I like to check out YouTube on a fairly regular basis to find interesting new concepts or techniques in the martial arts. This week, I decided to explore different alternatives for guard passing techniques that can be used in Jiu-jitsu submission grappling. One of the great things about submission grappling as popularized by BJJ is that because so many people are doing it, it evolves very quickly and people develop interesting new ways to improve control, submissions and defense on the ground. In our dojo, we don’t enter tournaments or train for the purposes of competition because our primary focus is self-defense, but we still practice submission grappling techniques. Submission grappling has become so popular as a sport you cannot afford to ignore it in the self-defense world, and it offers a lot of value for improving one’s defensive capabilities on the ground. You’ll see more of my ideas behind this when my book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-jitsu Strategies for Self-Defense which I wrote for Tuttle Publishing, comes out early next year. (more…)
Ari Bolden Sensei, president of the Jiu-jitsu BC Society and owner of 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu Victoria (both a BJJ & a Japanese Jiu-jitsu school), recently expressed his frustration at the many grapplers/ MMA-ers out there who give him attitude about Japanese styles of Jiu-jitsu. He wrote an article called “Understanding Japanese Jiu-jitsu” about it on Submissions101.com. I hope lots and lots of people read his article and broaden their minds on the topic.
“The problem with the majority of the public is that they don’t understand the principles behind Japanese JuJutsu because all they see are BJJ schools or grappling in a MMA setting,” Bolden says.
It’s true. Sadly, self-defense doesn’t compete against grappling styles in a world in which more value is placed on things featured in public arenas. But just because the capitalist world isn’t rewarding self-defense oriented dojos doesn’t mean they provide nothing of value.
I know there are a lot of grapplers/ MMA-ers who are more enlightened and open-minded, but I can tell you from moderating my blog that there are a lot of squeaky wheels out there and many of the ones with whom I’ve come in contact on my blog are from that subset of martial artists. I can understand where the attitude comes from. These are people who measure a martial art’s worth by its effectiveness in the ring, however, there is no safe public forum for measuring a martial art’s street effectiveness.
“Make sure you know what you are taking and WHY you are taking it!” Bolden suggests at the close of his article. “If you think that all you need is spinning back kicks in a real fight you’ll be toast pretty quick when a real fight comes your way. If you want to study GI BJJ and want to compete-GREAT! If you want to study PURE self defense-AWESOME. But remember, doing well in one medium (the ring/mat) doesn’t mean it will translate well into another arena (the street). The same goes for JJJ stylists who think they can roll around with BJJ BB and come out on top playing the BJJ player’s game.”
Well put, Ari. If we all just lose the ignorant, pretentious attitudes and realize we are all just on our own paths of self-actualization, no matter what we’re studying, the martial arts world will be a better place. One in which we can all learn from each other.