BJJ ain't worth $hit

Check out the thread of the same name at the UG forum. Some greennamer got carjacked at gunpoint. He did all the right things (he's still alive), but felt that his training "failed" him.

I disagree with the fellow because his training DID save him: he stayed calm, and made all the right decisions. Without being exposed to the adrenal dump of hard training, I don't think he would have been able to handle the situation as well as he did.

An interesting fact is that, according to him, this carjacking happened in a "nice neighborhood."

I think it's important to realize that being a crime "victim" can't always be prevented by being in a nice neighborhood and avoiding trouble as much as possible. Although we eliminate the majority of harm by living a smart, peaceful life, we simply can't prevent trouble from finding us.

And when it does, we have to be prepared. Doesn't mean we have to carry 10 knives on us, or sleep w/ 3 guns and a kukhri. All it means is that we have to be prepared for every eventuality and scenario, because they do happen, despite our best efforts, being smart enough to know what the situation calls for, and then doing it without thinking: if it means hitting the ground, then hit the ground; if it means biting the guy, then bite him; if it means giving him all the money in your wallet and having a calm, non-confrontational demanor, then do so.

Our training doesn't fail us just because we didn't KO or submit the guy. If you go home, safe and unharmed, then our training didn't fail us.

4 Ranges

Read it.

Outside of seeing it coming. He did all he could and chose to do. Nothing.

He got out alive and uninjured. That is a victory. He can carry from now on if he likes or train any other sort of ma but it would not have changed that day and moment one bit.

Do anyone think that if he walked around thinking aloud every waking day whether or not he was in green, yellow, or red alert depending on what location he was in, carried, or was a trained ninja it would have changed a thing? Anything? Would he have tried a disarm?

His awareness was not that of the others so the other got the best of him. It happens. Ever stub your toe? I don't mean to make light of such a dark situation but that is just it, it happens. to be prepared is to be trained and to be trained is to know...sometimes your training states not to use it. Not to do a damn thing is at times what to do.


My brother-in-law lives in downtown DC, and was held up at gunpoint by two guys a few years ago. He didn't realize was it was when one of them stuck a gun into his face through his car window - he instinctually grabbed it and ended up struggling with the guy for a few seconds! The guy was able to pull the gun free, and my bro was very lucky he did not get shot at that point. He kept his cool, and gave the guy his wallet. Then they said they wanted to get in the car with him and have my bro take them to an ATM machine to get more cash. My brother refused, saying they could take the car, but he wasn't going anywhere with them. They ended up running off with what they had.

My brother-in-law was really lucky, but also did just about everything right, in my opinion - with no training whatsoever in his life. I hope, if something like that ever happens to me, that I'm able to react as well as he did.


i agree that he should thank his lucky stars that he got away unharmed be it a little worse for the wear. i'm glad i've not had a gun pointed at me and hopefully i never will, then again canada doesn't have that much of a gun problem.

tho i don't think that people are taught the right things about how to deal with guns. most are taught the john wayne method of taking the gun and saving the day. in reality you should do what the crazy gun wielding maniac asks and don't resist him, heroes get shot in real life.

i've had a similar conversation with american friends, they said they'd pull their gun out if someone pulled one on them, i said i'd send flowers to their funneral they thought i was crazy for thinking that. unfornately a lot of americans i talk to think that way too. the only ones that consistently don't are cops. they are smart and say "do what the gun wielding maniac asks of you and ask him if he wants it gift wrapped or not"

i do wish that wannabe heroes in a gun situation would learn to co-operate and that john wayne types end up dying or being shot.

"in reality you should do what the crazy gun wielding maniac asks and don't resist him, heroes get shot in real life."

I'd like to see what Paul Sharp and some of the other LEOs would have to say to that, lol!

This situation is no different to any other, and the appropriate philosophies should be applied, where the outcome is survival.

I was robbed at gunpoint, in a similar manner to the original poster, I handed over my wallet, and walked out ok.

I had a couple of guys try to rob me at knife point, and I decked one, elbowed another and ran, again, no injuries.

Both responses were appropriate at the time, both requried a live response to a live environment. The implementation of alive training.

Third instance.

I had a guy respond to a personal add to purchase a laptop computer. He arrived, I let him in, and I realised that things were not as they seemed. I quickly realised that he was armed. I chose to do nothing, closing the transaction and making sure he left quickly. Why ?. My wife was in the apartment and it was a crappy laptop. I followed him out, and he had 3 guys sitting in a car waiting for him. Now I actually think this was a GOOD application of Martial arts. Awareness, calmness, and me and my family were unhurt. The laptop ?. who cares, its only $250.

The point of my stories, is that each threat is different, and should be dealt with accordingly.

If anyone wonders how you manage to get robbed three times in short order, just live in Johannesburg, lol


Excellent thread.

Bruceklette - Excellent post. The best form of self defense is staying out of harm's way as much as possible. Better a bruised ego than a hospital bed or bodybag.

I think training is worth it, I dont think "self defence" training beyond awareness is worth it. On that last occasion, I said I chose to do nothing. This was a guy 15 to 20 years older than me, overweight, and definatly out of shape. I know I could have taken him at any time, had I decided to. Because my wife was there, I decided not to. She has never trained, there is no telling how a situation like that can spin out of control. The most probable thing that could have happened is that she got a fright, and ran out to get help, which would have meant that the three guys sitting in the car would now have been warned, and had an unlocked entrance into the place.

I honestly feel that the times that I have had to think logically while fighting a fight or flight reaction have been handled much better since I stumbled upon reality based martial arts. I also feel that when you life is realy threatened (and not by a frat boy) this ability to work through the stress is worth a thousand punches.

It is possible that this is because if you train at the right gym, you win the fight against your personal fears every time you show up for sparring ? I think so, but that is just an opinion.

Now that I live in Canada, if a guy tried to mug me, the reaction may be different because the parameters are different.