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SBGI >> Questions for Matt: Evolution in BJJ


2/27/12 11:38 PM
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Hoffa
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Matt:

What do you think are the biggest changes to have occurred in BJJ since you began training? Do you believe the shift from BJJ gyms towards more sport specific techniques/ training has lessened its effectiveness as a self defense art? Moreover, what is your opinion on the GJJ Combatives program: can such techniques, as presented, be trained "alive"? It is my understanding that the uke is supposed to behave like an untrained opponent during the drills (I.e., choking with both hands in the guard, headlocks,etc).

Thanks much, Hoffa
2/28/12 1:57 PM
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Matt Thornton
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Hoffa,

"What do you think are the biggest changes to have occurred in BJJ since you began training?"

The hybrid with wrestling that has occured, and the continuing evolution of the guard.


"Do you believe the shift from BJJ gyms towards more sport specific techniques/ training has lessened its effectiveness as a self defense art?"

I think it depends on the gym, and the stated goals of the people training. In other words, I don't see anything wrong being just sports specific. That said, I don't think it is a shift towards sports specific techniques that lessons BJJ's effectiveness in MMA, or other environments, I think it is a shift away from fundamenatls. And that will depend on the school. There are guys out there like Gunnar Nelson who still have that solid fundamental BJJ that works just as well in MMA as it does a tournament.


"Moreover, what is your opinion on the GJJ Combatives program: can such techniques, as presented, be trained "alive"? It is my understanding that the uke is supposed to behave like an untrained opponent during the drills (I.e., choking with both hands in the guard, headlocks,etc)."

The material I have seen I wasn't too fond of. Yes, everything can be trained alive, a failure to do so is never because it is too deadly, it is for other reasons.
2/28/12 3:23 PM
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Hoffa
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The school I am training in still practices the GJJ old school self defense techniques (which I agree are dead patterns) but also practices striking & grappling, trying to clinch with the uke throwing punches,etc so I see it as a trade off of sorts. No other BJJ gyms in the area do this sort of training and so I take it as the best I can get. It is expected that I teach the self defense techniques when I reach black (in the next 2 years or so) so I am a bit conflicted : can the GJJ self defense be taught alive? I'm not sure that they can be (knife, stick, weapons disarms, etc.) There are great people in the organization, but politics will come into play if they aren't covered: to thine own self be true, I guess.

In any event, thanks for your response. I agree about the wrestling integration as a positive evolution. in BJJ: I will definitely be teaching wrestling takedowns/ clinch alive, as I see it as an essential element for effective self defense.
2/29/12 2:23 PM
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Matt Thornton
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"can the GJJ self defense be taught alive?"

Yes, check the notes on drilling article here:

http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/

I am sure you can sort it. Sounds like you're doing well.

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