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Jiu-Jitsu is Important in All Self Defense

Lately, my newsfeed has been inundated with videos of various instructors talking about fighting with a knife. Specifically, fighting on the ground with a knife. They talk about what happens when the knife is introduced and how it changes the fight. In one video, an instructor makes a claim that basically says 'Your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not matter when a knife is involved.' It is true that a knife, a gun, a brick, or anything that can be used as a weapon, when brought into a fight, is very dangerous. However, to say that Jiu-Jitsu does not work when a weapon is involved is wrong. 

What Jiu-Jitsu does better than most martial arts is it allows you to apply techniques that you have learned in a live situation without getting hurt (usually). Why is this important? Well, you can practice as many techniques as you want, but if you cannot apply them then they are worthless. So when we spar in Jiu-Jitsu, you have to forcibly put your partner into a position that they are actively resisting. Many times, your partner is of equal or greater skill than you, which can make for a very humbling experience. Through this system, you tend to find out which techniques are worthwhile, and which techniques are not. You figure out how to move your body more effectively, the right times to explode and the right times to settle down, how to win a scramble, and how to exert your will on an unwilling person. 

So how would Jiu-Jitsu help in a situation where a knife is involved? Well, the principles of fighting stay relatively the same no matter what kind of fight you are in. Stay outside the elbows of your opponent, keep your chin down, fight to be on top, understand your base, etc. So if you take skilled Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and give them the tactics and the tools to deal with a knife (or another force multiplier), then they are going to be a lot better off than someone who doesn't train in grappling. Why? Well, the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners already understand how it feels when someone else is trying to exert dominance over them. 

When someone makes a claim that Jiu-Jitsu doesn't matter in situation x, and they don't have any actual understanding of Jiu-Jitsu, that says that they don't have a real understanding of fighting. If you don't spend your time training with people who beat you, you won't get better. Iron sharpens iron. So go learn to fight through fighting. Learn techniques, try to apply them, and keep the ones that work. Modify the ones that don't, or get rid of them entirely, but don't say 'Your Jiu-Jitsu doesn't work because I have a knife.' Statements like that only show that you don't actually understand Jiu-Jitsu.

And let's talk about the use of a force multiplier for a moment. Let's say that you have a major background in a knife fighting martial art, but let's say that it is all that you know. So if you get into a fight with someone, and all you know how to do is pull out a knife and stab someone with it, what is your plan for a situation where a knife is not warranted or allowed (i.e. an airplane)? if you stab someone who did not need to be stabbed, then you are facing jail time. Carrying a weapon does not mean that you are always going to be justified in the use of that weapon, nor does it make you invulnerable from confrontation. So if you are going to carry any kind of weapon, then you have a responsibility to learn the principles of fighting so that you might not have to use it.

Don't take this as Jiu-Jitsu is the only martial art you need. Far from it. If Jiu-Jitsu is all that you know, then you are flawed as a fighter. You need to have striking, you need to practice stand up sparring, and you can't only know how to pull guard into a leg lock. At Core, we train in our Core Combative's program, which is Krav Maga and Jiu-Jitsu based and take in elements of Boxing and Wrestling. We use the simple and effective techniques to give people the correct mindset and tools for a fight. if you want to get better at fighting, you have to learn to fight through fighting systems that allow you to actually apply your theories. 

I'm not saying that Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art. What I am saying though, is that I would rather be a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner that understands the basic principles of fighting, than a Kali practitioner that doesn't understand those principles at all. 

 

Article by Maxwell Haddad



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