Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feedback for Upcoming Ground Defense Book

Hello everyone! Sorry I didn't post last week. I had a good reason; I was away on my honeymoon. Anyway, I'm back now and am ready to share some good news with you all. Over the past few months I've been working with representative of Tuttle Publishing (one of the largest martial arts publishers in the world) on a book proposal. I didn't want to say anything until things were a bit more solid, but things are starting to look promising.

The book is about practical ground defense, specifically in a street self-defense context. The goal is to provide easy to learn tactics and techniques that a BJJ-er can combine with his sport grappling training for an effective toolbox of skills that can be used in a street defense context. Conversely, traditional martial artists that are more focused on stand-up defense would also be able to learn an effective package of ground defense tools. The book will also be accompanied with an instructional DVD to supplement its contents.

My contact at Tuttle said that there is definitely interest in my book and on top of that they're interested in having me expand the content. There are many different topics related to ground defense, and I have many of them covered already, but I would like to find out if there is anything of particular interest to my blog readers on this matter. Please let me know in the comments of this post. I very much appreciate your feedback and support. :)


Anonymous said...

That is certainly a good reason, hope you enjoyed yourself. Where did you go? Good news about the book, tuttle is indeed well known and I even have a few books published by them (mostly by Clearly). As to your question: I'd be most interested in ground defenses against weapons, in so far as that's possible. What's the table of contents so far?



Lori O'Connell said...

We went to Akumal, Mexico in the Mayan Rivera. It was beautiful! I am including a section on knife defense on the ground in my book. I don't want to make public my entire table of contents just yet (not sure if it's kosher), but if there are any particular positions or situations that you're interested in seeing in the book, let me know. :)

HedgeMage said...

You had me at "...traditional martial artists that are more focused on stand-up defense would also be able to learn an effective package of ground defense tools."

That's me all over.

Sensei Strange said...


grappling on concrete and a host of issues related

Multi person grappling

grappling and another standing person attacks

Going from the ground back to standing in a clench

biting, crotch grabbing, eye poking

knives in grappling

legal issues - how far to go

B said...

I second Mr. Strange! I'm tying together posts from other bloggers and plan to ask the question about grappling with knives.

Does any system even cover that? I'm not sure...

Also, what do you do if the guy does not "tap?" You might not be justified in breaking his arm. For that matter, what if he gives up, you let him go, and he bum-rushes you again?

Finally, what can the martial artist who wants to supplement their style with a little ground, do? Not all cities have schools with ground arts. Not all people want to pack up and get pursue BJJ, etc.

I'll be very eager to read this book.

Anonymous said...

If you can tell me how to defend against someone in a controlling position on the ground pulling a knife you're a genius at ground defense... Dito for defense against another standing opponent kicking you while you're tied up with his buddy.

As to Bob's question: if I had a lock on the ground I'd break, this is just common sense since you don't want to let go of him and you can't stay there forever. I don't care if it's legal or not: your first priority is survival and I'd rather be explaining to the judge (over here we don't have juries except for murder-cases) I was in a extremely vulnerable position at the time with very limited mobility (hence I had no choice) than ending up a criple from a kick in the head or the spine from a third party. I'm sorry about my last comment on your blog btw: it was pretty rude and uncalled for. I do have a rather valid if stupid reason: I was drunk (no really ;-) Drunk people stay stupid, obnoxious things, it's a fact of life. Sorry you had to be at the receiving end of that one.

As to the second question about the lack of grappling schools: well, buy Lori's book of course! And practice your ass off hoping you get it right. As we discussed earlier I don't think BJJ is great for the street because of a) the reflex of always taking the opponent to the ground and b) spending way too much time there looking for that perfect opportunity for a submission. KM is probably a good idea since they cover ground too, as is Japanese JJ since most schools probably have at least some basic SD on the ground in their curriculum. If all that fails: get books and dvd's and learn basic escapes coupled with attacks to vulnerable area's: this is our main approach to ground survival: most people quickly lose their appetite for violence when struck in the eye so that's a great start to get them off you, especially since most of the time his head is pretty much garanteed to be near. Do wear goggles when practicing though.

KM covers SD against weapons on the ground: I know some of it but I'd like to see Lori's approach in order to ascertain which one is better or more to my liking.


Elias said...

Sounds awesome!! Keep us posted!!

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a book. There are too many JJ/BJJ practitioners around who get into bad habits which may work on the mats but will get you in all sorts of trouble in the street.

I'd be most interested in seeing the book cover:

- Which positions to use/avoid in the street (i.e. the guard is dangerous when there are no rules to prevent from groin attacks etc.. whereas knee-on-belly allows you to stay aware of your surroundings and more easily escape if necessary)

- Why locks are far less effective off the mats, and why chokes are so important. (ever tried to arm bar someone high on crystal meth? they won't notice when you tear the tendons of their arm so that won't stop them)

- The real advantage of jiu jitsu in real-life fight situations: controlling position. Either by gaining a dominant position from which to end the fight, or improving your chances by transitioning from a weak position.

- The tap reflex. Teaching people to realise that they should go for incapacitation as a tap won't come in the street.

It may be a good idea to consult someone like John Will, who has covers this topic from a BJJ quite often.

Looking forward to seeing the book!

Mark L said...

I think everyone above me has covered all I wanted to say. But I'll say this. I'm going to be the first on the pre-order list.

Lori O'Connell said...

Wow! Thanks for all your feedback and support. It has really helped confirm in my mind that this book was the right idea. Many of your ideas were already included in the original chapter list, but there were a few suggestions that gave me great ideas for expanding the book. Thank you so much! I'll do my part and write the best damn book I can to give back to the community.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a chapter devoted to weapon selection specifically for grappling oriented situations. Not just the choice of weapon(s)but strategic placement and why the placement is more significant in a close quarters/grappling situation than planning for a scenario that allows for more freedom of motion(standard weapons access).

Ways to jam the opponent's access to his tools, while increasing the likelihood of you being able to access yours.

We covered some of this when we were at Perry's place. If you need more info, you know where to ask.


Anonymous said...

I would think that maybe the focus should be on ground defense for women. I hate to say it, but I'm not sure most guys want to learn ground defense from a girl. I may be wrong, but maybe if you focus the book on techniques for women you may find a niche and sell more copies. just my two cents.

Lori O'Connell said...

Being a woman already helps promote the book for women as I am the one doing all the techniques in the photos for the most part. Besides which, have you noticed how few women actually do martial arts? If I pigeonhole myself like that, I would alienate the much larger male audience that exists. And there is no reason why any of the content I'm creating needs to be limited to women. It works just as well for either gender. And last time I checked 90% of my blog followers are men and 90% of my students are men. Also, the publisher doesn't seem to think it's an issue.

If the content is good and I promote the book right (I am a professional marketer in addition to being a martial artist), my gender shouldn't be an issue.