It’s been almost ten years since Ryan Hall was confronted by a drunk bar patron who made the incredibly bad decision to get aggressive with one of the best grapplers on the planet and in honor of his return to at UFC 264, why not revisit that moment? Back in December 2011, Hall had yet to take his MMA career seriously and had only had one fight in his youth before putting all of his effort into Jiu-Jitsu. He had already earned his black belt in the sport and won the ADCC North American trials to book his place in the 2009 World Championships, where he would eventually come away with a bronze medal.
Of course, Jiu-Jitsu is an incredibly niche sport (even moreso back in 2011) and even someone of Hall’s phenomenal grappling talent can go completely unrecognized in public. That’s a big part of what led to the aggressive drunk making the shocking decision to attack Ryan Hall after he approached a table of strangers to ask if any of them had a lighter. When Hall then informed the man that none of his table of friends actually smoked, the man became very angry and started to threaten Hall directly, presumably just because he was the person who answered him.
From there, Hall demonstrated the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu (and technically wrestling too) against an untrained opponent. He quickly set up a single-leg takedown and once the drunk aggressor hit the floor, Hall immediately stepped into mount and controlled him there for a while before eventually choking him out in order to end the violent confrontation. The entire thing was caught on video and quickly went viral back in 2011, mainly because of how comical it looks to see someone as talented as Hall take on someone who clearly has less than zero idea of what to do once the fight hits the ground.
The video of the self-defense incident comes from the official YouTube channel of Jiu Jitsu World:
Or for more of our articles looking into moments throughout BJJ history, visit our throwback archives.