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BJJGround Forum >> Evolution and the BJJ Self-Defense Curriculum


9/13/13 12:49 PM
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Newaza freak
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Does anyone really think A sporty BJJ & MMA fighter like "Jacare" wouldn't know what to do or how to react,if someone grabbed him in a head lock on the street's?
9/13/13 12:54 PM
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emu67
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ChipW - I've done several self defense style close range gun fighting classes. One thing that you learn real quick is that inside of 5 feet some sort of physical contact is going to occur before you can access a weapon.

I train jiujitsu at a place were we do the Gracie standing self defense everyday as a warmup. While none of the moves look the same at full speed as they do in class, I did have some success with the 2 on 1 grip against a knife, the stick defense and fouling the other guys draw stroke.

The big difference in the techniques drilled in class and going live against a red man suit is that the techniques never stop the guy, they buy some time but he keeps coming and you have to keep fighting.

I will say all my BJJ, wrestling and gun training combine prepared me pretty well for the close quarters gun classes. Guys who have had fighting or grappling experience usually do a lot better than the just gun guys.

I will also add that situational awareness and not doing stupid things, in stupid places with stupid people is the best self defense Phone Post
I think this may make a lot of sense. Self defense classes should be taken. The martial arts stuff provides the tools that can be used so long as the student takes the sled defense courses that the martial arts classes don't cover. Phone Post 3.0
9/13/13 1:35 PM
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MTH
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Sgt. Slaphead - 
MTH - 

. . . . 


So MMA competitionis the only way to measure effective fighting skill?.....what is the training method of effective combat sports? Is it not resistance?

So would not keeping effective fighting/SD jiujitsu techniques and modifying or incorporating supplementary ones from other source and "proving" them using resistance be a better route of evolving jiujitsu rather than saying...."Go train MMA"?

MMA has its own limitations. There are certain things in vale tudo that are against the rules of MMA. Techniques from other sources are likewise illegal. For example, I like training certain techniques based upon silat like a throat grab, etc. I spar these from the clinch (double biceps tie or overhook), get my opponent very upright or leaned over to the side and execute a harai, osoto or even a shin bind takedown, needless to say such would be illegal yet can still be incorporated in sparring. The key is resistance...no? And MMA requires the use of gloves.....a wrapped and gloved hand are very different than unwrapped, ungloved ones.

I'm bleary-eyed already....goodnight

No, MMA competition is not the only way to measure effective fighting skill.  No, MMA training is not necessarily the very best route of evolving BJJ SD.  Yes, MMA has limitations.  Yes, there are techniques that are illegal in MMA that could be very effective in a SD context if properly trained.

I never suggested any disagreement with you on any of those points.  My point was simpler and less far reaching, and comes from a few premises:

First, Shen proposed that BJJ SD is in need of evolution using more modern SD training and concepts.  Everything I've heard about the "official" BJJ SD curriculum (which I've never actually seen) is that it is the most "TMA like" aspect of BJJ.  If that's true, that explains why many BJJ schools (like every one I've attended) hardly ever bother to teach any of it, and makes me agree with Shen.

Second, martial arts that train without live, resisting opponents--including the SD portion of BJJ--have a strong tendency (as Shen observed) to put techniques in a "hermetically sealed jar."  Evolution does not exist.  My TMA of choice for over 10 years was American Kenpo Karate, and all efforts were made to study and use the "original" techniques from the founder, Ed Parker.  Those who tried to "evolve" the techniques were considered oddballs.

Third, the only way I'm aware of to produce a consistent, system-wide evolution across an entire martial art without it originating from the top down (for BJJ, I'd say that would be the IBJJF or the Gracies en masse) is to make competition a major feature of that martial art.  All competitors have the opportunity to innovate, and successful innovations will be adopted by others.  By definition, that is "evolution."  That's why sport BJJ evolves whether the "political figureheads" of BJJ want it to or not, but BJJ SD has not and cannot evolve without "political" support.   

