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Old 04-18-2007, 09:52 AM   #1
statisticool
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90% of all fights go to the ground..

Here's an interetsing article that I came across today

http://ejmas.com/jnc/2007jnc/jncart_Leblanc_0701.html

which addresses the possible orgin of that saying, and examines it to see if it is correct or not.

Justin

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"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:41 AM   #2
jason jordan
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Hey that is very valuable info. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:57 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Great reference. Thank you.

I would agree that getting a good ground game is important.

OTOH, in Detroit I was taught that to tie yourself up on the bar room floor with one person, left you open as an easy target for all his friends.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
maxwelljones
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Very interesting.

The first half is obvious. The second half is a bit scary.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

90%? Nope. Most fights never get past the first punch.

Some 70+ or - % of police apprehensions DO tend to go to ground, however.

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Old 04-19-2007, 05:08 PM   #6
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote: View Post
90%? Nope. Most fights never get past the first punch.

Some 70+ or - % of police apprehensions DO tend to go to ground, however.
I agree. Police restraint = fight? Not too sure about that. Also what does 'on the ground' mean? Surely if I pin someone from ikkyo that is 'on the ground'

Just the scientist in me coming out I suppose.... it's a good article though. Very interesting, thanks

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:33 PM   #7
KIT
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote: View Post
90%? Nope. Most fights never get past the first punch.

Some 70+ or - % of police apprehensions DO tend to go to ground, however.
As for the former, yeah, I'm afraid they do....

As for the latter, yep, that's exactly what it says.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:37 AM   #8
Edward
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

I've always been taught never to go to the ground in a street confrontation for obvious reasons. That's why aikido techniques always have both feet rooted to the ground unlike judo. Also you will have to think about the laundry bills, it's more economical to stay standing
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:02 AM   #9
Timothy WK
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Though there is a clear implication of the likelihood of going to the ground in the second survey...

Quote:
Respondents were asked whether an attacker had ever attempted to force them to the ground. More than half (52%) reported this had occurred. Of that number, 60% reported that their attackers had been successful in taking them down.
...the first study indicates that take-down attempts only constitute a minority of aggressive actions by suspects:

Quote:
Four combative actions by suspects accounted for almost two thirds (65.8%) of these I.O.D. injuries; the officer was kicked 23.4 percent, punched 16 percent, thrown/tripped 15 percent, or was bitten 11.4 percent... The thrown/tripped statistic includes injuries sustained from wrestling on the ground.
I actually find it interesting that kicks were the greatest cause of injuries.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 04-20-2007, 08:38 AM   #10
MM
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Kit Leblanc wrote: View Post
As for the former, yeah, I'm afraid they do....

As for the latter, yep, that's exactly what it says.
For the former, do you have any evidence to support that? I've asked this question many times and no one can ever come up with any research, study, evidence, etc, except for personal opinion.

Now, that doesn't mean it isn't valid. It's just that if people are going to use these kind of statistics, then it would be nice for them to have some support for their opinions.

As noted, when many people say 90% of fights go to the ground, they always point back to the LEO study. And that study actually contradicts their position.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:52 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote: View Post
90%? Nope. Most fights never get past the first punch.

Some 70+ or - % of police apprehensions DO tend to go to ground, however.
There is a certain kind of fight that doesn't get past the first punch... It's the predatory ambush. Peyton Quinn and Marc "Animal McYoung talk about this at length in their books on self defense.

But in many other contexts this isn't true. Many of the fights one encounters in a law enforcement context are not surprises. The officer(s) move towards an already existing threat and are ready. So they don't get surprised by that first sucker punch. Fights can last quite a long time and officers routinely get hurt.

Officers end up on the ground frequently because they are trying to execute take downs on a resistant subject. When the subject goes down so does the officer. Often this is intentional but other times it has to do with poor body mechanics on the part of the officer who over commits on the take down and loses his own balance when the subject does. Better training would reduce the percentage of encounters that go to the ground in LE involved situations.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:23 AM   #12
ChrisMoses
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
I've always been taught never to go to the ground in a street confrontation for obvious reasons. That's why aikido techniques always have both feet rooted to the ground unlike judo. Also you will have to think about the laundry bills, it's more economical to stay standing
Reminds me of my first Aikido teacher. His response to how to deal with a grappler was, "Don't go to the ground! Easy!" Good luck with that strategy...

Chris Moses
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:11 PM   #13
Tim Mailloux
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
His response to how to deal with a grappler was, "Don't go to the ground! Easy!" Good luck with that strategy...
Several years ago while at an aikido seminar I witnessed 2 younger (mid to late 30's) and very talanted / high ranking aikido teachers (one a 4th dan, the other a 5th dan)get into a fight during the seminar while training with one another. Aparently the two had a lot of "history" and hated one another.

Things got really ugly and puches started flying. Really sloppy wild punches I might add. They were both swinging for the fences. A few seconds latter they were both on the ground doing what looked like really bad ground and pound MMA until they were pulled apart. Not at any point did either one of these guys do or even attempt anything that vaugly resembled aikido.... and the fight also ended up on the ground.

