Legendary MMA champion, lifetime martial artist, and all around nice guy Bas Rutten recently took to social media to share his thoughts on self defense, grappling, and the best art for self protection in todays world. As always Bas offers some great insights and food for thought, morsels we should all chew on given this mans pedigree.
Bas recently answered a fan’s question on his Facebook page regarding BJJ and self defense. Check out his answer:
” Question from fan, this is like the 8th I get about this, I answered a while ago on one of the posts, this time I figured to post it so that you can read it as well
I have been hearing about your amazing work with Judo, Catch Wrestling, Jujitsu and I need your help.
I have been studying Mauy Thai for 3 years and I want add an good grappling art for real life street self defense.
In your expert opinion which good grappling art offers real life street self defense ?
I would say BJJ with and without a Gi would be good. Of course you don’t wanna end up on the ground with friends of the attacker trying to kick you in the face, (that’s what people always say, and that’s why they say it’s “not good for street fighting” but that is of course BS)
Just understanding leg locks and all other locks is very important, in a street fight you can submit somebody really fast (if he doesn’t know the ground) so even when his friends are helping, its ALWAYS better to have ground experience as well. A good grappler doesn’t have to really look to slap on submissions, meaning, he can keep an eye on the other guys, make sure he keeps his opponent between him and the other guys and go for a submission, when he has the submission, break whatever submission he has so that guy can’t fight anymore or with less “weapons” (like one arm or one leg only)
For the people who say BJJ is not effective on the street I say: “What if you trip and fall on your back, you don’t think it’s better to understand the ground game? Of course it is, because like I said, you can simply trip and fall.
I give you an example how it helped me once:
I was fighting three guys one time in Holland, one broke a glass on my head so I was bleeding profusely and felt my neck get warm, I felt what it was and I saw my hands were full of blood. So my thought was “OK, he has me, but I am going to return the favor”. So I grabbed him in a Thai clinch and pulled him forward and slapped a guillotine choke on. The other guys were trying to hit me, but I simply kept the guy in between myself and his friends and just deflected their punches with head movement and my shoulders (You don’t need to look at the person you are choking you since you have done this many times in training) When he fell down (was choked out) I kicked him first in the head (I had like 39 stitches in my head afterwards, I was pissed) and than I fought his buddies.
Without grappling training I wouldn’t have known this. Also when somebody grabs you from the back, front, side, anywhere, “standing” you can still do a whole bunch of submissions, and quick ones that can dislocate shoulders, break arms etc
But if you want to keep it simple, best thing for you, since you are a Thai Boxer already, go wrestle, so they can’t take you down, and even when they are better on their feet than you, you can take THEM down and go for G&P. Train for the G&P though, so that you can make quick work, because again, when his friends come to help him you don’t have a lot of time there
This is what I always say, “It’s better to know and don’t need it, than to need it and don’t know it”
When you train in BJJ with and without a Gi, focus a lot on reversals, in street fighting that’s pretty important