Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Street vs. sport.

So, while I haven't been training much "pure" jiu jitsu this month at all, I have been dropping in on some judo classes and some kajukenbo classes, both run by old friends.  It's been fun because I get to see a wholly different group of tendencies.  Judo people have no problem giving up their back (well-- the ones I play with) and neither do wrestlers.  However, I know judo matches get set back up on feet fairly quickly, and my kajukenbo friends seem to rely on the view that "if this were a real fight, I'd just punch you out."  And everyone looks at me as the representative from Brazilian jiu jitsu and wants to test themselves (even though I'm "just" a girl.)  So I get to spar a variety of opponents who don't do "the right things" and I have to find responses to them.  As a result, my jiu jitsu is getting a little garbled up with more street-y stuff and less sporty stuff.  I think Helio would approve.  I just keep telling myself (as I wrassle around with a 19 yr old kid, 6' tall and 215 lbs, and no training at all) that if they're not submitting me, if they're not in a position to punch my lights out, then I'm winning.  I might not be "beating" them-- but if they can't beat me, in the end I have succeeded.

Rener and Ryron just posted a video on a similar topic-- it's on the long side (22 min) but worth your time.

When I started jiu jitsu, I pooh-poohed the boys at my academy who seemed overly focused on "if I get in a bar fight" type situations.  When asked, I emphasized that I was NOT training jiu jitsu for self defense, but was exclusively interested in the sport aspect.  And, I had attended, and later taught, so many womens' self defense seminars through the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in my city, that I really felt quite confident I could handle myself in a "stranger attack" type situation even without jiu jitsu.

But when I started training with Donald Park, I began to see that I would do a great disservice to this art that I love, if I did not practice the self defense aspect of it.  Sure, I don't go to "that kind of bar" often if ever.   Sure, I doubted anyone would attack me, mount me and start punching away.  But what if?  How embarrassing if I were training jiu jitsu for years and got beaten up! or worse, got taunted by a 19 yr old kid after a judo class!

So I happily prioritize self defense.  And you should too.

I will say this-- guillotines! loop chokes! arm drags! take the back!  soooooo much fun against big strong 19 yr old apes ;)


Can Sönmez said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your teacher in action. I'm still very much of the "I don't care about self defence" mindset when it comes to my own training as my priority remains enjoyment, though I nevertheless think it's an interesting and important topic.

That video has generated quite a bit of debate, which is always fun to read: e.g., Sherdog, The Underground and Reddit.

chaos said...

As a bouncer self defense comes first. I'm happy to say that a kimura is a great way to disarm a drunk man with a bottle ready to shank you and body lock takedown to mount is even better to finish him off

Anonymous said...

You are right in embracing the self defense aspect of jiu jitsu. This can help you face situations that threaten your well-being. I personally think it’s effective as it teaches people to use the opponent’s energy against himself, rather than employing techniques that require a direct confrontation with the opponent.

Hugh Motz