WHAT THE UFC TAUGHT ME ABOUT SELF DEFENSE

Those who know me know that I am a big UFC fan. There was a time I wouldn’t miss a fight (until they started putting them on every two weeks) and i still never miss an episode of the Ultimate Fighter. I was teaching Krav Maga long before I got into watching the UFC. What I have noticed over the years of watching fights confirm some things I knew…and surprised me with what I didn’t.

-Knockouts! We train to knock people out. If I am attempting a handgun defense, for example, and I can knock the idiot out…the defense is done! Watching the UFC has allowed me to see how friggin hard knocking someone out can be. There are a few guys with one punch knockout power, but they are rare. The best bet for a knockout is to stun the dude and then hit him over and over again until he goes down. Don’t hesitate or let him recover. We teach this!! Go forward with rage and hatred and hit the scumbag over and over until you are safe!

-Knees. We train to clinch and knee a lot in Krav Maga. A knee to the head is a pretty significant strike. I was surprised to see so many dudes taking these to the noggin and keep fighting. This isn’t the for sure knockout that I always assumed it was.

-Ground. Those that are good at ground are sweet to watch. The thing that I notice mainly is how long it takes to submit. On the street if we factor in the guy’s buddies running up to help we wouldn’t have the time to submit. I still don’t want to be on the ground…ever!

-Cardio. Exhaustion makes cowards of us all. The muscle heads usually lose! There are guys who look unbeatable in the first round that slow down later in the fight and get whooped. I have heard Israeli instructors state that if your Krav Maga gym has cardio classes it isn’t a real Krav Maga gym. This is a stupid statement! If you can fight hard for a longer period of time you are safer. I do not see how this can be argued!

-Fear. You can see it in some of the fighters. They usually talk big and say things like “He’ll have to kill me before I stop”, etc., etc, blah, blah. They then get in the ring and freeze before purposely giving up their back so they can tap. I tell my students to think only of going forward with rage and swing for the fences. Don’t look at how mean or big the dude is, just look at targets.

-You have to be well rounded. It took the UFC for fighters to realize this. The first events were one style against another. When the Gracie’s won they all decided they had better learn ground. Imi was preaching this in the 40’s and 50’s. A man ahead of his time.

-Everyone can be whooped. After the baddest man on the planet, the unbeatable Brock Lesner lost twice in a row he retired. Anyone can be beat. Very few fighters in the UFC are undefeated. Again, if attacked by a big, mean looking dude don’t see the dude, see only targets.

-Cheat! No matter how big and strong the fighter is he flops on the ground like he’s dying if he gets kicked in the groin or has an eye poked. There is a system being taught that says to never kick to the groin, it is a wasted strike. Say what? All I have to do is watch a fight…those groin shots look pretty effective. The things that are against the rules in MMA fighting are exactly what we want to do on the street. They are against the rules because they do damage and end fights too quickly. Doing damage and ending fights quickly is what we’re all about!! If you are in a fair fight your tactics suck!

Watching sport fights and teaching self defense…I have a good life. BE SAFE in the new year!!

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