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Author Topic: Myth of the streetfighter?  (Read 4116 times)
ajasen
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« on: August 26, 2003, 06:35:33 AM »

There's an article by Joe Lewis http://www.realfighting.com/0102/joelewis.htm comparing the streetfighter to the pro fighter.

Not suprisingly, he mentions several ways in which a pro fighter is far superior to the supposed streetfighter (conditioning, mental attitued ("heart"), technique . . .).=

I suppose he was trying to counter the many articles that downplay the utility of martial arts in reality situations.

Personally, I argee that the best fighters are going to be pro fighters, but so *what*? Tha vast majority of martial artists aren't even amateur fighters, and I doubt that a few years of martial arts training, in which one doesn't compete or at least spar full contact, is any match for an equivalent time learning to sucker-punch, mug-from-behind, and/or deal with live weapons.

I also argree with the Adrenaline training poeple who stress model-muggings etc in their self-defence training. Fear makes a tremendous difference!!  A [good] article at the same site http://www.realfighting.com/0102/billkipp.htm tells how a trained marine found himself in adrenaline paralysis.

I experienced a disturbing lack of composure, almost to the point of allowing my opponent to beat me, when I felt myself in a bad situation at the past Gathering. That was in a very controlled and relatively 'safe' (notwhidthsanding the big dogs with their caveman-sized clubs!) scenario where suprise wasn't a factor, and I knew the intent of my opponent was to beat me rather than finish me.

The streetfighter, I assume has a much better handle on the adrenaline scenario.

Your thoughts?
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2003, 03:09:42 PM »

Interesting post, ajasen...

This is a topic of conversation that has come up numerous times within my group of training partners, as well as among the doormen/bouncers I worked/trained with.

I find the biggest problem with pro/con articles and debates is that they are exactly that: too black and white. There is no room for middle ground/situational discussion. This becomes glaringly evident when discussing fights, and especially when discussing "streefights".

First off, anyone who has ever been involved in/broken up/run from/had to deal with a "streetfight" will tell you that they are completely unpredictable once they begin. I say once they begin because there are often a multitude of cues that will let you know when something is "going to go down". This unpredictability (IMHO) is what negates the relevance of a "who does better" argument. The best trained ringfighter/martial artist in the world can't do much good when his opponent's drinking buddy sneaks up behind him with a barstool (and I've seen it happen), just as the most seasoned "streetfighter" probably isn't suited for a BJJ Blackbelt suddenly working him into a triangle choke.

The idea of who does better is completely dictated by situation and circumstance. Will the ringfighter/martial artist be in better physical condition to handle a fight? Probably. Will the streetfighter be more likely to break a bottle over your skin? Probably. But how will either react to a sudden change in fighting syle, position (like "Oh cr*p, how'd I end up pinned in a corner?"), or number of opponents? Totally unpredictable.

You wrote two things which I find very relevant:

1) Fear makes a tremendous difference!!
2) The streetfighter, I assume has a much better handle on the adrenaline scenario.

Fear is most definitely the great motivator. And it comes hand in hand with its good friend...Adrenaline. Ultimately, it is what you do with the fear and adrenaline that makes the difference. A trained martial artist can freeze up, just as an untrained bar customer can go hog-wild and tear up a bruiser that outweighs him/her by 100 pounds. I don't know if I necessarily agree that the streetfighter has a better handle on andrenaline. The ability to start a fight is often the result of fear and adrenaline, while the ability to fight well or end a fight is often dictated by the ability to control your emotions or physical reactions to adrenaline.

I'm not personally convinced that a person that enters willingly into a violent scenario on a regular basis (and I mean bar brawl, or street fight, not heavy sparring) is necessarily better at handling their andrenaline dump. I am convinced that an individual doing so is more likely to have a history severe emotional problems or even borderline psyopathic tendencies.

In order to function efficiently when placed in a violent situation (which is hopefully a rare or nonexistent circumstance) it is essential to not only train under stress, but to recognize your bodies reaction to stress and act accordingly.  

