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WHY SHOULD I TRAIN BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU
As a seasoned Law Enforcement Officer (18 years), I have had the unfortunate experience to see the ugly side of life all too often. As a Patrol Officer, I have responded to numerous assaults in my long career. Many of the assaults I have responded to have started out as arguments between parties that quickly turned physical, often resulting in significant injury and sometimes even death to one of the individuals involved.
As a Law Enforcement Officer I have been asked by many acquaintances my opinion on what I believe is the best form of "self defense" to protect one self and their families.
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As we all know, there are hundreds of martial arts with various techniques and belt levels. This alone makes it very difficult for the untrained individual to understand exactly which martial art is the most legitimate art for "real world" self defense.
Before the Ultimate Fighting Championship started in 1993, there were a plethora of opinions regarding which martial art was the most effective for self defense. For example, the great Bruce Lee popularized Jeet Kune Do and had many people convinced the striking based art was the most effective art for "real world" self defense. There were other striking experts like Chuck Norris who popularized Taekwondo and had many convinced that the kicking based art was the most effective martial art for "real world" self defense. Because of the Hollywood styles of both of these arts, there were many that believed these striking based arts were the most effective way to win a street fight and protect one self and ones family from an assault.
Enter the year 1993 and the introduction of the Ultimate Fighting Challenge. The first UFC event was held in Denver, Colorado on November 12, 1993, which would change the opinions of thousands regarding what martial art was the most effective form of self defense. The Ultimate Fighting Championship founder, Rorion Gracie, used an eight-man tournament format, featuring numerous martial artists with no weight classes, time-outs, or judges, with only two rules, no biting or eye gouging. The matches ended only by submission, knockout, or the fighter's corner throwing in the towel.
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The first UFC tournament featured fighters from various martial arts including Savate, Sumo Wrestling, Kickboxing, Kenpo Karate, Boxing, Shootfighting, Taekwondo, and an unassuming Brazilian JiuJitsu practitioner named Royce Gracie. There was much anticipation for this "no holds barred" event because the martial arts community would finally get the answers many have debated for decades regarding the most effective martial art for self defense.
During Gracie's UFC 1 fights, the 6-1, 176 pound Brazilian used his smothering style to submit everyone of his opponents on his way to the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. Before this event in 1993, Brazilian JiuJitsu was an unfamiliar martial art in the United States. Gracie's ability to close the distance against many dangerous strikers had many viewers, including myself, perplexed as to how this undersized Brazilian was able to close the distance against these lethal strikers and eventually submit or choke each one of his opponents out. Gracie also went on to win UFC 2 by employing the same game plan of closing the distance, clinching with his opponents, then eventually submitting each one in various fashion. Gracie's seemingly effortless style intrigued many who watched these events to inquire of this newly introduced to the Unites States martial art called Brazilian JiuJitsu.
This event in 1993 seemed to finally answer the age old question, "what is the most effective art for self defense?....the answer, " BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU!!
It is logical to believe that If the 176 pound Gracie could beat the most lethal strikers in the world using the fundamentals of Brazilian JiuJitsu, these same JiuJitsu fundamentals could surely work in a "real world" self defense situation against the "average Joe" in the street.
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I am here to tell you that from my 18 years of investigating assaults, most "street fights" start with a push, or a "wild punch" from one of the subjects involved. I believe the art of Brazilian JiuJitsu is the most effective form of "real world" self defense because Brazilian JiuJitsu teaches the art of managing the distance from the feet, closing the distance, then clinching and taking the fight to the ground where the Brazilian JiuJitsu practitioner can control the assailant while limiting any strikes or punches from the attacker. Once on the ground, the Brazilian JiuJitsu fighter will work for a dominant position to put himself at an advantage to punch, submit, choke, or verbally negotiate with his attacker.
If you watch Royce Gracie's dominant 1993 UFC debut, you will see him using the very basic fundamentals of Brazilian JiuJitsu to control his opponent, neutralize their striking, and eventually submit all of the highly skilled fighters he faced. This alone is a testament that one does not need to train several years in the gentle art (Brazilian JiuJitsu) to learn the skills to keep them and their loved ones safe in a self defense situation.
Don't forget to check out Bernardo Faria's easy to follow Foundations Of Brazilian JiuJitsu, This series will give you the tools to protect yourself and your loved ones in any self defense situation. You can get it here.