Fighting Myths

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Fighting Myths

Postby prenna » Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:21 am

Fighting Myths - notes from the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers Conference

One of the myths about personal protection is the old misquoted statistic, "90% of all fights wind up on the ground." This statistic has been used to sell ground fighting systems as the ultimate in self defense. If you have been in the martial arts or personal protection game long enough you have certainly heard this thing tossed around. You may have even heard the source - "according to the LAPD".

That statistic is wrong, AND misused.



The ASLET conference featured training in joint lock takedowns with retired sergeant John L. Sommers, the very man who conducted the use of force study with the LAPD and designed their defensive tactics program. His study looked at 6000 use of force reports from the LAPD and found that 60% of the time the arresting officer was knocked to the ground. One of the major reasons for this is that California has the 3 strikes rule and recidivist criminals are more likely to fight back to try to get away. Here are some of the main problems with the way this statistic is misused:



1. The percentage is 60% not 90% the numbers are frequently inflated to seem more convincing. While 60% is a majority, that means that more than one third of incidents did not result in an officer being knocked down. Also, the statistics did not measure "fights" but officer use of force reports.

2. The actual study was of officer use of force incidents in LA and did not study self defense situations involving civilians. You cannot apply the data from one representative sample to an entirely different population. If 98% of the population of the Philippines eats rice for three meals a day, you cannot also say that people living in Kansas also eat rice for three meals a day. It is a non-representative sample.

3. The use (misuse) of statistics is frequently combined with false but logical-sounding conclusions. A single data point is used to represent conclusions that the data does not indeed support. This makes an argument sound very credible even when it is not. Example = 100% of all people that consumed carrots in 1889 are now dead - therefore carrots kill you, so you better stop eating them.



On top of all this, the statistic is used to make people think that going to the ground is a good idea.

To quote Sergeant Sommers, (who worked with the Gracies, the Machados, Benny Urquidez and several other top martial artists) "I don't ever recommend you go to the ground." The very author of the study and designer of the training program thinks going to the ground is a very bad idea.



It sounds to me like it is a good idea to stay off the ground but know what to do if you do wind up there. This is what I have been saying, and what law enforcement and military folks have told me for years. Notice I did NOT say that you shouldn't study ground fighting. On the contrary, I think it's very important. But you do not want to waste time doing arm bars and figure 4's, you want to do what you must to get back on your feet as fast as possible.



Also keep in mind that the moment you throw somebody to the ground, climb on them, and punch them - you are committing assault and battery in most jurisdictions. The hockey dad case in Massachusetts is an example. Thomas Junta was assaulted in front of his children. He then grounded and punched his assailant who hit his head on the concrete and died. Mr. Junta is now serving time for involuntary manslaughter.





Additional information regarding civilian fights.



Male versus Male - Age 18 and up

In studying real life fights involving this group of civilians, we find that no more than 40% fights ever went to the ground. When the fights did go to the ground, it was typically due to two main reasons:

1. Ineffective technique that led to the combatants becoming fatigued and frustrated and proceeding to a grapple, and then to falling on the ground.

2. One of the combatants actually tripping and falling.



Male versus Female - Age 18 and up

The percentage is much higher with male versus female. Typically 80% or more. This is due to the nature of the attack. Men attack women for the purpose of control and exploitation, such as rape. Going to the ground is typical for these assaults.



Children versus Children

It is not uncommon for the typical schoolyard brawl to end up in a wrestling match on the ground. The assaults are usually not intended to inflict physical harm but rather to control. Hence punches and strikes may not be considered. The outcome of these altercations are typically much less severe than real adult confrontations.


