My dojo would be shocked if they saw this

When it comes to jiu-jitsu, my dojo is a pure Brazilian jiu-jitsu school.  I’ve even attended a seminar given by one of the Gracies.  Brazilian jiujitsu is a thing of beauty, since it’s all about the physics of movement.

The people who run my dojo — and truly, you could not find nicer people anywhere — are good liberals and would be shocked to discover that at least one of the Gracies gave access to a conservative, in this case Steve Crowder.  Frankly, I don’t know the Gracies’ politics, but it’s pretty clear that they’re good businessmen, because this is a great sales pitch for a really great product:

And just so you can be impressed, all of the moves that Rener does on Steve — I can do too (except for the rolling one, ’cause my neck doesn’t like rolling).  I don’t do ‘em well, but I do ‘em.

Hat tip:  Hot Air

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    For the rolling one, try this variation that tucks your head in instead Book.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wV49Q9mpUI&feature=related

    This will end up with you on a diagonal, rather than the opposite 180 degree facing shown in the gracie vid.

    The Gracies had two things going for them. One, it is a family business originating from Brazil thus had tradition and continuity. Two, when they first challenged other martial artists on the world stage through such venues as UFC, the great majority of practitioners in the MA world had started to forget atemi, sparring training, and traditional H2H goals in favor of olympic sports, a great workout, and aesthetically pleasing but useless for war dances.

    What Gracie JJ, aka BJJ, does not cover is

    1. weapons

    2. multiple attackers

    Both are inadequately covered under existing curriculum.  That wasn’t important in matches because both MMA and its predecessors were designed for a 1 vs 1, hand to hand fight.

    As I mentioned before, kara-te came from the Ryukyu islands, which in itself came from knowledge transfered from mainland China’s kung fu styles. Only then did it become Japan’s primary H2H martial art export, karate, and only then was it transfered to America in its diluted form. Normal transference is bad enough, as things tend to change after each generation simply because humans like to tweak things and not even tradition can keep things 100% static and free of alteration. But the Okinawans that taught the Japanese Karate did so with the express intent to not teach them the fundamental secrets. Thus the Japanese transfered a style of martial art to the US that was fundamentally flawed to begin with. Bruce Lee undertook training in China in Wing Chun but moved to California and had to discontinue training simply because no Chinese kung fu martial arts were being taught in America at the time. It was either not economical, not popular enough, or it was hidden. There were and still aren’t many kung fu teachers in the US. Certainly when compared to BJJ, Karate, or TKD.

    To be specific, kung fu consists of many internal styles that draws much of its power from rooting, from the proper placement of bone structure and muscles on earth. Karate in Japan is a form of hard, external training focused on power and human speed. As such it left out the internal aspects. While geniuses were sometimes able to transcend such limitations by experimentation and personal growth through the mastery of karate, the majority of practitioners were too focused on external applications to learn the internal aspects.

    What this ended up as is pretty simple. Much of the martial arts practitioners that went up against the Gracies lacked two things. One, proper training in grappling and stance coordination. Two, they had forgotten the purposes of martial art in fighting people in wars and had adopted a sort of mystical ascetism or philosophical debate society instead.

    Brazil, like most Latin countries, suffer from a cultural need to increase their face or reputation. Sometimes at the expense of the truth. Thus they are far less flexible when it comes to recognizing certain things. Although with so many generations of the Gracies living and working in the US, that may have changed somewhat. Regardless, the famous Judoka, Kimura, defeated Helios Gracie in a match testing the highest skills of Judo against the Brazillian lineage of Judo, BJJ. They called it BJJ rather than Brazillian Judo because Kano Jigoro, the teacher of Maeda who spread Judo to Brazile, practiced ju-jutsu and applied a particular form of training called randori to it in order to make up for the substantial loss of actual combat experience in the nation of Japan at the time. This resulted in a split wherein judo was officially recognized as a completely different style by around Macarthur’s post-occupation which outlawed the practice of most martial arts. You may notice the name Kimura is also present in a BJJ named technique, for the reverse lock of the elbow and shoulder. That was the signature move used to defeat Helios. Since the match was very important, Helios refused to tap out and thus had several broken bones as a result. It is unknown whether Carlos was a better fighter than Helios, since Helios had health problems in his early youth and thus lost some time training due to that. Kimura, however, is well recognized as a genius, second to the God of Judo and Kano Jigoru, in terms of skill and mastery of judo, both the standing throwing and the ground work component. Kimura was also getting old at the time, with some knee problems.

    From one BJJ student I heard from, Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu is priced at around 113 dollars a month in Houston. Certainly it is economically popular and much in demand. As with all mass market trends, however, quality suffers as a result. That has always been the case with economics and mass production methods.

    When it came to winning the UFCs, the Gracies had another advantage in the form of Maeda’s personal experiences and guidebook on how such actual fights went. Thus many other fighters up against the Gracies were not just facing a superior grappling focus, but also a superior overall strategy.

    Last but not least, personal skill in anything is no guarantee of the same skill in teaching it. While it is better to learn from those with the skill, for even a badly taught method is still taught from a solid foundation, it is still inferior to poor teaching ability. Japan’s history is heavily reliant on actual ability, however, rather than theoretical knowledge. The entirety of their samurai epics were based upon masters having to defeat all challengers in order to retain their status and respect in the community. There was no such thing as “skill” without it being tested in Japanese history. No Ivory Tower intellectuals or academics with tenure, unable to be ousted from their position due to their seniority. As a result, the Japanese warrior ethics started spreading beyond the nature as Kano and others sought to expand the recognition of their arts. In America, I find that was never the case. The AMerican warrior culture or the war party, never was interested in spreading American values of fighting to other nations. The Jacksonians are in fact rather isolationist. In the modern world, most of us no longer have the opportunity to directly learn from experience in war and H2H combat. Thus those with the ability to teach such things in an age of peace and plenty, have risen in value over those with pure skill. For it is no longer pure skill that can guarantee status and mastery in the eye of the public in this age of peace and global trade. This means more teachers are lacking in application masteries.

    The supreme combination, those with divine skill at fighting and those with divine skill at teaching such fighting to the next generation, like Miyamoto Musashi, have become even rarer.

    For more background, read the wikipedia artcles on Mitsuyo_Maeda and Kano Jigoru.