The super suplex

Our favourite bald Mormon (but we won't hold that against him) MMA coach is back with another great set of responses to a viewer's questions. And once again, he is taking on a certain amount of bullshido generated by another bald martial artist, who goes by the name of Master Wong.

Now, these two have something of an amusing history. Basically, Ramsey Dewey had a look at some self-defence videos produced by a wing chun coach called Master Wong, who I think lives somewhere in England, has a very funny accent, is even shorter than Toe Rogan, and is even more bald than Coach Ramsey himself.

Coach Ramsey was not terribly impressed, and said so.

He then had a look at Master Wong's rear-naked choke video, and concluded that it was nonsense. I added my own $0.02 to the discussion in one of my Monday linkage posts a while back, where I basically said that if you screw around with someone putting an RNC on you, then you might as well be measured for your coffin, because you will DIE.

That seemed to set things off pretty quickly, really.

A whole bunch of videos from various quarters followed - like the one where some ingenious fan of Coach Ramsey's put together a truly hysterical short comic showing what a fight between the two of them would look like, and the one where yet another bald martial artist had a go at both of them for being, well, kind of unrealistic and silly.

But now Master Wong is back with some moves designed to counter BJJ take-downs! And... well, Coach Ramsey wasn't terribly impressed by this one either:

The whole thing is worth watching, even though it's like 25 minutes long - I watched it while I was in the process of turning myself from an unwashed and unshaven yobbo caveman into something resembling an actual human male - and it is very instructive.

The best part is, of course, the real street-fight footage, which shows completely untrained idiots brawling. The exact bracing manoeuvre that Master Wong tries out with his BJJ training partner is attempted by ALL of the unlucky losers in those street-fight videos, and with predictable results.

The reason for this is actually pretty simple:

A side choke of that type is not that hard to escape from.

Why? Because you have no real control over the weight of the other person. You can control the direction of his head, but not the elevation. You cannot control his hip position. You cannot control his leverage over you.

There are at least 4 techniques that I know of to escape from one of those side chokes. All of them are extremely unpleasant for the guy doing the choking.

The one that I learned at yellow belt involved dropping one's hips, slapping one's open palm straight into the balls of the attacker, pushing the bony knuckle of one's middle finger straight into the columella (the hard bony part of the nose that juts out at a right angle from your ugly mug) after snaking one's hand over the back of his head and over the top, and pushing hard to make his head go upwards and break the choke. One then slams the attacker's head down on the ground by doing a virtual 180-degree move of the feet, and stomps on his head right after that for good measure.

In the Rhon Mizrachi Krav Maga Federation's yellow belt syllabus - actually, it's orange belt now that they've changed the curriculum - this is known as "Defence against headlock from the side", and it looks like this:

(Yes, that's my actual teacher. Yes, I know the two blue belts involved. I watched the younger one's test to black belt in 2015. I've sparred against him a few times, too. He's a badass. He loves throwing flying and spinning kicks, though, and the way to counteract that is to just hit him in midair or kick him in the back.)

Now, that is an elementary defence against a headlock, but there are a few others which get progressively more dangerous - for the guy doing the attacking.

My two favourites involve a judo-style rolling throw that sends the other guy flying - although that is quite tricky to pull off - and an actual "back breaker", as demonstrated really quite brilliantly by one David Weintraub. Fast-forward to about 2:28 in this video of his black belt test, from back in December 2012:

Yes, that is a perfectly legitimate technique, and no, it is not actually that hard to pull off.

In fact, you do not need to be particularly big or strong to pull that off.

My former training partner for blue belt, under the new syllabus, before I was forced to make an untimely and very painful, exit from the USA, is a good 50lbs lighter than me, gives up about 4 inches in height, is at least 10 years older, and is basically a scrawny Jewish lawyer fella.

And he would routinely put me in that back-breaker technique while we were training last year.

Seriously, it really is not that hard to take someone who is putting you in a headlock and dump him straight into a suplex, a throw, or similar very nasty and painful technique.

That is precisely the point that Coach Ramsey makes. If you try to put someone into such an elementary lock on the street, he is going to react instinctively and use your own leverage against you to dump you on your head.

There is no getting up and walking away from that. When your head hits concrete, with the full weight of your entire body behind it, unconsciousness is the best case scenario. The list of possibilities simply gets worse and worse from there.

You could suffer a concussion. You could get a brain bleed. You could fracture your skull. You could have your jaw broken, or even shattered. You could land at an awkward angle and snap your neck.

Point is, you ain't gonna be walkin' away from that, buster.

Coach Ramsey has a big beef with coaches who teach shitty techniques and don't realise that what they are teaching is pure bullshido, and I agree with him completely about this. Techniques that work in the dojo, on the sparring mat, or even in the ring and the cage, are of limited to zero utility in urban combat where you have any number of possible weapons, attackers, and situations that come at you in unpredictable combinations and at unanticipated moments.

You can protect yourself, to a great extent, by learning how to fight under coaches who have actually been in street fights. The problem is that most of these coaches are pretty rare these days. But if you find one, and if he truly respects the weapons that are available out there on the streets, then he will teach you that one of the best things that you can do is learn some very simple, basic, instinctive fighting techniques that will become ingrained into your muscle memory.

And this is a very good thing, because if you can put a guy into a suplex by instinct when he tries to put you into a headlock, imagine what happens when you actually know what the hell you're doing.

That is why men like advocate so strongly for learning martial arts and basic fighting skills. It teaches a man confidence, strength, and situational awareness.

So, as Coach Ramsey loves to say, "now get out there and train". And, if you're ever in my neck of the woods - or I'm in your area any time soon - drop me a line, and if you're up for it, let's put on some boxing gloves and pads and go a-Waltzin' Matilda. It's been far too long since I've punched anything other than a heavy bag, and my knuckles are getting itchy.

BONUS: I went chasing rabbits down their holes again, and found this old video of my teachers and friends doing their brown belt tests from way back in 2011:

Yeah... that made me really homesick.


  1. Huh, the most important street fighting lesson I ever learned was not how to break a lock... it was situational awareness.

    I know from experience that an untrained guy that grabs even a trash can lid has a huge advantage over a guy that may have trained for years.

    I am partially trained (Boxing, wrestling, and about 200+ street fights) and every time I see some simulated street fight where a little 'master' chop sockeys some 360 lb bruiser while there are about a million potential weapons lying around I have to laugh.

    Well, that and, no matter how awesome jet lee might be at hong kong martial arts, he cannot stop bullets and a crowbar will break his arm or head just as fast as anyone else's.

    Unless you are a reasonably sized guy with about 25 years to kill and the ambition to become the master at the art, for most people the most valuable 'combat' skills you can develop are basic physical fitness (rule #1 for survival in zombieland... Cardio) and situational awareness.


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