kicker

Years ago, when the young Ratlet was in High School, I was a wrestler. Every fight ended up with someone on the ground getting pounded. Then came Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Check out those cool chuck Norris-style kicks! Kicking was the rage as I fought for years in TKD tournaments, and I was often outmatched by lanky kickers with longer legs. Then came Kenpo and Boxing drills, which finally brought my hands up to speed.
Now, as I approach 50, I once again realize the importance of grappling skills and things are coming full-circle.
In this video fight, Black is said to be a Bagua stylist, Yellow a Shuai Jiao wrestler. Now, Black is no slouch. He has a good sense of timing and has pretty good game. But the grappler just waits patiently until Black offers him a leg, and... Slam!
Now, imagine if Tae Kwon Do tournaments were conducted like this.

**** Side note: I still am not sold on prolonged ground wrestling in a street fight, it's too risky. But, these type throws with a good stomping, I can go for that...


BSM said...

Tae Kwon Do and even some tournament Karate specializes in one area at the expense of others. Put a boxer in that video and he too would probably eat mat.

Dojo Rat said...

Well, I don't think a boxer exposes so much "Territory" as a kicker. More compact, better in a clinch.

Adrian said...

**** Side note: I still am not sold on prolonged ground wrestling in a street fight, it's too risky. But, these type throws with a good stomping, I can go for that****...I do agree with this completely. . ."all fights go to the ground", not sure where this myth/folklore/now repeated like a mantra, idea came from, but having skills in throwing and ground work I feel is essential to a well rounded fighter. . .I have often looked at this clip myself, thank you for posting. I do believe you can use the ground to punish your opponent, on the other hand, as he is thrown down.

Toldain said...

I'm not sure I'm as impressed with black as you are. I'd say he probably hasn't practiced his mental bagua skills under pressure as much as might be appropriate.

All that bouncing around and flickering of hands gets him nothing. He seems to have no awareness of or feel for yellow, who seems to be living in blacks head.

Those are some very fast kicks, but black sees them coming and turns them to his advantage.

My expectation is that study of internal arts would develop these mental skills better, but who knows. One match between two people doesn't really prove anything beyond one guy is better.

José said...

The Black guy is a student of Park Bok Nam, a Korean Bagua teacher, and was at the time living and studying in Korea, from where his team went to Taiwan. It seems to me that he hadn't been training for that long, and that clearly, previous training in TKD came reasserted itself. I am assuming previous training.... but it's just too much coincidence that this guy is in Korea and is a good kicker...

On a related note, the "90% of fights go to the ground" is pretty much a myth. It was based on a LAPD study, which ended up saying that, when police officers physically confornted a perp, and under a certain set of circumstances, most of the fights went to the ground. Now, this essentially meant that of those 90% fully 2/3 represented cases where the officer(s) was trying to arrest, subdue or immobilize the perp. Presumably without bashing him too much in the head. Therefore, it is probably a study that is not very relevant to self-defense in general. This doesn't mean that a lot of fights don't end in the ground, or that having some grappling ground skills is not important, but it's far from saying that groundfighting is the be-all end-all of fighting.

This reminds me of a fight, or rather, challenge that I witnessed between a friend of mine (older, who is a 3rd Dan in Goju-ryu and an advanced student of erle Montaigue), who fought a BJJ specialist (actually, a Brazilian teacher living in Lisbon). He agreed to the challenge with one condition: the fight to take place outside, in the parking lot, while wearing everyday clothing. It was very quick, and BJJ got a busted elbow when he fell on hard concrete, half on the street, half on the sidewalk. My friend kicked him in the shin, and boy, did he get a surprised look on his face when the kick hurt a lot more than he expected due to those hard shoes. All in all, it was great. Of course, my friend also had a 1st dan in Judo (students of Morio Higaonnna in those days did a lot of kakie - sticky hands training - which turned into grappling, and were required to take Judo).

I'll try to find a link to the study by the LAPD.

José said...

Here it is:

"Going to the Ground: Lessons from Law EnforcementBy Chris Leblanc"

Final comment:

" (...) ... The LAPD study does not show that “90% of fights go to the ground.” Instead, the LAPD study shows that 95% of altercations took on one of five familiar patterns (with which any street cop will be intimately familiar). It also shows that of that 95%, 62% ended up with both the officer and the suspect grappling on the ground.

Obviously, being professionally charged with restraining someone versus being primarily focused on escaping an attack will change the dynamic of a confrontation after the initial engagement. This is why I believe police in an arrest situation are more likely than a citizen in a self-defense situation to stay on the ground during a physical encounter.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that more than half the officers surveyed by Calibre Press reported that suspects had attempted to take them down, and that the suspects accomplished this 60% of the time. Of that number, the overwhelming majority stayed on the ground grappling with the officer (77%). When considering these patterns of assault, they are of the same nature as criminal assaults on citizens. In other words, the mechanics of an assault (versus the mechanics of arrest) do not change simply because one of the people involved is a police officer. [EN4]

To conclude, one can quibble with the exact percentages, but being on the ground happens frequently during serious altercations. Could a person’s being taken down and not having an effective means to deal with the situation increase odds of death or serious injury, either to him/herself or to the assailant? My personal view is that this is the case.


I think this conclusion is in general solid, but I take exception with "In other words, the mechanics of an assault (versus the mechanics of arrest) do not change simply because one of the people involved is a police officer". The initial mechanics may not change, but the results could. We simply do not know the impact of an officer trying not to be too destructive.

Dojo Rat said...

Wow, Jose, great comments. That's worth a whole post in itself,

BSM said...

DR -

Yeah I can't argue that. The platform is probably more stable up to a point.