In the last 10 years Jiu Jitsu has changed so much.
So many new techniques have been developed and there have been so many new rules for tournaments.
Some of the change have been good , but some has lead Jiu Jitsu down a disturbing path.
Jiu Jitsu has been developed more and more for sport and less and less for self-defense.
As an avid competitor I most definitely appreciate what the tournament scene is about. However I feel that Jiu Jitsu at its core is still a martial art and form of self-defense and this needs to be remembered. I have three main reasons every Jiu Jitsu practitioner needs to train self-defense regardless of age, gender, skill , athleticism or desire.
One of the main arguments average people throw against training self-defense is the “ I don’t need it” , “I can already defend myself” , “I am very athletic/ in good shape”. I cannot argue if these are true or not, but I have another way to combat this argument. Maybe you don’t need the self-defense, but If you plan on teaching in the future someone someday sooner rather than later is going to need you to teach them it. You can’t get new students and encourage them to go to the gym and get big/fit or tell them to simply use tournament moves. Although there is a lot in Jiu Jitsu that translates directly to street altercations the self defense can prepare you in a better manner.
Another primary argument I have for why we need to train and encourage Self-defense is the self-confidence it instills. While all Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts can automatically develop self-confidence. The self-Defense however allows us to practice blocking strikes and clinching which is not common practice in a normal Jiu Jitsu class. So in this way we develop more confidence that we cans ervive a street altercation and defend the strikes. This is mostly important for the children and the adults who show up more timid and noticeably shy.
Last I want to talk about a more obvious reason to train the self-defense portion. Jiu Jitsu truly is, at its core a martial art and self-defense system no matter what we choose to think or why we in particular enjoy the art. The self-defense is a tradition which has continued since its birth and I feel to ignore this is basically a stab in the back to the art and our founding fathers. I am not saying we can’t train new sport orientated techniques. I love all Jiu Jitsu ! But, we need to know the self-defense portion as well in order to truly understand the art.
So today I want you to go ask your Professor to teach you some form of self-defense and see what new ideas and techniques you learn.