re-post from 22 January 2008
The Difference of Realities—Bar Brawls, Being Jumped, and One on Ones
By Al Alvir
Most “head-up” fair fights end up on the ground. Lack of striking skills, fear, or one’s superior grappling ability, are each reasons that a fight does not stay on the feet. According to collected incident reports in Queens and Brooklyn precincts in 2007, 84% of fights consisted of multiple participants. Those numbers don’t include domestic incidents, except for 41 incidents involving brothers. 20 of those 41 incidents were ultimately excluded from the study due to weapons. Out of the 84% of multiple assailant fights, approximately 60% (50.4% of all fights) were at a bar or nightclub. There were thousands (estimated due to unclear reports) of incidents of gang fights (empty hands, as no weapons were indicated). The rest were robberies and felony assaults. These numbers, according to Compstat and Uniformed Crime Reports, are consistent with the rest of the country.
Taking into account that 84% of thousands of fights in Brooklyn and Queens Do NOT consist of one on one fighting, striking arts must take priority in a self-defense repertoire. Going into a hand to hand fight against 4 thugs, who would you want to bring with you? If you could only take one fighter, who would you take? If you could take 3 fighters, who would you take?
In a reconsideration of fighting and who you’d want to rumble along with, surely Sean Sherk and Randy Couture should not be at the top of the list. Lumbering size could arguably be considered useless (more useless than before)—see Tim Sylvia. Conversely, when considering street brawls, size and strength gains the validity it lost from years of Royce Gracie triumphs. The likes of Mark Coleman and Tank Abbott may be fit for Multiple Adversary/Ally Mixed Martial Arts (MAMMA). The skills of out-flanking, lethal striking, footwork, cooperation, and speed, become more pertinent as well. One may consider some professional fighters who could make up great teams. Mike Tyson and other boxers could fare more than well in MAMMA. Mirko Fedorowich and Mark Hunt may be the most valuable fighters for their finishing ability, but kicks can be a liability in closed spaced brawls like in a small bar. Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Shamrock maintain their favored regard due to being so well rounded. Judo experts such as Hidehiko Yoshido can play into their strengths in MAMMA. Dark horses fill the spectrum (e.g. Bob Sapp, Phil Baroni). But it could make you look at fighting in a different way.
Ultimately, the abilities of shooting and submitting may become nonfunctional. In the urban population especially, MMA lacks the realistic nature of hand to hand incidents. Stand-up is more relevant to what actually happens outside the ring or cage: Punching and running or being punched until the cops come.
Some people think that MAMMA is just chaos and unreflective of a fighter’s abilities. Whatever it may be considered, MAMMA takes conditioning, braveness, speed, urgency, and intelligence. MAMMA fighting is simply the closest reality.