Sport For Street’s Sake: Is Sportive Training Helpful For Self Defense And “Real” Fighting?

Ever notice that the people who decry sportive techniques are those who have never actually spent any time doing them?  Also, ever notice that some of the best MMA fighters come from a sportive wrestling, boxing or jiu-jitsu background?  The rule sets of all of these sports makes them ineffective as stand-alone arts and yet there are very few “self defense” practitioners at the top of the game.  The sport vs. street argument misses a key point…

Sport techniques are bad in “real life” situations, but the skills that are required to get good at those sportive techniques are actually kind of useful…

Let’s take a look at the Berimbolo for example… Arguably the most sportive and non-self-defense-oriented technique in the game.  What exactly is a Berimbolo?  It’s a sweep from De La Riva guard that ultimately translates into a back take.  In order to Berimbolo well, one needs to understand how to off balance an opponent, and work around to the back.  I want all of you “street” guys to go ahead and try to Berimbolo someone the next time you roll.  If you fail, you probably shouldn’t talk about the technique…

Related: These Are The Most Effective BJJ Moves For A Street Fight

The journey not the destination…

The truth is that what makes jiu jitsu practitioners so tough aren’t their specific techniques, but rather the innate understanding of distance management and leverage.  Boxers use the speed bag to develop hand eye coordination and rhythm, but you never see them punch the way they hit the speed bag.  Similarly, wrestlers and judokas will often go belly down to prevent the pin, but if you ever watch a wrestler or judoka in an MMA fight they rarely go belly down…

Sport techniques, strategies and concepts aren’t necessarily detrimental to one’s ability to manage in a real life altercation, and more importantly the skills are transferrable.

When a boxer hits a speed bag they’re developing certain kinds of coordination that then can be translated in a boxing match.  When a judoka or a wrestler goes belly down it is to prevent a certain position from occurring, and the ability to do that can translate into positional awareness in a fight.  Chances are neither would go belly down if taken down in a fight…

And when a sport jiujiteiro works on their Berimbolo or their donkey guard, they’re not committing to using those techniques if they ever get into a street fight, but rather are developing a certain kind of coordination and spatial understanding that only makes them more dangerous.  Ryan Hall hasn’t done too badly in his MMA career using sportive BJJ techniques.

Obviously sport techniques should always take a back burner to sound fundamentals, but on a high level can the two go hand in hand?  And if not, why not?

Is there a possibility that while these techniques in and of themselves would get you killed in a fight, the act of getting good at them while developing other skills actually makes jiu-jitsu competitors better fighters?

The post Sport For Street’s Sake: Is Sportive Training Helpful For Self Defense And “Real” Fighting? appeared first on Jiu-Jitsu Times.

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