Pulling guard in the BJJ world is often ridiculed by Judoka and Wrestlers who see it as a cowardly way to face someone. Nowadays with the rules of sport BJJ, you can win matches with very little knowledge in the takedown. How can you neutralize someone with 20+ years of wrestling or Judo? Just pull guard… Think about it…
Can the same be applied to self defense?
Jocko Willink a BJJ black belt under Dean Lister and Navy Seal legend outlines that the number one option when faced with an attacker, is to do the smart thing and run away:
If someone attacks me and they want to punch or kick me, I can just run away. They’re not holding onto me. I can get away from them. It’s when someone grabs you that you need some technique to get out of there, or someone takes you to the ground — that’s when you need some technique to get out of there. If someone just wants to punch me, well, I’ll walk away from them or run away from them. That’s OK.
Obviously, I am a fan of jiu-jitsu. No. 1: It’s very practical, like I said, for self-defense. And again, the goal of jiu-jitsu in self-defense isn’t to take someone down to the ground — the goal in jiu-jitsu for self-defense is actually to be able to defend yourself on the ground, get up, and get away from an attacker. That’s what the goal is.
Now, some people might think: “Well, Jocko, I don’t want to run away if somebody wants to fight me. I want to fight them.” Well, let’s think about where that might end up for you. No. 1: You don’t know if this person has a weapon or not. What if they have a knife? What if they have a pistol? What if they’ve got three or four friends? And now you’re getting either shot, stabbed, mutilated, or otherwise maimed and killed. That’s not what you’re looking for on a Friday night as you’re walking down the street.
OK, so let’s say you’re so tough that the other guy — he doesn’t have a knife, he doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have any friends — and you take him out and break his arm, choke him, and put him to sleep. Well now guess what happens? You’re getting arrested. Now you’re getting in a lawsuit. Now you have to pay this person money that you actually wanted to beat up.
So it’s a lose-lose situation to get in a confrontation on the street. If you can break contact and get away, break contact and get away. That’s what you should learn self-defense for. Obviously, if someone is doing something that they’re attacking someone in your family and you have to step in to defend yourself, well, that’s why you continue training all the time — because that might happen, and you have to be prepared for that. Optimally, you get out of there: You break contact, you get away. If you have to stand and fight, you train yourself so that you’re able to do it.
In this video, FMA (Filipino martial arts) instructor Doug Marcaida & and army Instructor Zero show why pulling and changing levels is the best thing to do against a attacker armed with a knife that is charging you:
This (humorous) video shows that pulling guard is an effective method of neutralizing a mugger.
This is of course a joke 😉
What do you think?
If you want to develop old school, tough Jiu-Jitsu, check out world champion Bernardo Faria. He has used the over under pass, the half guard, the deep half guard, and good old fashioned wrestling to beat some of the top competitors in the world time and time again. If you want to learn some techniques from him check out his new DVD set “Foundation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu“ which is also available as a 6 part digital download. This set is one of the best examples of the fundamentals of bjj.