UFC in debate: can the “world’s best” be missing self-defense moves?

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Jon Jones UFC NY police

K-9:MMA star Jon Jones flees from a police dog in New York. Publicity photo.

As Grandmaster Helio Gracie would say time and time again, “Can a black belt ignore how to escape a guillotine choke? Can a champion not know basic self-defense?” This line of questioning surfaced again when the all-powerful Jon Jones, the young UFC champion, paid a visit to the New York Police Department.

The dominant owner of the light heavyweight division, historically the most revered (and closely matched) of world MMA, took part in a police training course and made some, shall we say, deadly mistakes when it comes to self-defense for the armed forces and police.

Check out how Jon Jones did in trying his hand at police work, in an entertaining and instructive video released last February.

Although “Bones” Jones was clearly having a lark, it’s also apparent that the UFC champion doesn’t have much experience when it comes to self-defense. As a professional athlete and model of efficiency in the octagon, do you feel Jon Jones needs to set an example and become better versed in self-defense in the street? Does mixed martial arts need to be complete martial arts, or is it just entertainment?

As the debate plays out, keep in mind two or three Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense tricks for you to not make the same mistakes the UFC champion made. In the first video, at the two-minute mark, there are some ways Jiu-Jitsu helps to disarm an assailant, as taught by black belt Ronaldo Cardoso.


In the second video, there are some simple and effective techniques for hand-to-hand combat taught by Relson Gracie that he learned from the very source—his father, Helio.

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There are 11 comments for this article
  1. John Q Trinh at 2:32 pm

    I was always concerned about the lack of self defense techniques in my school. Although I believe that the constant contact in bjj is very useful in understanding how to move your body in relation to another body with force and all the other things that go along with physical contact there is a lack of simple self defense. Yeah, I’ll 99.99% of the time those those self-defense techniques probably won’t be useful but I would like to see one or two techniques as part of a curriculum.

  2. waldomarek at 8:58 am

    well, MMA turned out to be more of a sport instead of the original “mix of all martial arts”. with the rules and all and championships, people will be only focused on the sports aspects of it, because it can give you fame and money. MMA, like it is today, is not a self defense martial art so it’s obvious a UFC champion may not be able to handle himself against someone with, for example, a weapon.

  3. waldomarek at 9:06 am

    also, the title “world’s best” is certainly flawed. they’re perhaps the world’s “best” MMA fighters, assuming EVERY good MMA fighter enters the UFC and only the best become champions, but this can never be 100% true, since not everyone has to enter the UFC or any other tournament to show he’s the “world’s best” at MMA, right? same goes for being a good martial artist overall, since when do you have to join tournaments to show you’re the best in something? not everyone gives something about being “world’s best”. for example, how many tournaments did bruce lee join to be considered what he was? like… two? 1 boxing match and a karate tournament i believe? do most people not consider him one of the, if not THE world’s best of all times?

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