IS THERE PUNCHING IN JIU JITSU?
Jiu Jitsu is an extremely old form of hand-to-hand combat, as it has ties to ancient forms of Egyptian and Indian wrestling. Japanese Jiu Jitsu has origins that date back to the 14th century, and on into the 16th century in feudal Japan, during the era of the Samurai. Many forms of Jiu Jitsu have evolved out of the old Japanese form of combat. Many civilians over time have asked does jiu-jitsu use weapons, as the oldest styles of Jiu-Jitsu all used various weapons, and utilised different striking techniques like punching, and kicking. As the art evolved over centuries, different forms broke away, specializing in different functions of Jiu Jitsu. Some of these forms of combat took the approach of striking, while others specialized in throwing, and grappling techniques.
What This Article Covers:
- The Origin of Jiu Jitsu
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Combat form
- Why Striking and Grappling Are a Good Mix
- Why All Civilians Need Jiu Jitsu
Forms like Aikido, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all used proficient grappling systems, which incorporated many throwing techniques such as joint locking throws, and submissions maneuvers like chokes, armbars, and leg locks. Aikido specialised more in defense, and different forms of weaponry in their kata systems, whereas Judo and BJJ majored in unarmed combat, and specialising in neutralising, and submitting their opponents. Other forms of Jiu Jitsu like Sambo, Luta Livre, Vale Tudo, and Kenpo Jiu Jitsu, have been heavily influenced by striking Martial Arts, and even though there were no illegal BJJ moves during fights, combatants would execute more wins by striking.
THE ORIGIN OF JIU JITSU
The history of Jiu Jitsu has had an extremely brutal and colourful past, as its oldest origins date back to the Samurai in feudal Japan. Due to many warriors riding horseback, wearing armour, and brandishing weapons, the common practise of fighting involved dangerous weaponry, which made life extremely hard for civilians. Many Samurai warriors became Shoguns and were hired as mercenaries for many different clans throughout Japan. The Samurai would practise silent attacking, which led to them wearing lighter clothing and no armour. This forced a change in how the Samurai viewed combat so they began utilising forms of Jiu Jitsu to disarm, neutralise, and submit to their opponents. As the need came for civilians to defend themselves, they began learning combat from the Samurai. Many of the students would ask, if jiu jitsu is safe to use in a real-life altercation, as they discovered the benefits of practising the art. Many Samurai warriors would go on and teach this art over the next few generations. This form of hand-to-hand combat became extremely popular throughout Japan, and even in China.
As this style evolved over centuries, many different Martial Artists have put their own unique innovations into its development. One of the main figures who brought Jiu Jitsu into the 20th century was Kano Jigoro. As Kano developed the different forms of Jiu Jitsu, he mastered many of the throwing aspects, and submission components involved. Kano's innovation in Martial Arts was due to his strengths as a Japanese educator, and so he pushed his new form of Jiu Jitsu, which would later be called Kodokan Judo, out into the world. Kano's most prized pupil was Mitsuyo Maeda, who he sent all around the world to showcase their art. Mitsuyo was a fluent teacher of Martial Arts and a prize fighter who added his own developments from other styles of Martial Art that he discovered. This path led Mitsuyo to Brazil where he passed on his knowledge to the Gracie family, who developed BJJ. Mitsuyo's influence also inspired other forms of Martial Arts throughout Brazil, including Euclydes Hatem's Luta Livre and Vale Tudo. Jiu Jitsu became the backbone of many different forms of Martial Arts all throughout South America, and then later on in the twenty-first century in the United States of America, and the rest of the world.
JIU JITSU FOR SELF DEFENSE
Jiu Jitsu has a unique application for self-defense principles, as the art uses a heavy focus on grappling prowess. Many fights in a real-life situation often end up going to the ground, as attackers in this day and age are spontaneous and reckless. When a practitioner finds themself in a real-life street conflict, there is usually very little precision, as adrenaline can often take over. This is why there is a necessity for practitioners to learn grappling techniques so that in the midst of a real-life street attack, they can defend themselves and avoid death or injury. Often practitioners training in real-life Jiu Jitsu ask their instructors if is there striking in Jiu Jitsu, and when it comes to real-life self-defense, Jiu Jitsu does teach certain strikes during their scenarios.
Jiu Jitsu teaches a wide range of self-defense techniques that involve throwing, submitting, and striking opponents. Real-life hand-to-hand combat is completely different from practising kata's, or competing at BJJ or Judo tournaments. When a practitioner is involved in an altercation in real life, there is a need for a more reliable, and high percentage series of maneuvers. This is why nobody pulls guard in a real-life situation, due to the nature of unpredictability from an attacker. Learning self-defense, students would still ask questions like are heel hooks legal in BJJ, and even though anything goes on the street it seemed more important in a street altercation to go for the choke. There is a significant importance of staying in a dominant position, so a practitioner can neutralise their opponent, easily access a choke, or even escape the situation. A lot of the maneuvers can be accessed by setting them up with certain strikes, this could be a throat strike or a leg kick. Using strikes can open up an opponent for long enough to execute a range of throwing, neutralising, and submission maneuvers.
