This story is a small part of a large effort by MixedMartialArts.com to understand what works in martial arts. The process is to study what happens on the street, rather than what happens in the arena. If you enjoyed it, check out the library on:
•Martial Arts on The Street
•Style vs. Style
There is dog mess stuck in the crevices of boxing's shoes, and his name is Charlie Zelenoff. He's a despicable human being, and his boxing ability is terrible. His shameful shtick is to ask beginners to spar lightly, and then try to overwhelm them. It's the equivalent of asking a ten-year-old to race, tripping her, and then declaring yourself the best in the world.
MMA has a small-town equivalent, an unfortunate named Adam Moss, who hangs around Medford, Oregon. He's known for going to martial arts facilities in the area and trying to pick fights. One night he was outside Fudoshin BJJ, and attacked owner Adam Nadow, a black belt in jiu-jitsu under coral belt Rigan Machado.
You have never seen anything quite like what followed. The attacker is subdued, put to sleep, a call is placed to the police while restraining the attacker, and the black belt engages in a long, calm narrative with the likely baffled police dispatcher. It includes de-escalation, takedowns, pins and control with hooks, fading to black, waking up via leg raising, and much more.
That is interrupted when the attacker offers a jiu-jitsu pointer and disagrees with the black belt.
"My name is Adam Blake Moss," he began. "I’m actually the winner of five peace awards. ... What just happened is NOT what happened."
The black belt was not impressed, and calmly reminded his attacker, "Don't move sir, I will put you to sleep again."
Then the police arrived. It is never a good sign when the police arrive and know you by name. They knew Moss by name, and arrested him.
Nadow described what happened on his social network.
"He has been banned from the Village shopping center for harassing families and women," explained the black belt. "I have heard of him, but never saw him in the center myself. He came within striking distance, threw a bottle at me, and sat deep into a haymaker.
"I dropped for a double leg, took him down, and passed to a tight side control, mounted from knee on belly, used pure BJJ to control him. He agreed to calm down and then tried to hit me below the belt. I realized I had to call the cops as soon as I could subdue him.
"Turned him down on his stomach, and flattened him out. I set a rear naked choke, I felt that I needed to put him to sleep to get my phone and call for assistance. He was obviously raging off of some substance, he was very, VERY strong. Once I secured his back, and lock into his lapel for a possible bow and arrow (should I need it), I woke him up using my hooks to lift his legs. As he comes to, I assure him I do not want to hurt him, I am calling the police, and to remain calm. About this time, my business neighbor from Panache dance studio walked out and started filming.
"I was able to use my BJJ to control a violent attacker (on some substance...... allegedly). BJJ kept me safe and made it possible to control my opponent with very little damage to either party. Oddly he makes a reference to me crossing my feet from the back, (which of course I was NOT doing), so I think he may have trained some BJJ somewhere.
"I hope he gets the help he needs."
In an astonishing plot twist, the attacker showed up later to offer his apologies, and they were compassionately accepted by Nadow, who is everything a martial artist and a human being are supposed to be.
"Look who stopped by, Adam Moss the guy who attacked me," wrote Nadow on his social network. "He showed up during class; he came to apologize. I was shocked. He seemed level and grounded. I asked why he was so upset, and what his situation was.
"He said he is homeless and has trouble sometimes controlling himself. he seemed to not totally be able to remember the situation. But all the same, he came hat in hand. I had to respect the apology.
"He said he was hungry and cold. I went to the store and purchased him a bag of food and water. Also, the team chipped in and got him a gift card for food at Safeway. He also needed a tent. So I'm going to get him one on Saturday when he comes back. The food will be given weekly to help him, under the agreement that he gets some help and doesn't assault anyone. Glad he stopped by. Made my night."
Despite the great kindness shown by the team and their head coach, Moss was, unfortunately, unable to escape his demons.
“He was supposed to come back on Saturday, my team got him a tent and sleeping bag to help with the winter," wrote Nadow later. "We also got a program to help him with sobriety and job placement, under the agreement that he would not get into any more trouble. Turns out he’s in jail again according to Medford PD.”
In the end, the problems of mental health and homelessness once again proved enormously difficult. What is not difficult to understand is that jiu-jitsu is an extraordinary martial art. Someone in a rage can attack you with a bottle, then be subdued with no actual violence, while talking calmly to a police dispatcher, and finally the team attempted to treat the attacker's issues. That is a perfect encapsulation of what martial arts are supposed to be about, but sadly, so rarely are.