Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Learning From Other Martial Arts

Over the weekend, I went to Salmon Arm to teach at a Can-Ryu Jiu-jitsu seminar series. The topic I taught was "Defending Against a Skilled Grappler on the Street." The seminar was well-received and I had a great time learning from the other Senseis who taught.

The reason why I chose this topic was so I could apply what I've learned from my MMA and BJJ training over the past couple of years to my own art, Can-Ryu Jiu-jitsu. I demonstrated how strong grapplers are able to more effectively hold a person on the ground using optimal positioning and body weight transfer. I then showed how to defend against it, using various kinds of body shifting in combination with attacks to vulnerable areas common in my style of Jiu-jitsu.

Ultimately, I believe that in order for a martial art to stay strong, instructors should continually strive to learn more, within their own art and by cross-training in other arts. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to apply what I learned through my cross-training and share it with others within my style.


The Arts Of Fight said...

It a same as Muay Thai

Steven Mather, Author said...

Hi, I did some surfing and came across your BLOG entry. I'm an author (and my blogger site is http://steven-mather.blogspot.com/) and I'm writing a chapter about a woman who chose jiu-jitso because it doesn't depened on physical prowess as much as skill and technique. For instnce, here is a paragraph from a chapter I'm working on. My question is am I correct about this form of MA in my description.

She chose this dojo for a purpose. Master Mamet was undoubtedly one of the best teachers of Brazilian Jiu Jitso on the eastern seaboard and that form of martial arts met her needs the best. Before, in her original body as William Stark, a form of fighting that required physical strength and size was an advantage, but now, in this body she needed to learn how to fight a completely different way. She could no longer rely on physical prowess to subdue someone; she needed to be able to handle herself using pure skill and technique.
Skill and technique lay at the heart of the jiu jitso fighting style, dependant more on getting your opponent to submit from pain or the threat of crippling injuries. Even a 115 lb. woman could reduce a 250 lb. man to tears with a properly applied arm bar or cause them to lose consciousness from a variety of chokeholds. The style also taught a person how to turn a fight to their advantage when being overpowered by someone bigger and stronger.

Or is there a style that fits this description better?

Thanks in advance.

Lori O'Connell said...

Hello Steven,

Because Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a grappling-based martial art, greater size and strength very much put a person at an advantage. You can read more about this inthis previous blog post.

While technique can help a person overcome some differences in size/strength, ultimately, someone who is significantly bigger and stronger can tire out a much smaller person out more easily when they have them on the ground.

If a woman wants to defend herself against much bigger men (whether it's from a standing position or on the ground), she has much better chances learning a martial art that teaches how to strike to vulnerable areas, whether it's a more traditional, self-defense oriented form of Jiu-jitsu, Hapkido, or another similar art. Here's another blog post that might be useful to you.

Having trained in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu myself in addition to Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu, I can tell you from experience that very few women train in it. In fact, over the course of 2.5 years of training at a BJJ school, I only ever saw one other woman train there. That's because most women who take up a martial art as a form of self-defense and BJJ schools are, as a general rule, more focused on applications for their unique form of sport grappling.

A woman needs to train in a variety of skills including striking, developing her speed and accuracy at targeting vulnerable points, in addition to body shifting and positional strategy, both standing and on the ground, in order to defend herself against much larger assailants.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Lori O'Connell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori O'Connell said...

Btw, when I say a more traditional style of Jiu-jitsu, I mean one that has Japanese roots. It can be a modern traditional one (i.e. one that has been adapted to the needs of modern society and its laws). The style I study, Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu, is one such style that has been modified to be appropriate under Canadian self-defense laws. But ultimately, you wouldn't have to specify one particular style of Jiu-jitsu, so long as you differentiate it from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Another art that could work within the context you described is Krav Maga. It is an Israeli martial art that was developed for their military (which includes both men and women) and therefore it includes more focus on lethal force. So really, it depends on what type of scenarios you want to put your character into.