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Duelists, Doers and the Done
Crackpot Mailbox: Banjo Kane Discussing the BJJQ with the Crackpot
[Seriously, no one is more like the David Caradine character from the Kung Fu TV series than Banjo.]
A few months ago, two days before Banjo went into surgery for a preexisting injury, he sparred with me for 2.5 hours until I had to quit from fatigue and he wasn't noticeably tired. During our session he put me in a standing shoulder lock, which I think was a Chinese grappling method. He has also defended himself in some Shithole America citays.
He really knows what he is talking about here and I'll hopefully be able to add something useful.

thoughts on the bjj Q
Mon, Jan 20, 1:36 PM (6 days ago)
Hi James,
I read your replies about bjj. I generally agree and would like to add a few things.
Both videos show duels where the participants could disengage and leave at any time. This is often different than defending oneself. I state this because so few people emphasize the deception and trickery that lead into an ambush. Most videos are starting once an encounter has begun. I know you emphasize this but few others do. Most of the time you don't get to square off therefore developing the ability to set up and strike someone with no notice and lots of power is a key. Dueling is the back up plan that should be polished too for counter offensive measures.
BJJ is the best martial art in a society such as ours that engages in lawfare (the use of law as warfare) above all other means. Not because it is the most effective but for the following reasons:
1. it will appear on video often that you are being aggressed upon which is different from preemptively striking someone. You may know you will be attacked but that is hard to prove in court.
2. Most people, including most people sitting on a jury will not be able to tell who has the advantage if you are both on the ground and you are not in mount pounding his face in. Therefore, "I just grabbed his arm to stop him and his shoulder dislocated" might be reasonable.
3. BJJ has a simple formula, clinch, takedown, get position, obtain submission. This is easy to understand and practice.
4. It is ideal for dealing with drunk dummies because you can bring things to a conclusion without inflicting permanent damage through the use of a choke.
5. Most people have not trained to move in and out of the pocket or goon surf as I have heard you say so they will, by instinctual nature go to the clinch until they fall to the ground. The clinch affords a place where most people cannot strike effectively. This plays to a bjj guy's game especially if one can not effectively stay on their feet.
Everyone who has a concern about defending himself should train at the bare minimum to:
1. escape mount,
2. escape side position/scarf hold,
3. return safely to standing from being on one's back with out getting kicked in the face.
4. escape back mount
5. sprawl.
6. standing clinch fight.
6 months of bjj will teach anyone 1-4 and maybe 5 and 6 depending on the school. In other words one should know how to return to his game which is not on the ground in the case of defending oneself.
Clinch fighting/wrestling is super important in my opinion. Learning to defend takedowns, perform knockdowns, and throws, setting up and performing standing chokes or chokes whilst the opponent is put on his seat and you are standing and lastly striking from the clinch are keys. I should also mention that through this one learns to control various parts of an opponent via holds like 2 on 1's etc. This is beneficial and transferable to defending against a knife or blunt object (though very hard to do, giving oneself a fighting chance is all we are talking about when it comes to unarmed vs armed). Good clinch fighting coupled with striking is what allowed blue belts to beat bjj blackbelts in mma matches. That was the lion killer.
I totally agree with you about wrestling. I get a few calls from friends asking me where they should take their kid for instruction in martial arts and often to their chagrin I tell them to take the kid to a wrestling club. These clubs are far superior to any martial arts school. The kids are made to be physical and exercise a lot. They are taught and practice techniques that work and work based on leverage. They learn to clinch and pummel and pin. The kids are not taught to ground and pound or break arms etc in general. This is beneficial because kids don't yet understand the repercussions of their actions and appropriate use of force.
In an ambush bjj is less than ideal but still better than most arts simply because one engages with chaos and body contact regularly. Guys who engage in collision sports are always better in a scrap than those who are not used to contact (many martial art schools).
I also suggest that sumo is the most overlooked methodology for imparting an ability to practically defend oneself. It contains strikes, clinching, throwing, and both evasion/footwork and holding ground. There aren't a lot of places to train this but one can take a page from them and do simple controlled randori such as to have two participants attempt to push the other past a predetermined line...just straightforward in the beginning.
Being on the ground is a bad idea, pretending that one can never go there and thus not learning how to deal with it in rudimentary manner is stupidity.
-Banjo

Banjo, that was the best thing I've ever read on BJJ from a BJJ guy.
The second best thing was Mario "the Zen Machine" Sperry, stating in Black belt magazine around 2000 that BJJ for self-defense should focus on doing the ground work vertically against fences, cages, cars and walls.
Many people have compared MMA with the ancient pankration, or "All-power-thing."
The components were 5:
-boxing
-standup wrestling, basically naked judo, which could be won by the best of 3 throws or by submission, as small-joint manipulation [snapping off fingers] was permitted
-kicking, not present in any other sport
-pushing [sumo, basically] by which a man shoved out of the open wrestling space was regarded as having submitted!
-ground fighting, from chocking, to ground and pound
Not only were these dudes oiled up but they had no fence or ropes to work off of.
If one can gain that sumo ability Banjo is talking about, and you put a brick wall, traffic, a fence, hedges, fire hydrant or other hazards to the opponent's back, well now, that could be very effective, especially against a group of attackers. If dealing with multiple attackers, an effective throw or shove is going to be a lot more fluidly effective than gaining clinch or position. Against a group a clinch is good if you grab you a sissy who can be used as a human shield. but against more aggressive actors shoving one into another, or into traffic, so you can drop another, that is the kind of stuff that can improve your tactical position instead of just improving the man-to-man position in the dueling situations Banjo referenced.
Thanks, Banjo.
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Add Comment
Bryce SharperJanuary 27, 2020 4:59 PM UTC

In addition to Banjo's excellent post, I want to point out that clinch fighting is a huge component of muay thai depending on the school. Nak muay use throws and other greco-roman style techniques heavily. Mario Sperry was well aware of this.

A muay thai gym should be considered if there are no freestyle wresting schools nearby.
MRTJanuary 27, 2020 3:32 PM UTC

Helio also mentioned that that the only other martial art a Bjjer should do is Boxing.

Somehow Boxing is magical in it's simplicity

Against many opponents : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PghM6k8vGQ

"BJJ is the best martial art in a society such as ours that engages in lawfare"

BTW Everything that Bango (excellent) described as Bjj exists also i.e in Luta Livre (minus the Gi of course) maybe with some more Wrestling focus, but nobody knows about the Art because it is not ruled by a celebrity family and is not mentioned by professional pot smokers.

Fun fact , Luta Livre is the Original No Gi and came from the United States to Brazil. The notion in LL is that they recreated the Ancient Greek wrestling.