Fourth, the need for broad political support effectively means that if Shen wants to "evolve" BJJ SD, he can't really do it system-wide unless he possesses tremendous influence.  He can of course do it on his own in his academy with his students, but it won't be recognized as "BJJ SD."  It will instead simply be "Shen's addendums" to BJJ SD. 

Fifth, but all is not lost.  While not a perfect solution, BJJ's now closely developed relationship with MMA has helped move the SD ball forward at least somewhat.  MMA training does in fact offer a very real and valuable SD enhancement opportunity, and it is available in many BJJ schools and is respected by the BJJ elite as a valid reason for "evolving" techniques.  The BJJ elite almost don't have a choice in this regard because--as is the case with sport BJJ--they really can't argue with success, and evolution is therefore forced upon them.  Of course, no matter how successful MMA techniques are in MMA, they are certainly not the "tactical" type training specifically mentioned by Shen, and they may therefore not be terribly helpful in a car jacking, home invasion, armed robbery, etc.  But . . . quality MMA training and skills will most certainly improve your SD odds over and above standard BJJ training/skills for most "lower level" SD situations--drunk bar guy, mouthy jerk at the beach, aggressive homeless guy, etc.

Conclusion: Based on those premises, my point is simply to note that we ARE seeing a system-wide evolution of BJJ SD--in the form of MMA training.  It is not necessarily the best way to evolve BJJ's SD for all the reasons mentioned, but at least it's happening on a broad basis throughout many schools and has the acceptance of the larger BJJ universe.  Every day, instructors in reputable BJJ academies are working with their students without a gi, developing toughness, and evolving and adopting striking techniques as well as new and better ways to close the distance, secure the takedown, avoid strikes, and win the fight.  In terms of SD value, that's come a long way from the "Gracies in Action" videos, and that's a good thing--that's "evolution," even if it's not quite as large of an evolution as we'd like to see.

And indeed . . . perhaps the best way to fully realize what Shen is suggesting may be to boot-strap the evolution of "BJJ SD" through the doorway created by BJJ's adoption of MMA.  The BJJ community at large may be more willing to go along with the "evolution" of MMA training to include more "tactical" concepts.  That may be more readily accepted into the larger BJJ universe than a direct attempt to open the "hermetically sealed jar" of original BJJ SD. 

9/13/13 2:19 PM
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TBoy2
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Great topic and great points Shen.

In regards to BJJ Self Defense I think you have to differentiate between SD training for a regular student and someone who just wants to take a few classes to learn to defend themselves. Someone who reaches blue belt should be able to defend themselves against an unarmed attacker. Obviously resistance (rolling) training gives us an advantage over TMAs.

I am a fan of the Gracie Combatives and think they are way above most other SD training in other martial arts. We have many LEOs that train with us and have used these techniques on the job. I do agree that Gracie SD weapon defense is not very good.

In my opinion a key component to a SD curriculum is that it should work for the average person. Meaning you should not have to use lots of strength or be in top physical shape. I don't think MMA training should be necessary. It is helpful but should not be required.

9/13/13 2:41 PM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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Conclusion: Based on those premises, my point is simply to note that we ARE seeing a system-wide evolution of BJJ SD--in the form of MMA training. It is not necessarily the best way to evolve BJJ's SD for all the reasons mentioned, but at least it's happening on a broad basis throughout many schools and has the acceptance of the larger BJJ universe. Every day, instructors in reputable BJJ academies are working with their students without a gi, developing toughness, and evolving and adopting striking techniques as well as new and better ways to close the distance, secure the takedown, avoid strikes, and win the fight. In terms of SD value, that's come a long way from the "Gracies in Action" videos, and that's a good thing--that's "evolution," even if it's not quite as large of an evolution as we'd like to see.

And indeed . . . perhaps the best way to fully realize what Shen is suggesting may be to boot-strap the evolution of "BJJ SD" through the doorway created by BJJ's adoption of MMA. The BJJ community at large may be more willing to go along with the "evolution" of MMA training to include more "tactical" concepts. That may be more readily accepted into the larger BJJ universe than a direct attempt to open the "hermetically sealed jar" of original BJJ SD.


Ahhhh, I see. So MMA as a "foot in the door" for developement of BJJ fighting/SD method.

