JUDO OR JIU JITSU FOR SELF DEFENSE
The concept of self defense is to use a combative art form to defend someone's life. There have been many different forms of Martial Arts throughout history that have been used for self defense purposes, and most of these art forms do incorporate elements of throwing techniques, and submission maneuvers. Using Judo in a street altercation has elements of danger, but if the art is administered correctly then Judo can be highly dynamic, and an effective way to take down an opponent.
What this article covers:
- The History of Judo
- The History of Jiu Jitsu
- Applying Jiu Jitsu to Self Defense
- Applying Judo to Self Defense
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has more applications to use in a street altercation, like positional control, transitional components, and highly advanced submission maneuvers. A lot of the takedowns in Jiu Jitsu are heavily influenced by Wrestling, and this is the best way to get the fight to the ground, while staying in a dominant control position.
Some art forms utilise striking like krav maga, ninjitsu, and sanuces ryu jiu jitsu techniques. Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu do not incorporate striking in their sporting formats, but both self defense art forms did have striking components from their beginnings. In fact Kodokan Judo had many striking principles, before it was watered down to fit into the modernised sporting version. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a branch of Kodokan Judo, and also incorporated striking in the early days of Vale Tudo competition in Brazil. The kicks, and punches were seen from the stand up game, as well as the ground and pound from when the fight was taken to the mat, and this Martial Art formed the early basis of Mixed Martial Arts competition.
THE HISTORY OF JUDO
Kodokan Judo was created by Kano Jigoro, who was a Japanese educator, and prominent businessman. During his youth he began training in Japanese Jiu Jitsu, because of his need to strengthen his weaker body. Kano studied many different forms of Martial Arts including Tenjin Shinyo Ryu, and Kito Ryu, as he mastered many forms of Japanese Jiu Jitsu and eastern striking arts. Kano began the cohesion of many of his Martial Arts forms, taking the best points out of each form of combat. Kano would use his own philosophy, and his own creative ideas to generate his principle teachings that culminated with efficiency of the physical, and the mental energy within. This was the beginning of what Kano described as a better Martial Art that suited a broader range of the people.
Kano began to profess his ideologies, and considered his concepts in maximum efficiency extremely useful in Martial Arts, and even more so in life principles. Kano would teach his students more than how to fight, as he professed about mutual prosperity towards everyone, this was a concept he felt would help with social development within his country. Kano principles included how to become a better person, and to reflect this teaching he changed the word "jutsu" in ju-jutsu to "do" which meant path, creating Ju-do as his primary Martial Art. Kodokan stood for a place to teach the path, and so Kodokan Judo was born. Many of Kano's teachings. incorporated striking techniques, but as the art headed towards a future in Olympic sports, the striking element was left out, leaving mostly throwing aspects, with some submission techniques.
In 1940 Judo was named as a demonstration sport to be added to the Tokyo Olympic Games. This never eventuated as the international conflict of China's invasion of Japan forced the cancellation of the event. The event was to be rescheduled in Helsinki in Finland but due to World War 2 it was canceled indefinitely. In 1964 Judo finally became an official Olympic sport after Tokyo hosted the event, and the international sport of Judo began to gain significant recognition. Outside of Judo competition the art incorporates self defense principles, physical conditioning, and sharpening of the mind, and the spirit. Kano's ideologies made a significant impact on the art of Judo, and in the modern era, Judo has a large following, including having a huge influence on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.
THE HISTORY OF JIU JITSU
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a Martial Art that derived specifically from Kodokan Judo. Kano's teaching was passed down to Mitsuyo Maeda, who in turn taught all of his knowledge to Carlos Gracie. Carlos spent six years mastering the art of Judo, and then decided to teach his brothers Gastao Jr, George, Oswaldo, and Helio. As the brothers began perfecting the throwing techniques, Helio struggled to throw his older brothers due to his smaller size. Helio would start to develop his own combative system of grappling, which incorporated leverage based joint locks, choke holds, sweeping mechanisms, and modified takedown techniques. Helio would create an art form that would allow a smaller, and weaker athlete to defeat a larger, and stronger opponent. This was the beginning of what would eventually become bjj self defense, and the systematic movements would only develop even further as time went on.
The art was then taught to Helio, and Carlos' sons, as the legacy of Gracie Jiu Jitsu was forged. Rickson, Renzo, and Rolls Gracie would fight against many Pro Wrestlers and Luta Livre fighters throughout the streets of Brazil, as dojo storms, competition invasions, and car park brawls began escalating the violence. After some significant events, and violence that grew out of hand the Brazilian government banned all national Vale Tudo fighting. This just opened the door for Gracie Jiu Jitsu competition to become the number one Martial Art in Brazil. As the Gracie family began branching out into the United States of America, the culmination of Mixed Martial Arts was born in the 1990’s.
Royce Gracie was the youngest of the Gracie brothers, and the most inexperienced. His older brother Rorion decided to use him in the inaugural UFC event, instead of his more formidable brother Rixon. This was purely a business decision from Rorion's point of view, as he knew Royce was more controllable, and he was scared of Rixon's popularity due to his unbeaten run against Pro Wrestlers in Japan. Royce Gracie would dominate the Ultimate Fighting Championship event, showcasing Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and from that moment on the popularity of the grappling art increased exponentially. This led to an influx of students studying the art, including many already seasoned Martial Artists, as they began to bolster their arsenal with high quality submission techniques.
