Updated: Apr 9, 2022
What is BJJ ?
There is no doubt that BJJ is one of the most effective styles for ground fighting. It is said that "BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent".
This definition settles perfectly with what we all know, BJJ is mostly about taking the fight to the ground and defeating the opponent "down there".
But what if there are multiple opponents?
According to Krav-Maga perception, 'Krav' – which is combat, is dynamic, unexpected, intense and full of surprises. This means that you can fight one skinny guy and suddenly find yourself against four giants. You can try to assist a lady who's being harassed by a man, discovering that he is her boyfriend, finding yourself under both of them attacking you, and taking a big man down to overcome him on the ground, discovering that his 14 years old brother kicking your head while you are down there in a perfect mount position.
We are not trying to lessen the effectiveness of BJJ, it is undoubtedly one of the best martial arts and an excellent tool for ground fighting. However, as each combat discipline has its advantages and downsides, let's explore some strategic aspects of ground fighting in a street 'Krav', not focusing on any specific discipline.
Difficulties on the ground
When you are on the ground your field of vision is limited, first because your position is lower than when standing up, second, because many times your vision is limited by the aggressor and the ground.
While you are on the ground, your movement options are limited, one side is blocked by the ground, and another is usually blocked by the aggressor.
Changing position is harder on the ground. When standing, you can usually just step to change your position, however on the ground a lot of skill is required to change your position. Also changing your position from the ground to stand up, if you wish to do so, requires lots of skill and agility.
When you are holding the aggressor down on the ground, he actually limits your mobility, even if you are in a superior position. For example, if you execute a straight arm bar (Juji Gatame), actually all your limbs are entangled with the aggressor body, limiting your mobility as well.
It is more difficult to run away from a ground 'Krav' than from a stand-up position.
It is quite clear that ground combat is less desired in street fighting, especially if you're facing more than one attacker, or if you don't know how many attackers can pop-up. However, even if we do not desire to go down and fight on the ground, we might reluctantly find ourselves there regardless of our wishes. Therefore, developing ground combat abilities is important, while keeping in mind that while on the ground, our first priority should be to get back on our feet again as fast as possible.