Admirable idea.....but here's something to consider. I and many others come from an era of BJJ as a fighting BJJ was a three legged stool so to speak, it's legs were fundamental JJ, VT/SD and sport. Huge emphasis,growth/innovation/evolution has taken place on one leg (sport) whereas the other legs seem static or even left to rot. So now the answer if to use another system (MMA)to shore up the defensive/fighting skill of BJJers!?!? :(

The roots of MMA come from the BJJ and especially VT aspect of BJJ. As MMA became a specialized event the generalized skills of BJJ were no longer adequate by itself for the environment of MMA..... but IMHO more than adequate for the average BJJers SD/fighting needs and especially so if even a small amount of innovation/evolution that has taken place in sport was to applied to the
9/13/13 3:00 PM
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kohi
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http://immediateactionjiujitsu.com/ Phone Post 3.0
9/13/13 3:01 PM
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Oldcop
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This is great topic that Shen brought up and I will add in my own humble opinion.

I am 51 years old and have been a police officer for a long time. I currently train at a BJJ school that has a main focus on "sport jiu jitsu" and I also did the combatives program at the Gracie Academy in Torrance. I've handled hundreds of criminal investigations involving violence and I have been involved in numerous altercations at work. So, I kind of know what kind of training works for self defense. And by self defense I'm talking about responding to an unprovoked attack; not a fight involving mutual combat.

First, the most important part of self defense involves situational awareness. This means knowing who and what is around you at all times. It also means not looking like a victim. Walk with confidence and a sense of alertness. Criminals pick out their victims based on who they think will be easy to prey on.

The second most important thing is aggressiveness. I've seen many attackers flee once the victim aggressively fights back. It doesn't matter what techniques are used as long as they are done aggressively. Even the instructors for the Marine Corp Martial Arts program say that they teach 80% aggression and 20% technique. Bringing a person's aggressiveness out can be done by using scenarios such as fighting an attacker wearing a redman suit or by simulating a street attack and making the student fight back.

The mental aspect of self defense is far more important then the physical. If you read the book Street Stoppers, a book on throws and takedowns for Law Enforcement, the author (whom I know) cites instances where martial arts "experts" have gone on ride alongs with officers and ended up frozen in fear when the officer had to go hands on with a suspect. All of the techniques in the world won't work if the person freezes during the real thing. The will to overcome and aggressiveness MUST be drilled into the student!

As far as physical techniques go, I think that the most important part of training is to drill, drill, and keep on drilling the techniques so that they are second nature. I can't tell you how many times I've had my training take over during highly stressful encounters with violent suspects. No time to think, just react, and it would turn out fine because of my training. So drill, drill, drill!

As far as benefits derived from rolling in a sport jiu jitsu environment goes I have definitely found a few. Rolling teaches you how to not panic and get out of a bad position. The most important techniques used that are useful for self defense are sweeps from the bottom and how to maintain control from the top. Rolling also gives you that "combat conditioning" that you can only get by rolling or sparring. Doing several five minute rounds rolling with guys half my age and brutal Muay Thai classes has definitely given me the confidence to know that there are very few suspects that will be able to outlast me in a fight.

As far as GJJ goes I think that the Gracie Academy has an outstanding program for self defense. But remember, training in a controlled environment will only get you so far. A person can have all of the training in the world but it won't do them any good without the mental discipline required to not freeze up and to react to the threat.


9/13/13 3:07 PM
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The Gimp
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"The most important techniques used that are useful for self defense are sweeps from the bottom and how to maintain control from the top."

Surprised to see this. I definitely would've guessed that the most important self defense techniques are escapes from bottom positions.
9/13/13 3:15 PM
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TBoy2
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Thanks for posting OldCop. Very informative!
9/13/13 3:38 PM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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VTFU for Oldcop!

Violence of action leads the way! This is why IMHO a sound "generalist" technique base in BJJ is what BJJ needs for SD/fighting rather than looking toward MMA as an answer to BJJ's defensive needs.

