Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Is it BS?

Many years ago, I trained Wing Chun. I won’t bash the art, since I’m still a fan even though I don’t think it’d be effective in a fight against someone who took a handful of muay Thai classes, let alone jiu-jitsu. (Does that count as bashing it? I got a lot out of it, such as learning to meditate and being present, but I don’t have much confidence in it as a self-defense system.)1

Anyway, I was thinking about it because of Instagram BJJ.

At the school I attended2, there were drills where you’d parry an attack and then go into a combination of counter punches and kicks. But the partner would just stand there like he was frozen. Like a statue, he’d absorb a number of strikes without trying to defend.

Lately, I’ve been seeing more clips of cool or neat jiu-jitsu techniques on IG. For example, there was a guy who escaped a Kimura, then in three or four movements, ended up locking a Brabo choke. The uke just let it happen.

Watch the uke. If he makes one move and then freezes, chances are the technique is bullshit.

No one would get countered and then allow a series of moves to be made while staying still. So many of these techniques would be stopped if the uke simply got out of the way.

Enjoy the clips, but keep an eye on the partner. Pretend you are the uke, not the teacher. Then ask yourself if you’d react the same way.

  1. To be fair, a couple principles I learned about close range combat are a part of my BJJ practice and teaching. ↩︎

  2. It was fairly prestigious, as much as a WC school can be. ↩︎

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