Gokor Submission Library

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Gokor Chivichyan Fights

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choke is foolish." I agree. However, the object of grappling is to take your opponent down and end up on top of him—not remain on your back. Livoti seems to be under the impression that grappling means lying on your back in a fight, which isn't true. Sometimes, being on your back is unavoidable, but Brazilian jujutsu gives you a fighting chance from that position. It teaches you reversals and escapes to allow you to get out from underneath, along with submissions from the guard to catch an unwary opponent.

You don't see many submissions from the guard in the mixed martial arts these days because everyone is familiar with the basic moves and how to defend against them. The average thug on the street, however, doesn't know these techniques. Brazilian jujutsu gives you strong defenses against an assault. The early Ultimate Fighting Championship events showed how easily grapplers could defeat everybody because their opponents hadn't trained on the ground.

Livoti argued that if Royce Gracie had tried to lie back in his guard, all that opponent Emanuel Yarbrough "would have to do is go limp and crush the Brazilian under his 600 pounds. No, only the speed and striking ability of a kenpo stylist—Keith Hackney, in this case—could overcome the sumo wrestler's weight advantage."

Again, grappling isn't simply about lying in the guard, and Gracie didn't lie back. He used other techniques in his arsenal to defeat the 600-pound wrestler. (A single example doesn't prove a point; Hackney landed one lucky strike that downed the sumo man. Compare how many MMA fights Hackney has won against how many Gracie has won. No contest!) Similarly, judoka Remco Pardoel defeated kickboxer Orlando Weit by using his grappling skills to take Weit down and put him in a judo pin that allowed him to knock out the helpless Weit with elbow strikes. Pardoel didn't let his opponent "get behind him"; the judo pin he had Weit in is what did it.

According to Livoti, "a competent striker can end a fight with a much larger opponent with some vicious and well-placed blows more easily and quickly than a smaller grappler can overcome a larger opponent." His theory didn't work too well for Weit. The world-champion kickboxer was taken down and knocked out by a grappler. Where was Weit's speed then?

I don't know where the man who wrote that letter got his law-enforcement training ideas, but most police officers know that standing and using karate/boxing/kickboxing techniques on a suspect isn't the best option. Taking the suspect down and tying him up is safer for everybody. As a matter of fact, the absolute best martial art for police officers to use to subdue suspects is what the Japanese police use: judo.

Of course grappling is not perfect. Nothing is. However, it's a great style of fighting and self-defense for use in one-on-one weaponless confrontations.

Michael Arsanis San Francisco, CA

Bible Belt Self Defense
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