APPLYING JIU JITSU TO SELF DEFENSE
The modern form of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become more of a sport than a self defense system. The art was originally intended as a self defense combat, and back in the early days the Gracie family showcased how extensive the hand to hand combat was. Nowadays there is a split in the community, as many practitioners are obsessed with how the sporting aspect has taken over mainstream grappling combat. The question will always be asked is jiu jitsu offensive or defensive, and its true nature is meant to be defensive, so a practitioner can stop an altercation, rather than escalate it with offense. In recent times the self defense aspect is coming back in a big way, as practitioners want to be able to use the combat in a real life scenario. This is evident with how the Gracie Academy teaches self defense principles to children, women, and law enforcement agencies.
To apply Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a self defense aspect, there needs to be modifications made to many of the technical components. For example, law enforcement agents cannot expose their weapon, which means securing the mount is a no go, as this will leave their gun exposed to a perpetrator. Instead they will use modified side control systems, so they can protect their weapon while still being able to subdue an attacker. The same modifications need to be made with guard principles, because anyone who attempts to pull guard in a street fight will find out how bad of an idea that really is. Anyone who attempts to pull guard is putting themselves on the bottom of a dangerous situation. There are many things that can go wrong, from basically hitting the back of their head on a rock, to losing control of their attacker, and now they are underneath in a position where their attacker can gain the upper hand. Using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a self defense aspect, means they must stay on top at all times, and this is how they can dictate how the altercation will go.
Using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu principles will allow a practitioner to effectively control their attacker. Commonly most attackers are untrained, meaning they might not understand valuable principles like staying postured, or keeping their base. A practitioner should always remember to manage the distance between them and an attacker, because they never know if their attacker has a weapon. Having a good self defense plan means that a practitioner will always try to stay on their feet, and even though a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete might have unreal skills in ground fighting, the last thing they should be doing is going to ground. This is extremely important so they can be aware of their surroundings, protect themselves from sneaky attacks, and be able to flee the scene if they have the chance.
APPLYING JUDO TO SELF DEFENSE
Judo is an extremely effective form of Martial Arts, and a practitioner that has the ability to throw their opponents can be highly beneficial from a street sense. There is a small danger with using Judo on the streets, and that is because Judo requires a practitioner to come into close proximity with an opponent, in order to achieve their throws. Predominantly most Judo throws will also require a practitioner to turn their back slightly to their opponent, as they execute throws. Even though a highly decorated Judoka might easily pull off these maneuvers, it does leave a slight opening for the attacker to administer choke holds, or use some kind of weapon. All this means is that a Judo practitioner must pick their moments, and choose carefully when they attempt to initiate their throw. They should also set up their throws extremely quickly, which can give no time for an attacker to use a counter measure.
Judo can be an extremely effective weapon, especially if a practitioner uses it the right way. Of course waiting for an attacker to grab hold may not always be the wisest move, but in some cases this could be how a Judo practitioner can execute their throws. Sometimes an altercation can be dictated by how passive, or aggressive either party is. If a victim plays an extremely passive role then the attacker might not feel threatened enough to exercise caution, and this can force them to come in recklessly to grab hold of their victim. This is the perfect catalyst for a practitioner to utilise their proficient Judo skill, as they will catch their attacker off guard, and use throws like the seoi nagi, the uchi mada, and the osoto gari. Judo can be a really effective tool in a self defense capacity, especially considering most throws will put an attacker on the ground, while leaving the Judoka on their feet for an easy getaway.
WHY IS SELF DEFENSE IMPORTANT
The importance of self defense in the modern day is extremely substantial. The escalation in violent attacks worldwide has become somewhat of an epidemic. The evident rise in violence against women, gang attacks, robberies, carjackings, murders, and even violence against law enforcement agents, has brought about the need for a more comprehensive system of self defense. Too often a predator will commit violent attacks on the vulnerable, and this is something that needs to be stamped out. People from all walks of life need to ensure that they can defend themselves if they come across a violent attacker. There are many different kinds of self defense systems, and people need to make a significant effort to decrease their chances of suffering from violence. At the very least a person needs physical conditioning, and this is so they have a chance of running away, or climbing high to safety.
Even children have become vulnerable to violent attacks, bullying, and different forms of abuse. This just showcases the importance of learning self defense, even at a really young age. Sometimes all a person really needs to avoid a dangerous attack is confidence, and one thing that a good self defense system can give someone is confidence. Assailants are notorious for attacking people that don't put up much of a fight, this makes it easier to rob them, or abuse them. Having the ability to stand up for themselves means that bullies, or attackers may find the confrontation too challenging. This can be the difference between a person saving their life, or the life of someone else, or losing it. Learning self defense is extremely important, because a person will never know what is around the corner, and it is always better to be prepared.
WHICH ART IS BETTER SUITED TO SELF DEFENSE
Both Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are extremely effective forms of Martial Arts. Each of these combat styles have their own strengths, and weaknesses. Judo is excellent for disposing of an attacker in quick fashion, and can also cause high impact due to the severity of certain throws. If a Judoka throws their attacker onto the concrete, there is a fair chance the fight is over. The downside for a Judoka is if their attacker manages to use good takedown defense, or manages to use their weapon during the throw, it can end really badly for the Judoka. Judo can be an effective form of combat, but the downsides raise too many questions.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the other hand has a whole lot of upside. A BJJ practitioner will generally look to subdue both wrists of their attacker, or arm drag them into a back control position. This can be highly advantageous for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, especially considering how efficient they can be at executing submission holds like chokes. What makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu more efficient than Judo is that Jiu Jitsu incorporates similar throwing techniques, but they also use elements of Wrestling, and modified Jiu Jitsu takedowns. The biggest advantage Jiu Jitsu has over Judo is that if a Jiu Jitsu practitioner winds up on the bottom against an attacker, they have the skills to either sweep them, or attack them with submissions. Both art forms are highly capable of defending someone's life, but all in all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seems to be more adaptive to what a street altercation could look like.
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