Just though I would share
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:46 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Most people I think have several inate understanding regardless of their formal understanding of fighting or practice in a martial art.

1. Everyone pretty much knows how to use their legs and arms as weapons to use a knife, hit, or kick.

2. Everyone understands that it is good for you to be standing and the other guy to not be standing.

3. The guy that seizes the advantage or element of suprise is the one that can typically most successfully use his arms, legs, or weapon and remain standing.

4 The guy with the most buddies typically is the winner of a empty handed fight.

5. Size does matter...always!

6. Skill and experience help....if you get the chance to use them.

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Old 04-20-2007, 01:48 PM   #15
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Oh yeah...and my favorite statistic. 100% of all ground fights end up on the ground.

As Clint Eastwood would say...."well, punk...do you feel lucky? Do ya?"

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Old 04-21-2007, 12:28 AM   #16
KIT
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
For the former, do you have any evidence to support that? I've asked this question many times and no one can ever come up with any research, study, evidence, etc, except for personal opinion.
Nah, just 10 years in law enforcement working street patrol and responding to hundreds of physical altercations.

I don't know of any statistics for it, just what I have seen in handling fights and assaults of all kinds and talking to people about what happened. I don't think there are any statistics for "most fights don't get past one punch," either.

Even many of the predatory "ambush" assaults that George notes do not end with one punch.

Certainly it happens. Plently of people get sucker punched and taken out. Some people stupidly or unknowingly brace a boxer and end up being shown how effective a street fighting art boxing actually is.... but I would very much quibble with the idea that "most" fights don't get past the first punch.

RE: The Ground in Self Defense (BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote the linked EJMAS article.)

At the risk of repeating myself, ever heard of "No Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy?" Or more colloquially, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth?"

Well, everyone has a plan until they end up on the ground in a real fight.....Chris Moses is ahead of the curve on that one.

The very factors that most people cite when advising people to stay off the ground in a real fight are the things that end you up on the ground in the first place:

1. Mutliple attackers - if the attack is coordinated, you are facing the highest liklihood of all that you will be taken down. NO martial art prepares you for dealing effectively with committed multiple attackers, who in some cases have a pre-planned assault intended to put you down.

2. Bad terrain. Training on mats gives you a completely unrealistic sense of balance and footing in actual fighting. Its still useful, and far safer to train most of the time, but things change dramatically in a fight in everyday living environments: curbs, debris, excrement, vehicle fluids, planters, chairs, tables, that little lip where the sidewalk has been pushed up by roots, the slightly wet soles of your shoes, that divot in the grass that you just stepped in, etc. etc. etc.

3. Surprise. People, especially martial artists, are very generous with themselves when it comes to awareness skills and the ability to not be taken by surprise.

The dojo ain't real life. Most average, middle class people (to include martial artists) have little understanding of the dynamics of violence outside of news and entertainment media and the dojo (in fact the dojo is often counterproductive to real defensive skills without considerable re-wiring). They are either caught by surprise with a sucker shot, or are momentarily stunned that "this is actually happening" and lose valuable time and manuever opportunities in the face of an attack. That can and does translate to getting knocked down, or simply falling down.

Returning to the earlier comment: most fights don't end with one punch, but a great deal of them do end up with someone getting knocked to the ground and repeatedly booted in the head or ground and pounded.

4. Related to #3: Simply spazzing out:

Tim's example is common amongst martial artists with little or no resistive training or real fight experience - the cooperative or choreographed skillset they have worked so hard developing goes right out the window the minute real pressure and real contact, flavored with real emotion and real fear, take place.

People end up doing a bad facsimile of MMA because they have not trained for the actual dynamics and chaos of a fight in earnest.

Its usually not because their "art" fails them, but how they train their art fails them - big difference.

They make big mistakes, they do goofy things, give up their center mentally and physically, and often lose the benefits their art should afford them: to include keeping off the ground.

Watch the early UFCs as man after man simply abandons years of training, to high dan rank, supposedly with muscles and nerves conditioned to perform the various skills they have honed: they toss it all out in favor of flailing strikes, poor and out of balance takedowns, and absolute panic when on the ground. Its not intentional, its a stress reaction to something totally outside of what they have prepared for - not "combat," not even "fighting," but a kind of physically safe and stylistic pantomime of it.

The early UFCs were not even real fights - they KNEW they weren't going to be stabbed or shot by the sudden appearance of a weapon, KNEW that multiple attackers wouldn't be involved, KNEW that a refereee was there and they wouldn't be permanently maimed or killed - yet their "combative" training simply vanished under real pressure.

So, all that just sets the stage...

Cops do go to the ground more than you'll see in civilian self defense situations - mainly for the reasons George cites.

In my experience in interviewing people after fights, assaults, and domestic violence;

in paying attention to the extensive and increasinly ubiquitous video of real fights and assaults - of average citizens being attacked, prisoners assaulting each other, and officers being assaulted by sucker punch or ambush under the same parameters that an "average citizen" would be - ( we should remember many cops are average citizens with just enough training to be dangerous to themselves. They get by with numbers and weapons, not skills);

I would say that at least a third to 50% of serious physical encounters end up at some point with at least one party on the ground or in some situation similar to groundfighting (on a bed, on a couch, getting knocked over onto furniture or other surrounding features, etc.).