Found at: http://www.edatkd.com/fighting_myths.htm



I think this is an excellent article on the subject.
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Postby pandiriver » Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:15 am

I always thought there was something odd about those 90%. Maybe in UFC it's 90% but irl - seems strange. Also seems strange to take a fight on the street on the ground. Outside hurts, friends of the enemy kick your back. eeew. Keep standing, if you can't - get up as quick as you can!


excellent link btw - thx :D
please reveganise me =(
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Postby funfetus » Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:33 pm

In my experience, with the fights I've witnessed, if a fight goes on longer than a few seconds, it's going to the ground. Sometimes both on the ground, more often, one guy on the ground, the other guy kicking his head in. Sometimes the other guy and 8 of his friends kicking his head in. A friend of mine also got 4 stab wounds for good measure, in this sort of situation.

I agree with the conclusion -- stay standing if at all possible, but know what to do if you end up on the ground. And preferably, know what to do standing up so the other guy ends up the ground.

Of course, preferable to all of the above, don't get in fights. :)
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Postby wannalift » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:47 pm

haha, i love talking to jiu jitsu folk for this very reason. they are real eager to tell me that their art is the best and they have the stats to prove it. i just smile and say: alirght, what do you if you have to fight more than one person. their response is delayed 90% of the time, inconclusive 78% of the time and ignorant 86% of the time :lol: so, if your art doesn't prepare you for a confrontation with mutliple attackers, find a new one.
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Re: Fighting Myths

Postby Daniel » Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:07 pm

[quote="prenna"]Also keep in mind that the moment you throw somebody to the ground, climb on them, and punch them - you are committing assault and battery in most jurisdictions. The hockey dad case in Massachusetts is an example. Thomas Junta was assaulted in front of his children. He then grounded and punched his assailant who hit his head on the concrete and died. Mr. Junta is now serving time for involuntary manslaughter.


This is an interesting point I'll have to keep in mind. In Hapkido many of the techniques involve throwing the opponent to the ground and holding them their while apply a finishing strike. However, in HKD we never get on the ground. We use our body wait to pin the person's arm and body from a standing position and than strike them in a vital area. Equally, we can usually put the person in a joint lock if you don't wish to seriously hurt the person. But the option to do serious damage is always there, if absolutely necessary.

Of course, this would never be a problem when using an Aikido techniques. Since that style has no strikes. Again the point is to put your opponent on the floor and to stay on your feet (or at least in a position where you can easily be on your feet) in case you have a second attacker. (With Aikido we learn to do all the techniques from kneeling and standing positions, this way you will be ready if attacked while pinning someone else.)
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Postby Prodigy » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:47 am

[quote="daviddenton"]haha, i love talking to jiu jitsu folk for this very reason. they are real eager to tell me that their art is the best and they have the stats to prove it. i just smile and say: alirght, what do you if you have to fight more than one person. their response is delayed 90% of the time, inconclusive 78% of the time and ignorant 86% of the time :lol: so, if your art doesn't prepare you for a confrontation with mutliple attackers, find a new one.
~david


True. Lots of my training partners only train in BJJ. I balance my training with plenty of kick-boxing and traditional boxing for that exact reason. Whilst BJJ will make you a monster in most one-on-one situations it's not much use when 5 guys attack you!!!
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Postby sensless » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:08 pm

I think the main reason to try to keep your feet in the street is because it allows you to always have the option to flee.

Almost all of my fighting experience is from "street" fighting. I did a little bit of boxing for fun when I was younger, but I won't reference any of that experience in this. This is all written based off of my personal experience and shouldn't be taken as anything more.


Most fights can be finished with one punch, make sure it is you delivering it.

Many people don't know how to punch.

Sometimes pretending you are completely insane will chase people away or make them think it isn't worth fighting you. Go for it.

When fighting multiple opponents always stay on your feet. If the opportunity to flee is there, take it in a controlled fashion. Chances are one of the people will be faster or have a better endurance, so be wary of getting run down. If you have the chance for the first strike, make it a finishing move (throat punch, break the nose, cripple the knee, etc.) and then try to move away about ten feet from that person. Strike and move is essential. Combination blows are great, but they take time and you become stationary. Stationary means you get tackled and your face gets introduced to the bottom of a boot. Don't worry about your strikes doing tons of damage when you throw them, they are meant to keep people away more so than anything else. So, punch, move five to ten feet, punch and move, etc. If you are in a confined space, such as in a room, movement and escape isn't very possible. Try to find an easily defensible position where you will be confronted with the least number of people at once.

