What To Look for In a Jiu Jitsu School
There are dozens of reasons for wanting to take up jiu-jitsu. Some people may want to treat it like a sport and compete in tournaments. Others may be mixed-martial arts fighters looking to become better at grappling and learning how to execute or escape submission holds. Still others may want to learn how to practice self-defense in a street fight scenario.
Gym vs Academy
Once you’ve decided to train jiu-jitsu, the next step is deciding where you’ll actually train. If you are brand new to jiu-jitsu, you may not understand how the words like “gym” or “academy” are used in the context of jiu-jitsu. You may even think they are interchangeable.
Fundamentals & Efficiency in Jiu Jitsu
When you begin on your jiu-jitsu journey, you will likely hear the word “fundamentals” a lot. Many instructors swear that the core of the martial art really comes down to the perfection of just a few key fundamentals and enough expertise to know when and how to make minor variations to these fundamentals. True, championship jiu-jitsu fighters may rely on a larger set of moves and techniques, but the vast majority of situations, from rolling with other jiu-jitsu fighters to defending oneself in a street fight, will draw solely from jiu-jitsu fundamentals.
Diet and JJ
People start their jiu-jitsu journey for a wide range of reasons. In most cases, it’s to develop the skills needed to defend themselves in a street fight or to learn how to better grapple and to train for mixed martial arts competitions. However, jiu-jitsu can also get you into great shape and help keep you disciplined as you work to make positive life changes.
The Loser’s Game
In 1975, Charles D. Ellis, an investment consultant, writer, and founder of Greenwich Associates, published an influential article entitled, “The Loser’s Game.” As he explains in the below interview with Stephen Foerster, Ellis owes the insights explored in the article to Simon Ramo, who wrote in his book, Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Tennis Player, that there are essentially two games of tennis. One of them is played professionals, which he calls the Winner’s Game. The second is played by amateurs, which he calls the Loser’s Game. Even though the mechanics look the same, the players use the same equipment, and the same rules are enforced, the games are completely different.
BJJ and Fitness
Many people are nervous about starting jiu-jitsu because they think they are too out of shape. They tell themselves that they just need a few weeks to do some weight training, get their endurance up, and drop a few pounds. Unfortunately, this is just one more hurdle to clear before coming to class, and it is one that people can put off indefinitely. It’s also a completely unnecessary.
Old School vs New School
Jiu-jitsu has steadily been growing in popularity within the United States for decades. Throughout this time, it has undergone a significant change. Thirty years ago, it was a martial art with a small but extremely committed group of practitioners, many of whom were professional fighters. Today, it is one of the most commonly practiced martial arts in the world with classes available to people of all ages and skill levels.
Jiu Jitsu helps to check one’s Ego
In a recent interview with Lex Fridman, Sam Harris talked about one of the benefits of jiu-jitsu that often gets overlooked. In addition to learning self-defense, taking up a martial art like jiu-jitsu has the potential to change the way that you think. In particular, it can help you learn to check your ego.
First Principles to Learning Jiu Jitsu
If you look the best fighters in the world, you’ll notice that they may all have different variations of technique and certain combinations they prefer, but they all are following principles that are part of the same system of jiu-jitsu. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to introduce this system to new students. The first focuses on teaching individual moves or techniques.
The Slap Heard Round the World
It’s been called the slap heard round the world for good reason. There are very few stages larger than the one Chris Rock occupied while hosting of the 2022 Oscars, and there was no ambiguity when it came to what happened after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. Her husband, Will Smith, strode onto the stage, wound up, and slapped Rock across the face.
Ageless Jiu Jitsu
One of the great things about jiu-jitsu is that you can start doing it at nearly any age and at nearly any intensity level. This is not to say it’s always easy. It is a workout, it is exhausting, and there will be different kinds of torque put on your body that you will not be used to. Even if you are in great shape, you are going to put a strain on your body, and you will probably find yourself feeling depleted and sore after jiu-jitsu class. After all, you are going to be fighting with another.
How to get good at Jiu Jitsu. Tips from Ryan Hall
During your first few weeks or months of jiu-jitsu, your mind will likely be occupied by one thought: How do I get better? Most people will tell you that the answer is to practice and put in your dues. As Ryan Hall told Lex Fridman in a recent interview, “I drilled a ton.”
Even though most people think of jiu-jitsu as being a fighting technique that focuses on submission chokes and holds, it is a form of self-defense. At its core, the primary objective in jiu-jitsu is survival. Before you even worry about forcing your opponent into submission or controlling the pace of the fight, you need to be able to defend against your opponent’s attacks. The Gracie philosophy is all about weathering the figurative storm, energy conservation, and striking only when the time is right. This means escaping submissions.
Does Jiu Jitsu Really Work in a Street Fight?
Jiu-jitsu is without question a tried-and-true fighting style. Ever since its inception in Brazil, jiu-jitsu practitioners have challenged all comers to show that proper technique is more important than strength or size in any kind of fight. This continues to this day, and countless fighters from around the world have relied on jiu-jitsu to become champions when fighting in mixed-martial arts tournaments.
But what about people who aren’t professional fighters? Can jiu-jitsu be used effectively in a street fight by an average person?
Women Self-Defense Classes in New York City
Having taught martial arts in New York City for the past 2 decades we often receive inquiries from ladies that want to learn how to defend themselves should they encounter physical threats that are commonplace in an urban setting like Manhattan. Often, they inquire about our Kickboxing program and how learning the kick and punch combinations can teach them to fight. While our Kickboxing program is a great workout and lots of fun AND is the same training format we used successfully in Kickboxing matches in the ring, what most newcomers aren’t aware of is – IT’S NOT A PROGRAM FOR SELF-DEFENSE.