In 2015, Monique Bastos and a female friend were walking down a street in Acailandia, Maranhao, in western Brazil, when two men on a motorcycle cornered them, and demanded their cell phones. That's bad news, obviously.
The good news is, Bastos was walking to jiu-jitsu class, and is a professional MMA fighter. Not long after, the robber was crying for his mother, literally.
"Daddy, daddy, call the police, daddy," yells the man, later identified by police as Wesley Sousa de Araujo. "Help Jesus. I swear, it was the first time I've ever done this. Help, Lord, somebody help me. Where's my mum?"
Mum was hopefully waiting at home with a bat, which might have been easier than what happened next, in Bastos's own words.
"I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones," she explained to Guilherme Cruz for MMA Fighting. "I tried to hold my phone, and I realized they were not armed. I wasn't afraid. I knew I could immobilize them.
"When they tried to escape, I lifted the rear wheel of the bike, and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.
"One of them managed to run away, so I got the motorbike driver with a 'lion killer' and held him in my legs for 20 minutes."
She pinned Araujo until police arrived and arrested him.
In unfortunate news, this was not the first time Bastos had to use her skills in similar circumstances.
"I've been through this a few times before, and it's the second time I fought back," she said. "There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It's a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned."
For the record, Bastos fights at strawweight (115 lbs / 52 kg). The Lion Killer referenced above is a Rear Naked choke. And the robber was pinned with a Triangle-Armbar combination from the back.
Countless martial arts systems promise that the techniques taught allow a smaller person to defend against a larger one. Some arts even claim that this can be accomplished without harming the attacker. Jiu-jitsu actually delivers what these other "martial" arts promise, but can't verifiably deliver.
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