I look at old-school karateka's, etc and see tough guys that trained hard AND HAD TO FIGHT, which developed their mental aspects giving them the ability to scrap when maybe certain aspects of their were not the best/most efficient tool for the job. Similarly in BJJ.......horrible striking for the most part, etc, but they were mentally tough, aggressive and willing to fight to take it into their range. So working to improve the fighting aspects of BJJ should be a good goal in returning BJJ to its fighting heritage.
9/13/13 3:41 PM
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truehonor
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Sugarfoot - I love me a serious Shen thread...makes me feel all warm inside. VTFU. Phone Post 3.0

I'm still trying to decide if someone hacked his account or what.
9/13/13 3:49 PM
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deepu
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Great post Oldcop.
9/13/13 3:53 PM
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biggator
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in
9/13/13 4:07 PM
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pahulkster
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I train at a Pedro Sauer affiliate, and we are big on the traditional Gracie self defense techniques. About half of Pedro's white to blue curriculum is Helio Gracie self defense, and the rest of it is completely applicable for a fight. I agree with the weapon techniques being sketchy, but I've never seen any weapon defense that wasn't.

I think it's important for both instructors and students to understand that the "self defense" moves are the same as anything else you learn in BJJ. They are dynamic and need to be trained against resisting opponents. It's unlikely that you'll hit a De la Riva sweep 100% perfect the way you learned it, and the same can be said for a standing headlock defense.

The way we train BJJ is what makes it great, so disregarding that for the self defense techniques just doesn't make any sense. Like Shen said, self defense is a huge topic and really goes beyond techniques. Very few schools teach that, and most people aren't actually interested when they do.
9/13/13 7:37 PM
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shen
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Again, really great posts...

Personally speaking, I'm not so much interested in a discussion as to whether BJJ Self-Defense "works" --it can and has. But, of course, it can also fail just like everything else. I'm more interested in how to keep it vital and alive, rather than seeing it become static and fixed.

It's overly simplistic to look at techniques or (martial arts) in terms of whether they "work" or "don't work". It's usually a lot more complicate than that. Every martial art under the sun has been used successfully --and also failed miserably-- in a self-defense situation.


FWIW, I will NEVER forget a lesson my twin brother taught me about techniques that "don't work"... My brother (who was a H.S. wrestler and long-time Aikidoka) put me in a LEGIT Sankyo Wrist Lock, I could not get out of. I was being a d!ck and going up to choke him and he 100% owned me, with a technique I would describe as "low percentage" --Well, it felt pretty high percentage that day! LOL. But you know, it's important not to be too dismissive of ANYTHING. Even the "worst" martial arts have some useful things if we're open to them. We probably should not ignore or dismiss those things just because we feel that on the whole the art may "suck".
9/13/13 9:07 PM
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Ridgeback
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Combat sports with resistance training are a far better bet for "self-defense" than practicing moves in a contrived "what if" scenario.  This is why a trained boxer can do so well against even multiple opponents.  In high school the best fighters were the wrestlers because they had trained dealing with resistance to such a high degree, and also had trained their attributes to such a high degree, that no average untrained person could stop them.  

9/13/13 9:23 PM
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JRockwell
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shen -

Again, really great posts...

Personally speaking, I'm not so much interested in a discussion as to whether BJJ Self-Defense "works" --it can and has. But, of course, it can also fail just like everything else. I'm more interested in how to keep it vital and alive, rather than seeing it become static and fixed.

It's overly simplistic to look at techniques or (martial arts) in terms of whether they "work" or "don't work". It's usually a lot more complicate than that. Every martial art under the sun has been used successfully --and also failed miserably-- in a self-defense situation.


FWIW, I will NEVER forget a lesson my twin brother taught me about techniques that "don't work"... My brother (who was a H.S. wrestler and long-time Aikidoka) put me in a LEGIT Sankyo Wrist Lock, I could not get out of. I was being a d!ck and going up to choke him and he 100% owned me, with a technique I would describe as "low percentage" --Well, it felt pretty high percentage that day! LOL. But you know, it's important not to be too dismissive of ANYTHING. Even the "worst" martial arts have some useful things if we're open to them. We probably should not ignore or dismiss those things just because we feel that on the whole the art may "suck".
Whoa whoa whoa...a twin?? There are TWO of you???


