Armbar vs a Knife; What Can Traditional Japanese Ju Jutsu Teach Us?
Due to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and then Japanese Ju jutsu being my first exposure to grappling, I tend to always have a more combative mindset towards training and rolling. Don’t get me wrong, I still train and very much enjoy sportive modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but the thought of weapons, strikes, and multiple attackers is always in my mind.
Now there is a pretty big debate on the effectiveness of modern BJJ for self-defense, and many of the popular positions and techniques getting people on the podiums can get peopled injured in a real life situation. But it doesn’t have to be the case.
As Professor Stephan Kesting shows in this instructional video, all it really takes is a simple shift in mindset to make BJJ martial again. Japanese Ju jutsu black belt Alex Kask shows how an armbar would be performed in Japanese Ju jutsu to eliminate the possibility of your opponent going for a weapon.
Professor Kesting then shows the exact same technique but how it’s a different mindset, the crossed feet are used to more efficiently break a defense instead of preventing a weapon grab. There really doesn’t need to be this fierce argument between sportive and self-defense Jiu-Jitsu, they are really the same thing, just the mentality is different.
Straight up sportive based jiu Jitsu guys don’t, and shouldn’t, have to abandon massive amounts of techniques that are winning them countless medals, but every once in a while they should think of the little tweaks that can be done if someone is trying to imprint their knuckles on their forehead or may stab them. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an amazing martial art and a phenomenal sport, and both should be embraced equally.
Learning to defend and use a weapon with Jiu Jitsu is an important skill. Training with a weapon not only keeps us connected to the reality of what combat martial arts is suppposed to be, but also opens the mind to learnning to attack other areas of the body.
Chad Lyman is a BJJ Black belt and he teaches the art at the world famous Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. He is also a grizzled veteran police officer with hundreds of arrests and S.W.A.T. team raids under his belt. He’s not the cop who works in the boondocks and thinks busting some high school kids for drinking is a big deal – he literally deals with life and death all the time in Las Vegas – one of America’s worst crime cities.
He has a DVD series that teaches you how to fight with some of the most common weapons you will ever face in street common: the knife, pen and flashlight.
Do you know what Chad’s first weapon of choice is a tiny pocket flashlight. When he first told us this, we thought, “Huh? What the hell could that little toy do?”. Then he started showing us his routine and our jaws dropped. He showed us how to use the light to: Disorient his opponent Create angles to his own advantage Reign a symphony of violence against his helpless opponent