As Bruce Lee said: "There is nothing better than free-style sparring in the practice of any combative art. In sparring you should wear suitable protective equipment and go all out. Then you can truly learn the correct timing and distance for the delivery of the kicks, punches, etc. It is a good idea to spar with all types of individuals--tall, short, fast, clumsy. Yes, at times a clumsy fellow will mess up a better man because his awkwardness serves as a sort of broken rhythm. The best sparring partner, though, is a quick, strong man who does not know anything; a madman who goes all out, scratching, grabbing, grappling, punching, kicking, and so on."

In closing, my hope is that the last thought on anyone's mind in a fight is: "I wonder if this guy/girl is better at handling the adrenaline scenario". Either run, take care of business, or call over the big guy in the security shirt.

Hope that all this rambling made sense...
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sting
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2003, 03:33:36 PM »

Good article.  I always enjoy reading commentary on bare-knuckle boxing in print.  Most people laugh at the movie renditions of Brits boxing with palms up.  They are simply practicing a sport defined by strict rules that enable them to fight without gloves.  In no way does the sport demonstrate the most effective way to fight.  It's just a sport, just like today's boxing which attracts some of the top athletes in existence to fight in a highly constrained manner suitable for public viewing.  

As for "streetfighters", I'm a little surprised Lewis took the term to literally as I've always understood "street" as slang for activities outside a sanctioned environment, be they fighting or school.  

As for pro fighters, I'm not so sure he's talking about the usual lot of martial artists.  He specifically mentions his black belts as trained fighters.
I'm am quite sure he's not talking about the waddlers, slackers, talkers,
etc. that are most of the martial arts community.  

Regarding pro fighters, I think there is an issue with training.  Unless you practice your techniques under stress, how do you know if they work?
Will a trained boxer miraculously pull out kicking and groundfighting techniques needed to deal with a situation outside of the ring? A case in
point is Mike Tyson's recent exchage with Bob Sapp.  Tyson seemed willing to fight Sapp only under Queensbury rules.
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
carlo
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2003, 08:14:03 PM »

Great article.  I would hate to fight a guy like Rampage Jackson, much less if he were using "illeagal" moves.   A Profighter with a paradigm shift makes a devastating streetfighter.

-C
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-Attila the Hun
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2003, 01:07:19 AM »

Woof All:

Carlo wrote:

"I would hate to fight a guy like Rampage Jackson, much less if he were using "illeagal" moves. A Profighter with a paradigm shift makes a devastating streetfighter."

Would you expand upon this Carlo?  Who is RJ?  And what do you mean by a profighter with a paradigm shift?

As for the question presented in this thread, some thoughts:

There are three types of Aggression: Territorial, Hierarchical and Sexual (e.g. two males over a female/female in defense of her young).  Often closely related, but different in important respects, is Hunting.

There are 5 responses to Aggression:  Fight, posture, flight, submit, freeze.

Thus, in "streetfighter versus profighter" it may well depend upon which intersection of the matrix about which we are talking.

Often the "Streetfighter" (often a.k.a. a "Criminal") is operating in hunting modality.  A hunter is not willing to be injured for a meal because it makes scoring his next meals much more difficult.   The Streetfighter will often have substantially less pyschic hindrance in launching the first blow and/or attacking by ambush.   If things do not go according to plan, this may well rattle his composure.

The profighter may be locked into hierarchical patterns of thought and action far more than he realizes.  Was the recent tragic death of Alex Gong an example of this?  The articles we have seen seem to be open to this interpretation.

Just some thoughts,
Crafty Dog
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JKogas
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2003, 08:51:26 AM »

You're right on with the Alex Gong point.  Perhaps the pro-fighters as well as the people who train the same way become a little over confident.  "Going home" is more important than winning fights...

-John
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sting
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2003, 11:48:21 PM »

>The profighter may be locked into hierarchical patterns of thought and >action far more than he realizes. Was the recent tragic death of Alex >Gong an example of this?