Ahhh...now it's all starting to make sense... Phone Post 3.0
9/13/13 10:53 PM
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LEMon
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Ttt Phone Post 3.0
9/14/13 1:32 AM
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shen
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JRockwell - 
shen -

Again, really great posts...

Personally speaking, I'm not so much interested in a discussion as to whether BJJ Self-Defense "works" --it can and has. But, of course, it can also fail just like everything else. I'm more interested in how to keep it vital and alive, rather than seeing it become static and fixed.

It's overly simplistic to look at techniques or (martial arts) in terms of whether they "work" or "don't work". It's usually a lot more complicate than that. Every martial art under the sun has been used successfully --and also failed miserably-- in a self-defense situation.


FWIW, I will NEVER forget a lesson my twin brother taught me about techniques that "don't work"... My brother (who was a H.S. wrestler and long-time Aikidoka) put me in a LEGIT Sankyo Wrist Lock, I could not get out of. I was being a d!ck and going up to choke him and he 100% owned me, with a technique I would describe as "low percentage" --Well, it felt pretty high percentage that day! LOL. But you know, it's important not to be too dismissive of ANYTHING. Even the "worst" martial arts have some useful things if we're open to them. We probably should not ignore or dismiss those things just because we feel that on the whole the art may "suck".
Whoa whoa whoa...a twin?? There are TWO of you???


Ahhh...now it's all starting to make sense... Phone Post 3.0

There WERE two of us...

When I founded the Shendokan, I realized that a twin could potentially be a major liability. Sadly, I was forced to kill him in a Shinto Fratricide rite.

I loved my brother, but there must be NO possibility of a pretender to the Shendokan throne!



9/14/13 2:22 PM
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ams
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"A person can have all of the training in the world but it won't do them any good without the mental discipline required to not freeze up and to react to the threat"

Agree 100 percent. I trained martial arts most of my life but froze up several times when I almost got into trouble (luckily nothing happened) How do you train to overcome that? Phone Post 3.0
9/14/13 7:09 PM
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FJJ828
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Something to keep in mind is that "self defense" is largely about protecting yourself from assault, not engaging in consentual combat. There is some crossover and single one on one resistance drilling/ sparring is the best way to objectively guage your performance with minimum variables, but self defense is more about mindset, awareness and deescalation and avoidance as it is about  how good your Double Leg and RNC are.

 

9/14/13 7:43 PM
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DK Chaos
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ams - "A person can have all of the training in the world but it won't do them any good without the mental discipline required to not freeze up and to react to the threat"

Agree 100 percent. I trained martial arts most of my life but froze up several times when I almost got into trouble (luckily nothing happened) How do you train to overcome that? Phone Post 3.0

As Shen pointed out in his opening post many newer Self Protection training methods focus mainly on adrenaline training & being mentally aware & ready to respond rather than focusing too much on techniques. Krav Maga for example just uses the same basic flinch response against many different types of attacks, this makes sense to me as I imagine it would lead to less of the freezing up situation that you were describing.

I look at the gracie JJ self defence techniques as an interesting physical time capsule that shows the starting point from where Judo turned into BJJ. However compared to other specific self defence systems I would say it has very limited use.
9/14/13 8:48 PM
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waveman
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We do a ton of self defense at our academy in the Basics classes.
9/14/13 9:01 PM
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m.g
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I recently watch a video of Relson explaining and demonstrating a self defense move at some seminar.

Interestingly Relson was trying to emphasize an important dynamic in the self-defense. The technique he showed worked based on the skill/ability/experience of the individual. The individual has to know when to apply the technique and understand things like distance and space. Furthermore the individual also has to know when to change the technique or make adjustments. Sometimes technique becomes a means for applying another technique or to simply escape.

For what I could see and understand from Relson's explanation and demonstration a big part of Gjj self-defense is intuition, common sense and dynamism.
9/14/13 9:38 PM
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m.g
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Here's the video of Relson explaining ands demonstrating self-defense:

http://youtu.be/CxAK-MKYIRU

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