Saturday, June 29, 2019

Does Jiu Jitsu REALLY Work as a Self Defense?

I recently stumbled upon a blog of a well know Jiu Jitsu practitioner ( I decided to keep his name out of this post  because I don't think its important). I read a really interesting post of his and it really made me think. Now, I can respect his reasons for taking Jiu Jitsu but I wholeheartedly disagree with his view on the art.

In the eight years I've been active on martial arts internet forums, I've said many times that I'm not interested in self defence. It isn't something I train for, firstly because I find it dull, and secondly because I'm dubious about the benefits. I'm small, weak and passive, so if some huge drunk with a broken bottle wanted to smash my head in for knocking over his pint, I doubt there is much I could do beyond running away.

Rickson Gracie said : if size mattered, than the Elephant would be king of the jungle. Yes, I realize that this is a nice poetic way of giving the small guy hope in Jiu Jitsu. We've heard countless times of how Helio Gracie was small and weak but really truly could handle himself in real fights in Brazil (not match fights).

I don't take issue with the blog writer not finding reality fighting interesting but issue with that he is dubious about the benefits. I'm small, weak and passive, so if some huge drunk with a broken bottle wanted to smash my head in for knocking over his pint, I doubt there is much I could do beyond running away.

Granted, the writer admits to not having interest in self defense nor do I believe he has ever had to use his skill set in a real fight. The writer is articulate, analytical, and opinionated. He is what I would refer to as an intellectual and sport BJJ player. Again, I have no issue with this.

Without having direct empirical evidence or having experienced this type of conflict on a regular (or even semi regular) basis, it makes sense that he would come to this conclusion. It pains me to think think that his "small, weak and passive" approach to life wouldn't be able to stand up to someone larger than him.

Actually, he is right. He most likely wouldn't fair well because a fighting mind set is where all fighting starts. A negative and defeatist attitude has you on the wrong end of winning to begin with. An amateur thinks IF he can take you. A professional thinks HOW he can take you. I see this a lot.

I have no doubt that the writer is very accomplished at his grappling game and probably has "more medals" than most. Knowing him, I am sure his personal took box is sophisticated and well thought out. He probably is a wonderful person to roll with too (that is the sense I get). But having been involved on the RBSD side for 20 years (including Japanese Jujutsu!) I can tell you from my direct experience that I have seen plenty of weak, passive and small people 'beat' larger people. And I mean plenty.

My martial arts experience has saved me many, many times (Japanese Jujutsu and Gracie Jiu Jitsu/BJJ)  against men who are MUCH larger than me. It is not that I am a tough person but I have learned to use my knowledge in a way that has kept me safe for many years. I have seen people (literally 5'4 130lbs) take out larger people (200lbs plus) because of speed, technique or a good combative mindset. This knowledge has led to confidence.

I implore people like the writer of the blog not to sell themselves short. Doing 8 years of Jiu Jitsu has probably given him more tools than he is aware of. If conflict can be avoided ('running away'), that is fantastic. But violence sometimes doesn't give you that option.

Real fighting always starts with confidence. Real losing always starts with the words :I can't." Get your mind in check and see what follows.

Ari Knazan 
Original Article Nov 2014 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Invictus Mission:

THE MISSION: To help Police Officers and Police Departments worldwide adopt Jiu Jitsu into their defensive tactics training and in turn, get more officers practicing Jiu Jitsu.
INVICTUS is A group spear-heading the #BJJMAKEITMANDATORY movement. Its aim is to get more Law Enforcement officers training Jiu Jitsu. Less THAN 3% of POLICE officers train outside their "minimum mandated" use of force requirements. THIS need to change.

It is our belief that all police officers should regularly train for real world scenarios using Jiu Jitsu based principles. The reasoning is simple: Jiu Jitsu makes police officers safer in the field by teaching them the fundamental positioning and skills for real life physical encounters. Knowing Jiu Jitsu will not only protect police officers but it will also protect suspects based on the scalable factor of the art. In turn, use of force issues will be reduced as well as injuries to police officers and suspects.  If the only tool you have is a hammer, then all problems are seen as nails. It’s time to introduce a tool box that is practical, varied and workable for police.
This is not a place for excuses. We know it’s difficult to add extra training on an already daunting schedule and demands placed on LEOs on a daily basis. This is a pro-active group of men and women who believe in the power of Jiu Jitsu.

It is our hope that bringing police officers together who train Jiu Jitsu, will help get this movement going. We are sharing ideas as a group on training methods, techniques, policies and how to get more officers and departments involved in teaching and training Jiu Jitsu.  Every police officer has the responsibility to his/her family, partners and the public to prepare themselves for all possible situations they may encounter while preforming their sworn duties.

​The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Let's take it together. Start Training Jiu Jitsu.

The Invictus Group