Budo Jake on the Sport of Jiu-jitsu and Japanese Swordsmanship

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Jiu-jitsu Times: You cover many of the top events in the world of grappling competition.
The different rule sets result in different styles and strategies utilized by the competitors.
How do you see the sport evolving in the next several years?

Budo Jake: I see growing interest in less restrictive rule sets. EBI for example has really allowed John Danaher’s students to shine in a way that I don’t think they could under IBJJF rules. Danaher has a deep interest in leg locks and he’s proven that he is the best teacher on the planet for heel hooks. I see many younger students wanting to explore more of the less restrictive rules that ADCC, EBI and other events allow.

Jiu-jitsu Times: What positions and techniques might we see become more developed?

Budo Jake: For Nogi, I think we will see more heel hook development. For gi, I think there is more to be done with the lapel guards.

Jiu-jitsu Times: In your opinion, what type of rule set (ex. Submission only / IBJJF / ADCC) rules produce the most exciting fights?

Budo Jake: I don’t like to use the term submission only, because true sub only means no time limit and as a viewer I don’t want to watch a (potentially) hour long match. As a viewer it’s hard to argue against EBI.
It’s very rewarding seeing a tap on almost every match.

Jiu-jitsu Times: There seems to be a growing division between the different expressions of jiu-jitsu:
Self defence and street fighting
Sports competition using lapel and berimbolo positions
No-gi submission only style
Bjj for professional MMA

Do you see the art and sport of Bjj eventually evolving into separate disciplines?
Or is it all just one jiu-jitsu?
What do you say regarding the 2 differing philosophies of self defence advocates who are critical of sports jiu-jitsu and those who just enjoy putting on a kimono and rolling?

Budo Jake: This is a very interesting question. I think it’s already split, but some teachers teach both. Go around and ask almost any world champ how much self defense they practice and you’ll find the answer to be very close to zero. And why should they?

Will training punch defenses help them retain their title at the next world championship? Of course not.
This is not to say that self defense has no value, it certainly does. But if you’re focused on being a world championship, you have to put all of your effort towards reaching that goal.

I think we can parallel this to what has happened in swordsmanship. There are basically two ways sword work is practiced today. I’m simplifying this a bit, but basically there are those that repeatedly work on the forms of the past generations.
These arts are called Kenjutsu or Iaido. Then there are those that train for sport. This is called Kendo.

The traditionalists will say that Kendo has little to do with “real” sword work. They will criticize the sport as not teaching the essence. Meanwhile, the traditional arts are dying, few young people wants to do them.
The sport side is alive and well with tournaments taking place around the world. It’s really pretty much the same in BJJ.

Personally, I think they are both excellent and that students should do what makes them happy.

Jiu-jitsu Times: What is exciting happening in your own training and at Budo Videos?
Budo Jake: My training is going great. While the Gracie Barra HQ in Irvine is my main gym, I also visit others from time to time and currently I’m training with my friends at Paraestra Hakata in Japan.
By studying new techniques and training with different people, jiujitsu always stays fresh and fun for me.

Jiu-jitsu Times: Any new projects that you are sharing with the Bjj world?

We have 3 new instructionals coming from Osvaldo Queixinho.
The first, The Berimbolo Killer, is packed with great ways to counter that super annoying sweep, lol.

So if you’re always getting berimbolo’d this is the one for you.
Also almost all of our instructionals are now available in app form in the App Store.
Just look for the new Budovideos app.

Check out Budo Jake’s new Videolog

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