Is This the Single Best Self Defense Technique?
Besides the debate between what's better Gi or No Gi jiu jitsu, few topics polarize the jiu jitsu community as much as the debate between training with a self defense focus or having a sport oriented agenda. On one hand, you have the group that favors a curriculum that teaches techniques that are most relevant in self defense scenarios outside of the academy. Examples of this type of academy would that the Gracie Academy and also the Valente Brothers association to name just a few. On the other side of the debate, you have the schools that are a bit less traditional and are more open to the ever-changing styles of guard or submissions being developed by today's top competitors.
Most schools find themselves somewhere in the middle between the purely self defensive and the purely sport schools (Staack shows some of her best defensive secrets in "Building Foundations by Hannette Staack"). What we eventually find as practitioners is that much of the approach is a marketing choice. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter which philosophy of BJJ you subscribe to, both will teach you how to safely control and opponent, control the distance between you and them, and how to get out of bad spots, while ultimately being able to submit them whether in competition or to save our lives.
It has been a commonly accepted theme throughout the history of jiu jitsu in America, that the majority of physical confrontations will ultimately go to the ground. Though this is the a positive for anyone who has been training the gentle art for even a short period, there are some other things to consider in a self defense situation. You can have a black belt in BJJ, but if you don't consider these potential problems, it could cost you dearly.
In a physical confrontation you've got to consider things like could this person have a weapon, a knife or a gun, as it goes to the ground. Staying tight and keeping them in side control would not be such a good idea. The same goes for the fact that they may have friends or accomplices with them that could come to their aid and attack you while you're holding them down. The last thing to consider is how to dominate and control them physically with the least amount of effort.
The knee on belly technique may be the best possible answer to all of these potentially life threatening problems. Knee on belly allows you to control the person with some of the most painful, debilitating control and all you really need to do is keep your balance. It also allows you to disconnect while being connected to ensure that you keep tabs on whether or not they have a weapon. Finally, knee on belly allows you to maintain good visuals on your surroundings to make sure someone else doesn't join the fray and try to attack you.
In the video below, Bernardo Faria , author of Bottom Game Bundle and many others, works with Brian James, an Atlanta-area law enforcement officer, who runs a YouTube channel known as Jiu Jitsu Cop. In the video, Bernardo details why he believes that the knee on the belly technique is definitely the most valuable self defense technique. Check out the video below.
To learn more jiu jitsu based techniques that are used by law enforcement officers around the world and can be highly applicable for everyday self defense, check out black belt Jay Wadsworth's "Police Self Defense Tactics for the Street" available here at BJJ Fanatic!