Can You Fight?

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Photo by: BJJ Pix

A recent video on Jiu-jitsu Times showed what is commonly called a “dojo challenge”.A guy off the street asks to have a fight in the bjj club to test the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu.Skeptical that jiu-jitsu was effective in a real fight, he intended to prove his point with his fists.

BJJ Black Belt Showing A 23 years Old Man Who Is Doubting The Effectiveness Of Jiu-Jitsu Techniques

These matches were more common in the early days of the “Gracie Challenge” when Brazilian jiu-jitsu was still new to North America.
Every student of bjj should watch the “Gracies in Action” videos.
The old school students of bjj always had in the back of their minds that one day they might be expected to fight such a challenge match.

After watching the video, I asked myself the questions:
“How many students of modern, sports bjj would be equipped to handle such a situation?”
“Did the classes this week in the academy address positions that could be used in this situation?”

Sports bjj is an important (and FUN!) part of the art of brazilian jiu-jitsu.
We all love to get on the mat and exchange sports bjj techniques and try to tap out our training partners.

But the skills displayed in the above video are significantly different than what is practiced in most bjj classes.

Where were the berimbolos? The jumping to half guard?
No fancy sleeve control / spider guard sweeps were to be seen!

Instead it was the real old school Gracie Jiu-jitsu:
read also: Are You “Old School” Jiu-jitsu or the New Bjj 2.0?

– close the distance to clinch without getting hit
– trip or double leg takedown
– controlling the mount or rear mount
– strikes from mount to RNC choke when the opponent gives their back
– from the bottom – closed guard with clinch to defend punches to triangle choke

All seemingly basic techniques, but with the necessity of executing those basic techniques correctly under the risk of absorbing punches to the face!

The purpose of this article is NOT to suggest that bjj schools discard all of the sports bjj techniques and only train for these scenarios.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu has many different aspects (kimono, no-gi, sports rules, MMA, self defence etc.) and the majority of us most enjoy just going to train at the academy, putting on the kimono and trying to tap our training partners in friendly rivalries.
A good workout with friends and having fun learning the art of brazilian jiu-jitsu is probably the most important reason that we train bjj.

Many Traditional Martial arts have been criticized for losing their original effectiveness for real life.
A valuable question to ask is “Does my bjj training equip me to handle a real fight?”

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