Fighting single opponents. Strike first, end it fast. If you can't get away of course. Always just run away, who cares if the local tough guy thinks you're a wimp? I think the throat punch is a great thing to do. I have also found that a lot of people on the street will attempt to punch you and then they start jawing at you. If this happens, get them talking and hit 'em in the jaw with their mouth open. The jaw breaks and dislocates very easily at this point and the fight is over.

If you are on the ground, on the bottom, go into the patented guard position and look for the jijitsu style arm bar or something. The guard works best against skilled fighters, as the common thug will just be flailing. Going into the guard may not protect you from the flailing, but it may calm your mind so you can put a thum in the eye or fish hook the bastard. Fish hook, though provides no sort of knock out blow, stops a ton of people in their tracks because it hurts so bad and they know it is causing some real vanity damage.

Fight "dirty". You will win if you do this. Grab the guys balls and squeeze. Put your finger in his butthole. Poke him in the eye. Rip-off his ear. You don't want these things to happen, neither does anyone else. This means that other people may run away knowing this could occur, ending the fight.

A lot of people go into such a spaz mode when they fight that their training is forgotten. Expect a lot of haymakers and basic tackling moves.

If you can hit someone with your knee, do it. A knee to the head is devastating.

Elbows are brutal, throw 'em in close quarters.

Headbutts work. Driving the head into the diaphram works for knocking the wind out, and a headbutt to the nose will break the nose quickly. This is usually a close quarters standing position move, especially if someone grabs at you.

That's my little piece. I've been in over 100 street fights, and it is something I recommend trying to avoid at all costs, and I have avoided them for 8 years (8 years exactly on October 23rd). It takes a certain mentality to actually be a good street fighter, and I think that mentality is inherent moreso than trained. If you are in your 20's and have never gotten in a fight, you've made it past the tough part. Now you can avoid them easily. I've seen many people around the age of 23-25 start fight training or lifting weights and tell me, "I've never gotten into a street fight and I want to." I try to advise them against it, but many of them go do it anyway and end up getting hurt badly. If a person isn't running away from you when you try to start something, it's, from my experience, because they are a bad mother phocker.

Regards,

John Jr.
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Postby funfetus » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:37 pm

[quote="sensless"]
Sometimes pretending you are completely insane will chase people away or make them think it isn't worth fighting you. Go for it.


I read an interview with a, well, we'll call him a performance artist, who said that he was chased by 3 guys who wanted to kick his ass. I guess he managed to get enough of a lead to take all his clothes off. When they caught up with him, they apparently decided they'd just rather not fight a naked guy, and left. :lol:

[quote="sensless"]
Stationary means you get tackled and your face gets introduced to the
bottom of a boot.


From personal experience, letting someone get behind you also gets you introduced to the bottom of a boot. Or the bottoms of 12.

[quote="sensless"]
If you are on the ground, on the bottom, go into the patented guard position and look for the jijitsu style arm bar or something. The guard works best against skilled fighters, as the common thug will just be flailing.


Unless you're able to secure a submission, I think the main point of the guard position is to keep the opponent from being able to strike effectively. If you just hug him and pull him in close, he won't be able to hit you at all, except rabbit punches to the top of your head, which won't really do anything.

Of course, what you do then, I have no idea. Which is why I've gotta take some bjj eventually.

[quote="sensless"]
Put your finger in his butthole.


The old oil-check. :lol:

[quote="sensless"]
A lot of people go into such a spaz mode when they fight that their training is forgotten. Expect a lot of haymakers and basic tackling moves.


And of course, like you said, most people don't know how to throw a punch in the first place. Most people come in with one big swinging right hand, which should be easy to avoid if you're not getting sucker-punched, and they're not gonna have any defense, so a few straight punches should do it.

