Bullshido beatdown

Aikido versus jiu jitsu- WHO YA GOT?!

That was simply badass.

And in case you're wondering, yes, those guys really do know how to take impact well. Learning how to break your falls is one of the first things you learn in a ground-based art like jiu jitsu, or judo.

Stand-up striking arts, like muay thai or karate or even Krav Maga, generally try to avoid the ground or even ignore the concept of ground-fighting altogether. In Krav Maga, for instance, although you learn fall-breaks for yellow belt, and more advanced versions of fall breaks (side, front, and high breaks) at higher levels like orange and green, there are not many Krav Maga techniques that require one to break a fall from the kinds of heights that these guys were facing. We regard the ground as our single most dangerous enemy; by contrast, a good judoka, wrestler, or jiu jitsu artist is going to look to take the fight to the ground as soon as possible.

Hell, just a couple of weeks ago, I was sparring against a green belt with a background in wrestling with fists and feet, and he took me down and started hitting me in the face. When I tried to get off the ground, he managed to get my back and then put me in a rear naked choke.

He won that round fair and square, and reinforced a lesson that sometimes takes a while to sink in even for experienced fighters: the moment someone has you in a choke like that, he holds your own physical safety in his hands. If you don't understand this, you have no business being on the mat and sparring with him.

The humble martial artist understands this, learns from his defeats at the hands of better men, and adapts his fighting style to incorporate such lessons. The arrogant martial artist will inevitably suffer similar defeats if he refuses to take such things into account.

Also, if you're thinking about taking up a martial art, remember that size is often a hindrance, not a help. Watch what happens when a 250lb bodybuilder goes up against a highly trained BJJ black belt who weighs 100lbs less than he does:

Tactical, carefully planned strikes combined with superior ground-fighting skills are a great way to confuse, wear down, and destroy an arrogant opponent.

That is not to say, however, that someone smaller than you will always be able to defeat you.

Women, in particular, are at a huge disadvantage against bigger and stronger opponents. They are weaker, they are more fragile, they are slower (because they have less fast-twitch muscle fibre), they are more easily exhausted, and they have less reach. When you put these factors together into a combat situation, do not be fool enough to think that a woman can ignore her opponent's size and speed advantages.

Case in point: this very evening I was sparring with a higher-ranked female belt in my school. She's a good foot shorter than me and a minimum of 50lbs lighter. She was attempting to defend against my high roundhouse kicks by kicking to my groin. This is an entirely legitimate defence and a highly effective one.

Just one problem: because I am considerably taller than her, and therefore have far longer legs, with far more muscle in them, my roundhouse kicks would arrive faster than her defensive kick could, even though my leg had farther to travel.

The inevitable end result was that she was getting kicked in the face and shoulder and ribs and then landing a kick to my groin cup.

She got quite annoyed by the fact that I simply kept walking through her kicks, as she felt that I was ignoring her strikes. I didn't respond much at the time, but women like that are well advised to understand one thing: in a real-life combat situation, unless you are extremely well trained and exceptionally resilient, you are going to have a very tough time holding your own against a larger, faster, determined and trained male opponent.

There are women who I would rate highly in a real, down-and-dirty street fight. Avivit Cohen and Yella Elyashar, Dan 4, are two such women. (I've trained under Yella Elyashar and her teachers, Ilan Fadlon , Dan 6, and Uri Refaeli, Dan 8. She is terrifyingly skilled. She's also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.) There is also Katrina Reynolds, Dan 2, who could unquestionably handle herself in a fight. And there are a small number of high-ranking female belts at my school who could take on most men and win.

But they are precious few in number. And make no mistake- the vast majority of women who train in martial arts are going to have a very tough time in the real world when stuff gets real.

And now, having seen what great martial artists can do, let's hear about how deep a formerly great martial artist can descend into the dark and noxious valleys of Douchebag County:


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