Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 4 Key Tenets of Can-Ryu Jiu-jitsu

In re-evaluating the ground defense portion of the Can-ryu curriculum, it is important to think long and hard about the key tenets of our style to ensure that the core curriculum I propose fits with those tenets. I will review them here.

1. Simplicity. Our core curriculum is meant to be easy to learn. A student should be able to be able to learn a defensive technique in a way that is usable in less than 3 minutes. If it doesn't work for the student for whatever reason, the student should be shown something different. But ideally, our core curriculum should comprise of techniques that will work for the greatest variety of body types and attack situations.

2. Commonality of Technique. We strive to use similar types of techniques in similar defensive situations. The purpose of this is to prevent brain stalls which can occur in the pressure of an attack as a person tries to "think" of what to do. If the defense that is taught is the same within all the different minor variations of the same attack, it reduces the chances of this.

3. Usage of Gross Motor Skills. In the interest of making our core curriculum easier to learn and apply, we emphasize the use of gross motor skills over fine motor skills. Gross motor skills include manoeuvres like knee strikes, shin kicks, open hand strikes, and simpler takedowns like centre heel lock or the jugular notch takedown.

4. Awareness of Multiple Attackers. In all the defensive techniques we use in our core curriculum, we emphasize a constant awareness for the potential for multiple attackers. This means that we teach students to look around and be aware as though someone may attack, even while you are defending against one person. This is true whether you're taking someone to the ground, striking, or doing after throw techniques. We also don't emphasize techniques that leave us prone on the ground. This means there are no sacrifice throws and we teach students to get up off the ground after every ground hold technique that is successfully escaped.

Our primary purpose for teaching Can-ryu is to teach usable self-defense. These 4 tenets are the focal point of all our "core" curriculum that is to be uniform across all Can-ryu dojos to keep us in line with that purpose.

That being said, we still have the liberty to teach outside the core curriculum at the discretion of the instructor. Manoeuvres like hip throws, joint locks and other moves that take longer to learn and apply have a place in each dojo's "variation" curriculum. Students are to understand that their first line of defense is Can-ryu's core curriculum. The variation curriculum, on the other hand, which receives increased emphasis from green belt onward, provides an avenue for skill enhancement over the long term. It also keeps things interesting.

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