July 12, 2011
Much is often made of the differences between the existing styles of martial arts and which if any style is better than another is. Whatever the differences between styles there does exists one common quality that binds all styles of combat together; the core question which each tries to answer. How can I successfully defend myself against a larger, stronger, and more aggressive attacker? Every martial art if it is to be considered martial must furnish an answer to this fundamental question.
Most people associate the martial arts with high, powerful kicks and quick linear blocks and punches. While this flash does exist in most martial arts styles a very different response to the core question of the martial arts is provided by the grappling style of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Contrary to the advice of most martial arts styles, the grappling based style of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu does not advocate engaging in a standing striking battle with an attacker. Such a strategy exposes one to a higher risk of being injured by a larger, stronger opponent, since he will hit harder than you will as a result of his greater size and weight. In addition, experience has shown that such striking cannot be relied upon to stop, let alone defeat, an opponent who is determined to charge into you and grapple. The traditional doctrine of one strike, one kill touted by many martial styles is simply not born out of experience. A much safer option employed in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is to close the gap and enter a clinch. The clinch limits an attacker punching you while allowing you to better control the opponent using grappling techniques to off-balance the aggressors movement.
Once in a clinch it is very likely that a fight will go to the ground, either by design (one fighter wills it) or by accident (one or both fighters fall). A common misconception is that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu always advocates going to the ground. This is not the case. What Gracie Jiu-Jitsu recognizes as a hard fact is that in a real fight it is not always a matter of choice whether you end up on the ground it just happens! The nature of a fight is chaos! As it happens, the people who are best qualified to keep a fight standing are trained grapplers, since they spend a good amount of time practicing clinching and takedowns. This training makes them resistant to takedown when a situation dictates that a fight should not go to the ground!
Nonetheless, the kind of positional dominance and control sought after by practitioners of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is best attained on the ground, where most people do not know how to move and where your own body weight can be used more effectively against a larger opponent. Furthermore once on the ground a practitioner of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has an astounding arsenal of pins, joint locks, and strangleholds at their disposal to overcome any attacker. Hence the preference for taking an aggressor to the ground when circumstances favor doing so.
The essential idea behind Gracie Jiu-Jitsus answer to the core question of the martial arts is this: You must constantly strive to put yourself in a position where you can control your attacker as much as possible. Thus allowing you to do maximal damage to him while exposing yourself to as little damage as possible. This pervasive, fundamental essence of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu when combined with the simplicity of its martial arts techniques is the reason Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is practiced by tens-of-thousands of people around the world. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners come in all shapes, sizes, sex, and ages some young, some old, some small, some fast, some slow, housewives, business executives, celebrities, and law enforcement and military personal the fact is that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu works for everyone. Now is the time to make it work for you!