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU IN COMBAT FORM
The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu started off as a self-defense concept that Helio Gracie instilled in many of his clan members. As a result of the evolution of Gracie Jiu Jitsu turning into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this spawned a new interpretation of what Jiu Jitsu was all about. As competitive Jiu Jitsu began to rise in America in the 20th century, the art of Jiu Jitsu became more focused on sports as opposed to self-defense. The popularity of BJJ tournaments worldwide forced the sport to suffer a little from its early application. The sports version of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became a little more time, as practitioners began utilising stalling tactics, and winning fights on points, after securing control positions. Although some competitors were heavily focused on submissions, many of these high-level athletes still utilised the points system.
As the level of BJJ competition began to hit a stalemate, many high-level black belts would begin to wonder about the validity of their Martial Art. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was now splitting into different styles of Martial Art, as traditional Gi Jiu Jitsu was one style, and the new competitive level of No Gi began sweeping the nation. As No Gi Jiu Jitsu took off throughout Abu Dhabi, and America, with events like the ADCC, Who's Number One, and Fight 2 Win, BJJ was threatening to take back the number one Martial Art position in the world. Many of these new styles of tournaments would incorporate more dangerous submissions like heel hooks, toeholds, and spinal cranks, competitors would also question are neck cranks legal in BJJ, as the thrill of using dangerous submissions had become more encouraged. After some significant notoriety through the world of No Gi, the prominent businessman and black belt innovator Eddie Bravo began to implement his own insights into the world of Jiu Jitsu. Eddie was worried that the sport had become watered down and the need to get back to the old roots of self-defense in Jiu Jitsu, was a necessity. Eddie created Combat Jiu Jitsu, which is a tournament where BJJ and MMA athletes could compete in grappling events, which incorporated the use of open palm strikes to the head, or body. This new breed of Jiu Jitsu has accomplished significant popularity throughout the United States of America, as many famous athletes like Vagner Rocha, Craig Jones, Donald Cerone, and Ethan Crelinsten are leading the way.
WHY STRIKING AND GRAPPLING ARE A GOOD MIX
When you look at all forms of Martial Arts, there are many different styles that have a wealth of knowledge, and a series of proficient techniques. There are many excellent striking arts like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing, as these striking styles have created a significant inroad into the common Mixed Martial Artist. On the flip side, there are many great grappling arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Sambo, and Wrestling, as many of these forms are also incorporated in many MMA athletes' tool bags. With the rise of Pride FC and the UFC, athletes began mixing striking and grappling, to create this new hybrid style of MMA.
The combination of grappling and striking would complement each other, as many MMA athletes showcased success with both styles. Utilising striking is a great way to open up an opponent, and bait them into a submission. There is also significant relevance to athletes that utilise grappling techniques like control positions, sweeps, and guard passes, as they will then find themselves in a position where they can execute a series of dominating strikes. The culmination of striking and grappling has revolutionised how many Martial Artists view the game today.
HOW JIU JITSU HAS INFLUENCED THE MODERN FIGHT GAME
Jiu Jitsu has had a powerful impact on the world of Martial Arts, not just on a competitive level, but on a modern street self-defense application level. When you look back at competitive boxing or kickboxing, it was all about striking, as the faster and more dominant fighter could win by knockout. The same effect was had with self-defense forms, like Krav Maga which was designed for hand-to-hand combat. Nowadays there is a necessity for competitors, and civilians in a self-defense application, to utilise grappling techniques. As Jiu Jitsu came along, it brought about the other half to the fight game, as striking was only one side of a two-sided fight. Most fights usually end up on the ground, as this can be achieved with a knockdown or a takedown, but either way once a fight has hit the ground, there is a need for grappling skills.
Nowadays Jiu Jitsu has become one of the most popular forms of combat throughout the United States, as many athletes are looking to add this weaponry to their arsenal. The modern fight game has surpassed the old styles of Boxing, and K1 Kickboxing, as Mixed Martial Arts looms as the most popular combat sport in the world. The rise of MMA has brought about significant importance for learning many Jiu-Jitsu techniques that can heavily influence the outcome of a fight. BJJ uses a systematic series of dominant control positions, and when combined with striking, the results have proven to be successful. The influence BJJ has had over the fight game has been substantial and is proving to be the premier style of Martial Arts utilised in the world.
WHY ALL CIVILIANS NEED JIU JITSU
Most people will need to learn self-defense in their lifetime, as the world can be an extremely dangerous place. It's all good learning different forms of striking like Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, or Muay Thai, but once the fight is taken to the ground most people are out of their element. This has brought about the need for people from all walks of life to learn concepts in Jiu Jitsu, this is to help them better prepare themselves for any street altercations. Learning Jiu Jitsu in a self-defense application is imperative to the survival, and the safety of civilians out in the world. Concepts of Jiu Jitsu also help civilians to utilise survival tactics like assessing a situation, making the right decisions whilst under pressure, and accessing the appropriate techniques to disarm or neutralise their opponent.
Training in forms of grappling, especially Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, not only helps practitioners become better at self-defense, but also has outstanding health benefits too. Training in BJJ gives students a better understanding of how their body works, and how to appropriately condition it. All practitioners that train in BJJ, become extremely conditioned with exceptional core strength, extreme flexibility, dexterity, and agility, and it also improves their overall functional fitness. Not only will this help students become better fighters, but they will also become healthier versions of themself, which is a massive benefit to learning this form of Martial Art. Training in this art will also give civilians a sense of belonging inside the community, as a BJJ academy is famously known for its camaraderie and humility. Training in BJJ will be one of the best decisions a civilian could make in terms of improving their quality of life, from fitness to self-defense, and all the way to being a part of a caring community of Martial Arts.
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