Man taken to ground in street fight, brutal armbar follows

According to the source of the video on Reddit, this fight started after the drunken older man had been arguing with a group for about 10 minutes and was given many chances to leave.

The man wearing the ADCC hoodie (Abu Dhabi Combat Club, a prestigious submission grappling tournament) kicked off his footwear shortly before the video starts. Then:

Strikes -> clinch -> takedown -> mount -> armbar -> head stomps from armbar -> mount -> elbows.

Bystanders offered to call an ambulance for the older man following the fight, however he refused and kept saying that a bunch of “homeless guys” had attacked him.

As I’ve explained in a previous post, the standing vs ground debate is a red herring. Sometimes going to the ground is the optimal strategy, sometimes it’s not. In all cases, grappling skills are necessary whether you want to stay standing or not.

Saying “never go to the ground in a street fight” is idiotic, and at best a misguided oversimplification.

In this instance, the man who performed the armbar was not jumped by a group, was not stabbed, there was no glass and AIDS needles and lava on the ground.

It also starkly illustrates the effectiveness of join locks. This is not a submission, he did not wait for his victim to tap. He just destroyed that arm.

None of this is to say that his behaviour was justified, that’s up for you to decide. Where I live, it would be considered excessive and serious charges would follow. Make sure you understand local laws before using force.

The critical relationship between training and play

The above video is a response to Jesse Enkamp’s video below, “Why sparring is DEAD”, and a discussion around the concept of play as it applies to martial arts and police training.

The below video is a discussion between police officers and a Navy SEAL who now trains police officers in tactics and how to better perform under stress. This highlights the points I made in my response that Jesse missed in his video – training must involve play, it also should involve high stress occasionally.

Categorized as Articles

Defense against blunt and edged weapons – a basic guide

Click here to watch video on Youtube


This video covers unarmed defense against both blunt and edged weapons, highlighting the importance of understanding range to either deny attackers their advantage or impose our own.

Yes, you should never fight someone who is armed, and running away is a good idea. However, there are some scenarios where evasion isn’t an option and hand-waving comments like “just run away” do not help. Strategic positioning, range management and movement are the foundation of dealing with weapons.

We start with understanding the nuances of unarmed striking, the significance of maintaining an appropriate stance for mobility and reaction, and the concept of “lunging distance” which is critical for both offense and defense.

Then we move on to managing distances to either escape harm or close in, underlining that effective defense involves being either out of reach or too close for an attacker to utilise their weapon effectively.

The guide also touches on the specialised considerations for dealing with different types of weapons, from long and short blunt instruments to edged weapons, stressing the need for speed, control, and tactical awareness.

Some of the clips used in video

And here’s an extra:

Also, check out other videos categorised under weapon disarms on this website

A real cop took my advice – and it worked


I’ve been contacted by a viewer who is a police officer in the USA.

His department practices methods like wrist locks and armbar takedowns, the kind of stuff I’ve talked about here quite a bit. My opinion is that these techniques are legitimate but they have a fringe use case, to the point that they are rarely seen in combat sports, and are certainly not a foundation from which to learn grappling. It’s the kind of thing I would teach as a low priority, as an option for very specific situations. And yet, for many years they’ve been at the core of police training for many academies around the world.

You might have heard it’s the hands that kill, and yes, it’s true, you need to control the hands, stop them from reaching for weapons and so on, yes. But if you don’t have overall positional control, and you just grab at the wrists and don’t do much else you might end up with control over nothing.

This police officer who contacted me, tells me that he attended a domestic violence situation where he had to arrest someone. He started by grabbing the wrist, and the offender quickly pulled away and punched the officer.

He said this:

In that moment I remembered your video critiquing police training. Further, I had a trainee with me who was about to experience their first use of force, so I was essentially on my own. I told myself I should control the person entirely before I try to control their appendages. With that I grabbed their body and hip tossed them to the ground. Once gaining control of them fully, which they understood as well, the arms were easier to manipulate and the arrest was successful.

I have no formal martial arts training. But just remembering that notion made the arrest much smoother, much faster, with less damage to me or the arrestee. Without having recently watched your content, I definitely would have tried to drag them to the ground with just their arm alone.

This officer did not receive any additional training or retraining to do this. All he did was reverse his priorities. Instead of working from the extremities to control the body, he established control of the body to work on the extremities.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they talk about position before submission, but in a policing context it’s more like position before handcuffing. Cops can probably come up with a more snazzy, tactical sounding phrase, they’re good at that. But anyway it’s all essentially the same idea.

Of course, I’d prefer that police underwent training starting back at the academy where they would be wrestling each other and working toward restraining holds and handcuffing positions with experienced supervision for safety.

You really don’t need to sign up for the Gracie Combatives program or commit to something similar. We just need really basic skills and clear tactical objectives.

I’m starting to wonder if there is a way to develop a kind of broad open source template that people can adopt and run with on their own and use local expertise to plug in their own skills, instead of creating a by-the-numbers curriculum and trying to get contracts. I have no idea where to start with something like that.

