Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Everything Works

Everything works, but nothing works every time.

Don’t listen to people say “such and such” doesn’t work. It’s a lazy way of trying to disqualify techniques that don’t need to be disqualified.

We’re currently in the “sport” guard section at our school. We’ve been training butterfly, spider, x, and de la riva. Though considered sport, there are certainly times all of them can be used in a self-defense scenario. Obviously, closed guard is best for punch protection, but even that can be wrong at times.

The guard is remarkable because we’re on the bottom of the fight, but still able maintain some control and even go on offense. It’s easy to develop overconfidence in playing guard, including in self-defense training. The problem is we train on padded mats. And it’s fun, and you can conserve energy (be lazy).

Learn everything. You don’t need to master it all (that’s impossible and impractical), but it’s worth investing a little time in understanding every position, even those you don’t think will fit your game, including things like rubber and worm guard. At the very least, you’ll become better at countering them. More likely though, is you’ll be exposed to it again a year or two or three later, and somehow discover that those positions will work for you at times.

“That’ll never work. All you need to do is _____.” Unless the technique is truly riduculous,1 ignore such statements. And avoid making them too.

  1. Pressure points, chi blocking, etc. ↩︎

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