The more people acting against you, the more likely it is. The less warning the victim had, the more likely it is. The more brutal the initial onslaught is, the more likely it is.

The fact that being on the ground is so much more dangerous than remaining standing in a real fight should go without saying. But its all the more reason that anyone truly serious about self defense should dedicate a significant portion of their training time to ground strategies, if mainly extricating oneself from bad spots and getting up. That means against skilled opponents - wrestlers, BJJ guys, Judoka - NOT some friends in the dojo who "roll around" every Saturday at open mat and think they understand groundwork.

Another good groundfighter quote:

"I am a shark. The ground is my ocean. And most people don't even know how to swim...."

Last edited by KIT : 04-21-2007 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 04-21-2007, 01:59 AM   #17
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Kit Leblanc wrote: View Post
1. Multiple attackers - if the attack is coordinated, you are facing the highest likelihood of all that you will be taken down. NO martial art prepares you for dealing effectively with committed multiple attackers, who in some cases have a pre-planned assault intended to put you down.
I've trained in a couple of tactical ground defense systems but bar far the best training I've seen for defense against multiple attackers while on the ground is the Systema ground work. It's based on their fundamental principle of constant movement. It is the only system I have seen that would really help you much if you were on the ground in the middle of a group of folks trying to stomp you.

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Old 04-21-2007, 02:14 AM   #18
G DiPierro
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Tim Mailloux wrote: View Post
Several years ago while at an aikido seminar I witnessed 2 younger (mid to late 30's) and very talanted / high ranking aikido teachers (one a 4th dan, the other a 5th dan)get into a fight during the seminar while training with one another. Aparently the two had a lot of "history" and hated one another.

Things got really ugly and puches started flying. Really sloppy wild punches I might add. They were both swinging for the fences. A few seconds latter they were both on the ground doing what looked like really bad ground and pound MMA until they were pulled apart. Not at any point did either one of these guys do or even attempt anything that vaugly resembled aikido.... and the fight also ended up on the ground.
I'd be curious to know what teacher or organization they were with (actually I could probably hazard a guess here). It's telling that two people can advance that far in aikido apparently without having learned anything from it about how to behave in a real physical conflict. That story is a perfect example of what's wrong with aikido today.

-G DiPierro
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:37 PM   #19
KIT
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I've trained in a couple of tactical ground defense systems but bar far the best training I've seen for defense against multiple attackers while on the ground is the Systema ground work. It's based on their fundamental principle of constant movement. It is the only system I have seen that would really help you much if you were on the ground in the middle of a group of folks trying to stomp you.
While I don't want to derail the thread with THAT discussion, I'll just say that I don't share your opinion, George.

People can PM me questions or flames, I won't clutter up the board with the inevitable go nowhere debate with the folks that want to defend the faith.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #20
Aran Bright
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I've trained in a couple of tactical ground defense systems but bar far the best training I've seen for defense against multiple attackers while on the ground is the Systema ground work. It's based on their fundamental principle of constant movement. It is the only system I have seen that would really help you much if you were on the ground in the middle of a group of folks trying to stomp you.
Have to agree with you there George, never thought I'd have so much fun with three boofy blokes trying to stand on my head.

As an aside I asked a security guard friend of mine who used to do a lot of pub work. He made the point that he never wanted to hit the ground because of the reason that he was an easy target for any one. Different scenario than the study but his aim was restraint in the situation where numbers may be against him. Generally though the motivation to resist was generally easily subdued. He is about 110 kg (240 lb) so that helps.

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Old 04-23-2007, 08:50 AM   #21
DonMagee
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I've trained in a couple of tactical ground defense systems but bar far the best training I've seen for defense against multiple attackers while on the ground is the Systema ground work. It's based on their fundamental principle of constant movement. It is the only system I have seen that would really help you much if you were on the ground in the middle of a group of folks trying to stomp you.
I've been a fan of using one person to shield me from his buddys by controling him from the backmount with his belly face up. Just hooks and a rear nakid choke, then he's mine to use as a shield until someone saves me.

- Don
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #22
MM
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Kit Leblanc wrote: View Post
Nah, just 10 years in law enforcement working street patrol and responding to hundreds of physical altercations.
Thank you for that great post. Do you mind if I print that out and post it at the dojo? It's a very well reasoned opinion backed by experience and I found it to be one of the best I've read on the subject.

Thanks again,
Mark
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:05 PM   #23
KIT
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Thank you for that great post. Do you mind if I print that out and post it at the dojo? It's a very well reasoned opinion backed by experience and I found it to be one of the best I've read on the subject.

Thanks again,
Mark
Not at all, I'm honored!
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:07 PM   #24
KIT
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I've been a fan of using one person to shield me from his buddys by controling him from the backmount with his belly face up. Just hooks and a rear nakid choke, then he's mine to use as a shield until someone saves me.
I know an officer who has done exactly that, against multiple attackers, when wedged into a corner against a wall.

Though it presupposes more than a passing familiarity with position and control, I think.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:56 PM   #25
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Tim,
I would gladly pay money for a video of that.

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