The ground and pound experiment
Jiu Jitsu practitioners put their skills to the test against MMA fighters trying to take their heads off with big punches in this video.
The video shows an experiment conducted by world renowned MMA coach Firas Zahabi in which himself, Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon (two elite level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners) take on MMA fighters by using only their Jiu Jitsu.
The results of the experiment are very interesting and not what you may assume.
Stephan Kesting of grapplearts.com wrote up an article on this experiment in which he debunked two common objections of those who may watch the video.
Objection #1: “This isn’t a fair comparison – these are world class grapplers going against amateurs”
First of all, consider that the experts were put into a pretty bad position every time: on the bottom against a punching opponent. It’s not like they were starting out on top.
It’s relatively easy to win a fight from on top, especially if you’re a trained grappler. If you’re a blue belt and your opponent isn’t then if you end up on top you should be able to finish the fight, or at least completely control your opponent 99% of the time.
In an MMA or self defense context where strikes are allowed this becomes much harder. The laws of physics are against you, and to defy those odds you need to have a skill discrepancy to survive.
These guys were starting in a bad position, and if you’re doing that then you HAVE to be better than your opponent.
If you’re on the bottom fighting an untrained, drunk, or out of shape person then having a legitimate blue belt should be enough to save your bacon most of the time.
But if you’re facing an in-shape BJJ bluebelt with MMA training (the type of opponent that Firaz, Garry and Gordon were facing) then you may need to be a brown belt or black belt to be relatively safe.
So if you want to fight someone in a streetfight who’s your equal in grappling then for the love of God don’t pull guard!
Also consider that the guys trying to do the ground and pound are BJJ blue belts with multiple MMA fights each. Neither Firaz, nor Garry, nor Gordon have any MMA fights (although Firaz has coached some of the best MMA guys in the world).
Objection #2: “The MMA guys weren’t punching as hard as they could”
Fair enough, but at the same time the grapplers on the bottom weren’t applying their heel hooks, chokes and other submissions as hard as they could either. If the experts had gone full retard on ANY of their submissions there would only have been three short rounds, each followed by a snapping sound and ambulance sirens.
Nor were the grapplers striking: if they had been kicking the jaw, the face, the groin or their opponent’s knees this would have been a much more ‘fair’ experiment.
The point of this whole thing was to see what heavily constrained grapplers could do (starting on the bottom and no striking).