18 Oct 2004

Groundfighting - the best delivery method.

The new head of Jujitsu HQ has updated the association website and added a mission statement. The statement is available for all to read but I am particularly excited about this bit:

"there is a need to improve the overall level of Groundfighting skills, in particular with the youngsters, and this means getting our coaches up to speed so that we can pass along these essential skills. You can expect Groundfighting to be more prominent in the syllabus in the future."

This is something I have definitely been harping on about to anyone who will listen (usually just myself). Whilst the syllabus is extremely diverse and comprehensive, it is seriously lacking key ground skills. It is also the main reason I chose to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I am sure the growth of that sport has not escaped the notice of our new head.

Playing devil's advocate here, you might be tempted to say: But BJJ is a sport and we are self defence, so why should we learn ground skills just to keep up with the latest trend? Well, my answer is that BJJ offers so much more than simply a new way to compete in sport.

For a start, if anyone has gone four rounds with a BJJ specialist, you will realise that these skills are very useful indeed. Being tied up and having the life squeezed out of you from a choke of strangle is very scary - try anything unsporting and they laugh in the face of punches, kicks and pressure points. More than simply learning new techniques however, it is also a whole way of dealing with fights in terms of strategy and tactics. One person who frequents the MA forums, describes BJJ as the best 'delivery method' for fighting on the ground. I like that term, delivery method, it seems to encapsulate what the art achieves very succinctly.
Clearly, we are not trying to compete with BJJ, our art exists on it's own merits, has done for a very long time and will continue to do so. But I support the need to add new elements and slightly tweek the style to suit more modern times.

It is interesting to see how life goes around in circles. In 1915, a Japanese Jiu-Jitsu instructor named Esai Maeda taught his brand of jiu-jitsu, which was actually Kano Judo, to a young Carlos Gracie in Brazil. The whole Gracie clan adapted and learned the art, challenged the world, blah, blah etc etc. Today, I personally know of many ju-jitsu students from our style who also train in BJJ - myself included. Out of respect to our instructors, we try to be discrete about it but I find that the two methods really do complement each other well.

I'm a big advocate of sporting based sparring and grappling to enhance the student's martial art abilities. Back at the club, we have always made groundfighting and sparring a part of our regular training but it's important people understand the differences with self defence and sport.

Well, that's the rant, now I get to eat my words as my BJJ instructor has come back from holiday and my groundfighting training resumes in earnest on Monday. Gulp!

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


slideyfoot said...

I can remember Levo talking about "delivery systems" on MAP: also something Matt Thornton has talked about. Is that what you're referring to, or was there another guy, who referred to it as "delivery method"?

Meerkatsu said...

It's really interesting to see my transition from half trad, half BJJ kinda guy to now 100% bona fide BJJ geek :D


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