#255 Ryan Hall Uses Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a Restaurant Against Drunk Aggressor

This week a video appeared on Youtube depicting an encounter between Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ryan Hall and a larger, aggressive, possibly drunk man at a restaurant in New Jersey after a Grappler’s Quest BJJ tournament in December. The video has been viewed over 165,000 times in the few days it’s been online and depicts the use of BJJ as a tool to protect oneself with the least amount of force necessary.

In episode 255 of our humble BJJ internet radio show, we speak with Ryan Hall and discuss the step-by-step thought process that went through his head as he chose to use BJJ to defend himself and others around him in the restaurant. During the brief moments of action that occurred, Hall took the belligerent man down with a double leg take down and mounted him until the man was momentarily pacified. Later, when the man returned to instigate more against Hall and his friends, Hall ended up safely putting the man to sleep to prevent him from doing harm to himself or others in the restaurant. At that point the police arrived and took control of the situation.

Hall also discusses the notion that training BJJ for competition affects one’s ability to use jiu-jitsu in a self defense situation, which is a common discussion topic on BJJ forums across the web.

…I absolutely wasn’t compelled to throw an omoplata on the guy… take Rafael Mendes and you put him in that same situation. He’s not going to berimbolo the guy! He doesn’t need to berimbolo the guy.

Many thanks to Kenny Savercool for allowing us to borrow some audio from the video and embed it in today’s show!

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (recommended)
[mp3] Download the show


Ryan Hall Tanquinho
Ryan Hall (white gi) against Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes at the 2011 BJJ World Championship.

3 Replies to “#255 Ryan Hall Uses Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a Restaurant Against Drunk Aggressor”

  1. I remember when this blew up all over the internet, there was a huge thread and discussion about it all over Sherdog. I believe that the people who think he overreacted are losing sight of is that bjj is a martial art and can be employed for self defense. Maybe it’s the “sport” bjj people who think this was out of line. That’s the cool thing about grappling and bjj, it allows you to determine where the fight might take place, and it allows you to use the minimum amount of force necessary to control, subdue, and maybe even submit the other person. That’s why I love grappling.

    Thanks for putting this up.

  2. Excellent point Steve. I also feel that a lot of true -BJJ guys walk around with the type of quiet confidence displayed by Hall in the video.

  3. The video doesn’t include the start of what happened, in which Ryan and his friends might have acted somewhat poorly. For example, I can see the woman repeatedly laughing at the fellow, which is a bad thing in such a situation because no one likes being laughed at. Ryan attacked after the drunk guy shouted “Try me, try me”, something sounding like what Rory Miller defined as a ´monkey dance´ (which doesn’t fall under self-defence) but of course you can have a different interpretation. And for the record: I like Ryan and consider him a good instructor.

    In any case, remember that BJJ shouldn’t evoke arrogance: even this incident lead to a head injury (the drunk), a bleeding nose (Ryan) and having the police and court judging your actions. The MMA fighters Maiquel Falcão and his friend almost didn’t survive. Yes, BJJ can be used in self-defense (when not outnumbered) but if possible, IMO avoid a confrontation in the first place and treat the other person with great respect even though you believe you can handle him or her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *