Dirty Tactics & Grappling

Dirty Tactics & Grappling
By Cecil Burch

Greek Wrestlers
Dirty Tactics & Grappling
Modern Defensive Training Systems
Modern Defensive Training Systems

Utica, NY –-(Ammoland.com)- Recently, I saw yet another self-appointed guru of close quarter combat in a newsstand publication talking about grappling in a self-defense situation.

It continues to amaze me that the same tired, un-informed clichés are spouted over and over again.

It is one thing if we were in the age where information about such things was hard to come by, but in this era of internet communication, it is criminal to pass on ideas and tactics that have been proven to be ineffective and may lead to good people getting hurt or killed.

Don’t misunderstand me; there IS a tiny window where dirty tactics can be useful, but not in the manner that most of the “combat experts” seem to believe is valid.

There are three main areas of concern with using these methods as your main line of defense on the ground. I will cover them individually.

Lack of Understanding: Almost all these experts, when they demonstrate their preferred foul techniques, betray their basic lack of understanding of the ground game. Simply put, if they had actually trained the material against a reasonably intelligent resisting opponent with at least a tiny modicum of skill, they would have known where the flaws were. The fact that they don’t know this simple fact shows they have not done the work themselves. Of all aspects of combat (firearms, knives, impact weapons, H2H, etc.), grappling is the most chaotic and complicated. If your opponent moves his elbow two inches, that alone could completely alter what you are able to do! And that alteration could happen in an instant! It takes simple mat time to grasp these concepts. When someone tries to tell you a simple bite or pinch will open things up, understand that he has spent little, if any, time putting this into practice.

A trick these guys will do in order for you to think they are well versed in grappling is to say something like “I have trained BJJ since 1995” or “I have trained with Rickson Gracie for 10 years”. What they are ACTAULLY saying is “I did a BJJ seminar in 1995 and have watched a few UFCs, seen a couple of DVDs, and watched some clips on YouTube, but I have not actually continuously trained BJJ at all”. BJJ is very simple. If they have put in real time under a legitimate coach, they will be ranked (white belt, blue, purple, brown, black). End of story. If they don’t have rank, treat anything they say regarding groundwork with suspicion.

Lack of Effect: This is critical to me. How do you know that it will work in the manner that they say it does? How many times have you bit, eye gouged, pinched flesh, fishooked, etc. your training partner? I don’t know too many people who will allow this all the time, so how can you be assured your opponent will react in a set manner when your life is on the line? Some people have little pain tolerance, others have tremendous levels. What are you going to do when one of the latter is on top of you raining down the hate, and all you have in your arsenal is pinching his love handles really hard? And if he just looks at you and re-doubles his attack? What then?

Here is a dirty little secret that few if any outside the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world know. We have this happen to us ALL THE TIME. There is not a training session that goes by that at the end you don’t have weird bruises or you have been conked in the head or face, or your skin pinched and twisted, your eye poked with cloth or a finger, or your fingers torqued the wrong way. It is a contact sport and accidents happen. You know how we handle it? We KEEP FIGHTING! Unless there is blood or the injury is so severe, we just muddle along. We wait until after the round is over before we take care of the pain. So why would we not do the same exact thing in the street? I promise you, the number of grapplers who would be mentally or physically disrupted by such tactics is extremely small. I, for one, would not want to stake my life or well-being on the vague hope that the guy I am fighting is one of those few. I would rather count on high percentage techniques.

Lack of Opportunity: This is actually the big one. The main problem with counting on foul techniques to bail you out is an implicit belief that you will be able to perform them. I guarantee you, if you are on the bottom against someone who has more than a vague idea of what to do from there; you most likely will have little if any freedom to execute said dirty moves.

Let’s think about this for a moment. If I am a grappler, and I am on top of you, I most likely want to do one of four things – strike you, slap on a choke or joint attack, pull a weapon, or hold you for my buddies to stomp you. To do any of those things requires me to have CONTROL! I must have control over your head, arms, and/or hips. As a grappler, I know (from all that mat time) that if I don’t do that, I will either fail in my attack, or you will be able to escape. So my entire approach is about controlling those things. Therefore, if I am controlling your arms so I can attack you with an armbar or keep you in place, how are your arms going to be free to grab and viciously twist my love handles? How are you going to have your arms free to gouge my eyes?

If I am controlling you upper body/head and looking to choke you, how are you going to be free to bite me? It just makes no sense at all. Even the most non-street aware “sport” grappler knows to control the other person to maintain the position or use a submission hold (which is actually a limb break – we only let you tap to be nice – I have yet to hear of any documented incident where someone let up the hold after a tap in the street and the other guy continued the attack – it is fast becoming an urban legend/myth). It is a core concept that any mildly capable grappler understands. So counting on being able to use any of the dirty tactics that Reality Based Self-Defense guys talk about is probably pretty futile.

To sum up, there might be a tiny moment where a dirty tactic could be useful. But you better have a decent understanding of how ground fighting truly works before counting on it. Does this mean I think everyone should be spending 10 hours a week on the mat doing BJJ? Not at all, but you do need to have spent a little time learning and working basic fundamental concepts, techniques, and physical movements and how to recognize the right timing for each. Seek out a qualified coach who has put the work in, and who is not trying to sell you a bill a goods for the sake of his own ego.

About Cecil:
Cecil Burch has been studying the fighting arts since he was 16. After studying some traditional martial arts, he moved to Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino Martial Arts under Dan Inosanto and Paul Vunak, Savate under Salem Assli, Muay Thai, and Pentjak Silat. In 1994 he began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Megaton Dias. Cecil is currently a black belt under Megaton and has competed extensively. In 2002, he started training with Rodney King, creator of the Crazy Monkey Defense (CMD) boxing system. He is currently one of the four highest-level CMD trainers in the world. Cecil has been a firearms enthusiast his whole life attending his first NRA course at the age of twelve. He has trained at Gunsite under Jeff Cooper and Louis Awerbuck with Chuck Taylor, SouthNarc and Larry Vickers. He has also competed in DCM rifle matches, GSSF events, and local USPSA matches.

About MDTS:
Chris Fry is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, N.Y. where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills. MDTS offers a variety of courses for responsible citizens, corporations, law enforcement and the U.S. Military with a singular goal of providing up to date, realistic and practical personal protection training. Visit: www.mdtstraining.com