First Line of Defense - Jiu Jitsu

Hi Y'all! Santanu Rahman here! 

I love Kung-Fu! I love Kung-Fu so much, it is such a big part of my life. It is my health, exercise, strength, spiritual strength, mental strength, it is my everything. I have such a profoundly strong connection to Kung-Fu...I think about it all the time. I do it all the time. Kung-Fu is a huge part of my identity.

BUT.

My primary mode for real self defense is in Jiu Jitsu. 

WHAT?!?!?!

I know, I know. Look. Jiu Jitsu has been proven time and time and time and time and time and time again as THE MOST EFFECTIVE self defense system out there....um, if done in a self defense manner. 

It is a completely scalable system that always assumes:
-The attacker is bigger and stronger than you.
-The attacker is heavier and more athletic than you.
-The attacker is more aggressive than you and wants to beat your face and body to pulp.

So Jiu Jitsu uses these principles to overcome this type of attacker:
-Leverage mechanics and timing over strength.
-Distance management, ie, if you manage your distance, you can manage the damage.
-Conservation of energy (don't exhaust yourself by doing random movements out of panic)
-Natural body mechanics - no special coordination, athleticism, coordination, strength, or flexibility required (the movements are not intuitive, but they are 100% based on movements the human body can naturally do without any athleticism required)
-Remaining Calm - It is very easy to panic, Jiu Jitsu teaches to be calm, and let them do all the work.
-Transitioning Smoothly - sometimes, we might make a mistake. Jiu Jitsu's process accounts for that, and trains you to transition into another position, if you somehow lost the one you originally had.
-Position Over Submission - In Jiu Jitsu, we're not trying to armlock or choke the opponent right away. We neutralize their attack, and gain a control position, and let them exhaust their energy. When we feel that, then, if that moment is right, we apply the submission. We don't go looking for the submission. We neutralize the attack, and let them exhaust themselves.

These principles hold true for street fights, physical bullying situations, and sexual assault. 

In Kung-Fu, the main strategy is to overwhelm the attacker with strikes. This is not a scalable strategy at all. If the attacker is bigger, stronger, heavier, more athletic, and more aggressive than you, it might not be the wisest idea to stand there and trade blows with the attacker!

Now, let me give you a very important caveat:
Most Jiu Jitsu schools gear more towards sports Jiu Jitsu, where there are weight classes, and no striking at all. While this can develop some great athletic attributes, my primary interest with Jiu Jitsu is to have a scalable self defense strategy. Jiu Jitsu can handle physical attacks ranging from the drunk uncle at the party, to egregious predatorial street attacks. But the trend has really gone towards sports. 

Even the purported self defense Jiu Jitsu schools are now emphasizing more "Jiu Jitsu vs. Jiu Jitsu" training, because of student retention for their businesses. I'll be very honest, I'm not interested in Jiu Jitsu vs. Jiu Jitsu. I just want to do the scalable self defense stuff, so we can protect ourselves in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

Some Jiu Jitsu schools really try to brand the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle, and that's all well and good. It's just not for me. My "lifestyle" is more the Kung-Fu way of life, which entails understanding hard and soft energies, Yin and Yang, how the elements in nature can create and destroy, and how to incorporate it all into your physical body, externally and internally through movement. I'm all about that stuff!! So when it comes to lifestyle, Kung-Fu is my jam.

But when it comes to self defense, the self defense basics of Jiu Jitsu is empirically the best way to go. I have incorporated it, and it Is my first line of self defense. I would love it to be all of my students' as well. I will rest better knowing that if (heaven forbid) you did get attacked, you'll have the right reflexes to deal with the situation in an efficient and humane manner. 

I keep up my practices in both, for they are both perishable. Thus, I'd love to practice with you! Helping you, helps me.