Anyway, in this case, simply suggesting a different general approach lead to a better result, and it’s quite gratifying for me, to get a message like this. It reminds me of how I felt years ago when I was teaching martial arts, and a student would occasionally tell me that something I taught them helped in a real situation. This is the reason I started the channel in the first place.

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Eye gouges, groin strikes, bites, scratches, throat strikes, hair pulling: why “fighting dirty” is not enough in reality

Click to watch video on Youtube

Reddit discussion and video

Groin strikes, eye gouges, and other “dirty” street fighting techniques are often overestimated in their effectiveness, and are not reliable substitutes for fundamental fighting skills.

The key issue with these techniques is that they rely on pain to influence behavior, rather than directly incapacitating or controlling an opponent. Real fighting scenarios (see videos) show that people can endure severe injuries, including serious maiming, and still continue to fight. This resilience is especially true when the stakes are high.

Gaining a controlling position increases the effectiveness of any technique, including those banned in sports. Without a dominant position, attempts at “dirty” tactics are more likely to fail.

Consideration must also be given to what happens when these tactics fail. In a fight, once a certain level of violence is introduced, it can be reciprocated, potentially leading to more severe consequences.

Real-life examples illustrate these points. Fighters have continued to compete even after sustaining significant injuries like broken limbs or blindness. The effectiveness of these tactics is unpredictable and can vary greatly depending on the situation and the individuals involved.

While “dirty” techniques can be part of a fighting strategy, they are not reliable or decisive. Effective fighting requires a combination of skills, including striking, grappling, and a strategic approach to positioning and control. Simply relying on pain-inducing tactics is insufficient for real combat scenarios.

Here we have a man arguing with police, and he throws a knee to the groin. You can see the officer’s hips move back as the energy from the strike transfers to his body. The officer responds with a punch which knocks the man unconscious. This is a stark illustration of the difference between doing something that simply hurts a lot, and something that takes away your capacity to fight completely.
A jeweller is stabbed and attempts to stop the attacker by using groin strikes and eye gouges, which have no effect. Neither man is able to clearly dominate the fight before the stabber eventually gives up and walks away.
This man entered an MMA gym and challenged them to a fight. When he gets caught in a guillotine choke, he attempts to eye gouge his opponent, who continues to choke the man unconscious.
In Japan 1995, 5’7 Yuki Nakai fought 6’5 Gerard Gordeau in an MMA bout. Gerard illegally eye gouged Yuki, which left him permanently blind in his right eye. Yuki continued to fight with one eye, and won by heel hook in the fourth round. He never let officials know that he’d been blinded.
Full fight where a man’s ear is bitten off, and the biter loses by submission when he is unable to escape from a bad position, demonstrating the importance of basic grappling skills no matter the rule set.
A man’s lower lip is bitten off in a street fight; however, by the end of the video he is keen to continue fighting, while it is the biter who walks away.
Man has his ear bitten off in a street fight and does not stop – by the end of the video he is in a dominant position and continues to fight without issue.
A man who is allegedly a pedophile according to onlookers, attempts to bite and eye gouge while underneath the mount of his opponent, which fails. His opponent – the man in a controlling position – eye gouges and blinds the other man, demonstrating the importance of positional control no matter what rules of lack thereof.
Two men are fighting on the ground, one has his eye gouged out – however, he continued to fight and at the end of the video, he is in a controlling position and is now gouging the eyes of the other man.
Multiple unanswered strikes to the groin which appear to have no effect
Source of video thumbnail – by MMA photographer Esther Lin
“After the fight, Werdum said the poke didn’t hurt or affect him – and even if it had hurt, he might have lied to the ringside physician and said he was fine out of concern the bout would be stopped. Werdum, who won a unanimous decision, says he thinks some fighters embellish the severity of a poke to get out of the fight and that offends him to some degree.”

The limits of pain compliance

Click image or click here to watch video

Pain compliance is quite literally the use of pain as a method to achieve compliance, and discourage resistance and aggressive behaviour. It’s an integral part of any police use of force continuum policies. However, its effectiveness varies greatly depending on the individual’s pain tolerance, mental state, and the intensity of the situation.

Individuals under the influence of drugs, experiencing a mental health crisis, or in a state of excited delirium might not respond as expected to pain compliance techniques. Adrenaline and other physiological factors can significantly diminish pain perception, leading to less effectiveness in gaining compliance and potentially escalating the situation to more extreme uses of force.

Pain compliance is not a substitute for physical control. It should not be seen as a primary strategy but rather a part of a broader set of tactics aimed at safely controlling and detaining individuals.

It’s crucial for law enforcement to have a clear objective when employing pain compliance and to be prepared to shift tactics if it’s not effective.

Continuous application of pain without gaining control can be perceived as excessive and lead to public scrutiny and distrust. In extreme cases, it can lead to serious injury and death, particularly when the subject is of poor health.

Training, skills, fitness and teamwork are the only answer.

The public’s perception of pain compliance is increasingly critical. With widespread access to information and a growing emphasis on police accountability, the use of force is under more scrutiny than ever. Law enforcement agencies need to ensure their personnel are well-trained in a variety of techniques, understand the implications of their actions, and are capable of making judicious decisions in the heat of the moment.