Hi Marc,

I suppose you can answer your cautiously-worded question by asking another question:  have you ever heard of a non-pro fighter that has chased after an assailant, be it personal or automotive?  I know of a few
other than myself.

Easy there.  I read the articles on Alex Gong, but I certainly wasn't there.  Running after the car that hits your car is not a rare behavior.  I'm sure that you or I would have done the same thing.  Some can only judge his behavior as unwise *after* a tragic outcome.  Had Alex managed to secure a license# or insurance information and walked away, he would have received congratulations from his friends, and we would not be reading about him in the papers.  

To anyone that thinks Alex's behavior was unwise, I would like to ask you if his death will change the way you deal with car accidents.  Will you let your automotive assailant drive away?  I wouldn't.
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2003, 06:45:31 AM »

Hi Sting:

My question WAS carefully worded precisely for the reasons that you note.  Smiley   And I do reflect upon this case precisely because in various flying fickle finger of fate moments in my life I too have done the equivalent of chasing the car.   I suspect its exactly why the case has such resonance for us.

The question arises as to what one does if one catches it.  

What do you do?  Is the mission reparations (e.g. take the license plate number) or punishment (reach into the car and drag him out and kick his ass)?  A blend of the two?  

  Some versions of this incident had him reaching/punching? into the car.  
Is this confident behavior based upon his success in ritual hierarchical contexts?  Did it blind him to be on the lookout for motions related to drawing weapons?  

We may never know in this case, and I certainly intend no glibness or disrespect to AG, but may we not use the case to reflect upon our personal "rules of engagement"?

In my case my review of my own rules of engagement  has led me to underline the importance of assuming weapons.

Woof,
Crafty Dog/Marc
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carlo
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2003, 12:34:19 PM »

Quentin "Rampage" Jackson is a top contender in Pride.  He is young and strong and he does not prefer to grapple so much as to simply lift a man and slam him to the ground.  I was only implying that in an unarmed altercation, get a person with alot of athleticism not thinking in the confines of a sports endeavor but rather fighting for his life and you have a dangerous individual.  The amount of time a mixed martial arist spends sparring his techniques against skilled and resisting individuals cannot be discounted.  

But as you know sir, I do not like to speak in absolutes because timing, experience, and CRAFTINESS  Cheesy count too in the equation and my various bruises prove it.
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A nation of one ancestry and race is weak. We must hold strong our custom of welcoming all foreigners who seek to join our cause, treating them with dignity and respect and teaching them our language and customs.

-Attila the Hun
shawn31
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2003, 05:26:23 PM »

Hi everyone Im new here and if ya'll do not mind I like to comment
on the situation of Alex Gong. This man was a good fighter and I agree
I would have chased after the idiot too, but for all of us as martial artist
we need to realize is hey this is the real world all the trophies we won and
belts dont mean a thing now. I think there needs to be a training program
do deal with this type of situation and use paint guns instead of the rubber
ones so we will know right then your dead..Just my humble opinion.. Smiley
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FMAer
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2004, 01:16:21 AM »

Even without reading the article I can easily say that tournaments even valetudo or NHB fights are not really simillar to real fighting or street fighting. In the streets the only rule is: THERE ARE NO RULES!!!

Here in the Philippines we have many martial arts that are very effective in the streets or actual fighting but if you use it in sparring sessions or NHB fights your techniques/ arsenal will be limited because the moves are designed to leave your opponent in extreme pain. In Filipino Martial Arts this is what we call "gulang" or "daya" these techniques are lethal and easy to apply even in actual fighting which is a real stressful situation.

But for me, it's better to be a complete fighter. Aside from practicing weapons fighting, empty hands(FMA) I still practice boxing and kickboxing for self defense and cardio.

I remember the saying:  "IF IT WORKS USE IT, WHATEVER WAY YOU WANT." sorry but I already forgot if Bruce Lee or Guro Dan Inosanto said it.
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