A friend of mine trained muay thai for 3 years, and he used to get in tons of fights. He won pretty much all of them except against multiple opponents (though he won some of those) because most people just don't have any idea how to throw, or avoid, a punch.

[quote="sensless"]
That's my little piece. I've been in over 100 street fights, and it is something I recommend trying to avoid at all costs, and I have avoided them for 8 years (8 years exactly on October 23rd).


Congratulations. :) Care to elaborate at all? I like these kinds of stories.

[quote="sensless"]
If you are in your 20's and have never gotten in a fight, you've made it past the tough part. Now you can avoid them easily. I've seen many people around the age of 23-25 start fight training or lifting weights and tell me, "I've never gotten into a street fight and I want to." I try to advise them against it, but many of them go do it anyway and end up getting hurt badly.

Though I've actually been in the middle of fights in the past decade, I haven't actually fought since 6th grade. Not for lack of opportunities, but it's just stupid, and never absolutely had to. Now, at 25, I've started training in muay thai, mostly for fun, but also because I want to have something if I ever really need it. Still hope to hell I never have to use it. Not that there aren't the occasional fantasies, though. :twisted:
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Postby Mary » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:37 pm

Why would anybody want to get into a street fight? I haven't been in as many fights as you, but since I was eighteen I have won any fight I have been in (apart from the ones I ran away from.) And everything you say makes sense. I have had to pull someone's earing out to get him off me, while I was pushing Séamus through Liverpool in his pram, so I get what you mean about fighting dirty. And coming across as insane works as well. Basically, get your mad head on, and SCREAM like a loony. They flinch, you punch, possibly follow it with a kick, then run.

Actually, one fight I didn't win, because it was unwinnable. I was attacked by a bunch of police men, and couldn't defend myself because they would have put me in prison. That was the worst situation I have been in for a long time, because I knew as they kicked the crap out of me that there was nothing I could do to defend myself - it wasn't even a fight. It was disgusting. And to this day, they are saying that I "asked for it."

Whereever possible, run.
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Postby sensless » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:58 pm

I forgot to mention, biting also works. Though human flesh is amazingly durable and it is difficult to actually bite off a chunk.

funfetus, if you want any specific fight stories let me know and I might be willing to share. I usually don't talk about my fighting very much, as even though I feel I was good at it, it isn't really something that I feel should be shouted to the world. Often that only brings out knobs that want to test themselves against you, and everyone loses then. My father used to experience this a lot when he was younger, I guess I'm just a chip off the ol' block.

Regards,

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Postby PaHulkster » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:46 pm

Acting crazy works well. I've done this a number of times, and people usually run away. One of my friends put an Alka-Seltzer in his mouth before he was supposed to fight a kid, and starting freaking out. The kid ran away crying, and we laughed for about four days.
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Postby prenna » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:24 pm

[quote="Mary"] but since I was eighteen I have won any fight I have been in (apart from the ones I ran away from.)


I see that as a win too. If you come out of a confrontation unscathed, or at least without serious injury, then you've won that one even if you did it by running away.
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Postby funfetus » Fri Oct 08, 2004 3:05 pm

[quote="sensless"]funfetus, if you want any specific fight stories let me know and I might be willing to share. I usually don't talk about my fighting very much, as even though I feel I was good at it, it isn't really something that I feel should be shouted to the world. Often that only brings out knobs that want to test themselves against you, and everyone loses then. My father used to experience this a lot when he was younger, I guess I'm just a chip off the ol' block.


I'd totally be into hearing some stories, if you're comfortable talking about them. I don't think anyone on this board is gonna call you out. :)
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Postby sensless » Fri Oct 08, 2004 3:54 pm

Against single opponents, multiple opponents, weapons, fights I won, or fights I lost?

-Jr.
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Postby tylerm » Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:01 pm

Damn, 100 street fights... Sensless, how come so many fights, were you out looking for them or are you just a big asshole? :D just kidding
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