This article is one short piece of a long effort by MixedMartialArts.com to understand what really works in martial arts. The focus is not on what happens in the arena, but rather what happens on the street. Check out more best of stories on:
1. Martial Arts on The Street
2. Style vs. Style
3. Dojo Storms
In April of 2000, the California State Athletic Commission voted unanimously in favor of regulations that later became the foundation for the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. One of the rules put into place was the banning of headbutts from any position. UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman must have been bummed.
The reasoning behind the banning of headbutts in regulated MMA competition was that the technique requires little or no skill to perform, and also because a headbutt is a very quick way to turn a fight into a bloody mess, in which both fighters and the canvas upon which they fight are bathed in red. There was also a general sense that headbutts are dirty fighting, like spitting.
However, headbutts are one of the most effective and under-utilized self-defense techniques, maybe the most under-appreciated. There are many positions in which a headbutt can be landed with great force and accuracy, in which the recipient of the blow is unable to defend him or herself.
The video at bottom comes to us from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. It's the Canadian equivalent of that fight in the Gangs of New York documentary, about who holds sway over the Five Points, shown immediately below.
One of the two, known as Ken, or Rave Captain Superman, has a shaved head, sagging designer jeans, shirt off, and way bigger muscles. In other words, he's going to win, I am 100% sure. The little guy's name is Kyle Abramyk. The two have clearly agreed to mutual combat.
Abramyk uses a double leg takedown to bring Rave Captain Superman to the ground, and is quickly able to secure the Mount position. From there, Abramyk lands a hellacious series of headbutts, five in total, that leave Rave Captain Superman defenseless, and likely unable to remember his own name. One more glancing punch lands before mercy is shown.
Rave Captain Superman tries to rise to his feet, but instead stumbles forward into an unintentional somersault. As he staggers away, an onlooker jeers, "Steroids don't do $#!@ for you, boy."
Headbutts can hit with devastating power, and are relatively easy to execute. Most people interested in defending themselves should likely invest some time and effort in how to throw them properly.