In conclusion, while pain compliance can be a part of law enforcement’s toolkit, it should be used judiciously and in conjunction with other tactics aimed at safely and efficiently resolving confrontations. Continuous training, public engagement, and a commitment to ethical practices are vital in maintaining public trust and ensuring the safety of both officers and those they serve.

How the ancients reduced violence and maintained public order in the first cities

The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest stories known.

Gilgamesh, the protagonist and king of Uruk, imparts only three pieces of advice to his city’s elders before embarking on an adventure to kill a monster. These guidelines, though succinct, encapsulate essential principles for societal stability.

I’m impressed at how relevant these points are today.

Law and Order: Gilgamesh cautions against youths gathering in the streets, hinting at the risk of increased crime and unrest, particularly among young men. Historical data supports this view, showing that young men are often both perpetrators and victims of crime. Addressing street-level crime and providing purpose and guidance to the youth are vital to prevent societal discord.

Impartial Legal System: Gilgamesh emphasizes fair judgment for the weak and poor, highlighting the need for an unbiased legal system. Impartiality in legal matters ensures faith in institutions and prevents people from seeking vigilante justice.

Preventing Exploitation and Inequality: The third advice speaks against allowing the strong and wealthy to exploit others. This principle is about addressing extreme inequality to prevent social unrest and potential revolutions.

Watch the video above for a more details analysis.

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How to choose a martial art that works in reality – in the street, in self defense

If you want to learn how to fight, you have to fight.

At MINIMUM, you have to spar.

When sparring is taken out of training, you are no longer learning in a martial art – you are learning martially inspired performance art.

Lack of a sporting component in a style is a huge disadvantage.

Lack of sparring means a school will not produce capable students at all.

All martial arts self-optimise to improve performance under specific rule sets and conditions. If those conditions include fighting under certain rules, the art will continue to evolve toward improved performance under those rules – as long as practitioners are permitted to modify their methods in response to the lessons taken away post-fight/competition. If sparring and sport/fighting are removed, all that remains is opinion and aesthetic preference.

The style will evolve to better fit these preferences, and away from efficacy in a real fight. It will probably look good as a demonstration, otherwise can be practically useless.

That’s all you need to look for – sparring and competitive sports. If the school you’re looking at does not have these things, move on.

00:00 – Intro – my experience

01:47 – How can we tell the difference between styles that work and those that don’t?

03:46 – Demonstrations are meaningless.

05:15 – Martial arts self-optimise to get better at what they are tested against.

06:37 – What tests are appropriate?

10:04 – Why sparring is essential

12:10 – “It’s not the art, it’s the practitioner”

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The Norway Incident: Cop charged with assault after failing to control on the ground

Click image above or here to watch video

Bystanders and the court of public opinion

The failure of wristlocks and armbar takedowns

News coverage of the incident from Norway:

On October 30, Kevin Simensen, a 26-year-old man, was subjected to violence by the police. Initially, no one believed his account, but new surveillance footage has emerged that supports his claims.

The footage shows a police officer in his 30s repeatedly striking Simensen outside a gas station in Kongsberg. This video has gained significant attention recently. TV2 has also obtained another video that shows what happened immediately after the first surveillance footage. Simensen believes this second video was taken after he was pepper-sprayed and before his friend Kristian was hit with a baton.

Due to the surveillance footage, the case has taken a turn. The officer has been charged with violence and gross negligence in the line of duty. The police chief, Ole Sæverud, stated that the charged officer has not been in active duty since the video came to light.

Both Simensen and his friend Kristian Teigen appreciate the media attention the case is getting. They believe it’s crucial for people to realize that such incidents do happen in Norway. Teigen also mentioned that the police deleted some of the footage they had initially captured.

Simensen, who has been dealing with PTSD since the incident, is slowly reintegrating into society. He had previously served with NATO in the Mediterranean for six months.

The officer’s lawyer, Gry Schrøder Berger, stated that the video doesn’t show the entire sequence of events and that her client is currently struggling emotionally.

The case is now pending court evaluation.

The Buskerud District Court ruled that the officer’s use of force against Kevin Simensen was lawful. The officer had been accused of gross bodily harm after forcibly restraining Simensen, who was pepper-sprayed and hit multiple times with both a baton and a fist.

The ruling was not unanimous; one of the judges dissented, arguing that the officer’s actions were not in line with the police law’s guidelines on the use of force. The court’s majority opinion emphasized that Simensen did not cease resisting arrest and that the officer had little time to consider alternative actions.

The Special Unit for Police Affairs, which had been prosecuting the case, stated that they would review the court’s reasoning before deciding on whether to appeal. Kevin Simensen and his legal team expressed disappointment with the verdict, stating that it could further erode public trust in the legal system.

Ole Sæverud, the Police Chief in Kongsberg, has not yet commented on whether the acquitted officer will return to duty. He mentioned that the officer is currently suspended and that they would need to thoroughly review the verdict before making any decisions.