You'll hear two things from me quite often:
- You never want to go to the ground on the street if you don't have to
- Many fights end up on the ground
They might seem conflicting, but 1 doesn't mean don't study ground fighting and 2 doesn't mean try to get into a ground fight and keep the fight on the ground.
The number one reason you don't want to go to the ground: multiple attackers.I've watched a lot of non-professional, non-ring fights. Some are planned, meaning the two fighters knew there was going to be a fight. Some are unplanned, meaning assault. In both situations, other people often get involved. A trained ground fighter can have a 'fair' fight with one other person; he can't have a fair fight with one guy holding him down and the other kicking his head in. Wolves hunt in packs, people have friends, bystanders are stupid. Non-domestic assault often involves multiple attackers. The ground is the last place you want to be.
Number two reason not to go to the ground: the street is not your nicely padded dojo.It's not even your nice flat MMA floor. It's dirt, concrete, rocks, gravel, blacktop, grass, broken glass, uneven, the parking lot with curbs and parking space barrier bumps, ice, snow, the hardwood floor of a bar filled with chairs and tables.
There are plenty of other reasons not to end up on the ground, but these should be enough for any reasonable person.
Train ground fightingEven if you shouldn't be on the ground, you better still train for the ground because you might end up there. If you think you "just won't" then you're kidding yourself. Just remember when you're training, it's just as important to learn how to stand back up as it is how to fight when you're down.
This is an expansion of: Mixed Martial Arts and Competitive Fighting vs. Reality: How Rules Change Fighting