Stephan Kesting: A Lot Of Stand-Up Gracie Self-Defense Techniques Are ‘Not Actually Very Good’

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Grapplearts founder Stephan Kesting is not a huge fan of the Gracie stand-up techniques.

In a Youtube video, Kesting opined:

A lot of the stand-up Gracie self-defense techniques that were particularly popular 10, 15, 20 years ago but are kind of making a resurgence, they’re not actually very good. When the Gracies and the traditional jiu-jitsu guys fought MMA, they didn’t use those techniques. They didn’t use hip tosses. Right? The classic Gracie jiu-jitsu defense against a punch is to close the distance, hip toss, and armbar — I’ve never seen anybody do that! I’ve never seen any of the Gracies even do this. They’re going to be using single legs, and double legs, and a much more MMA-based platform.

The classic Gracie jiu-jitsu defense against a punch is to close the distance, hip toss, and armbar — I’ve never seen anybody do that.

Kesting was particularly critical of one of the Gracie knife defenses, which he described as “complete, pure fantasy” that “belongs in some outdated jiu-jitsu manual.”

Check out this video for some of the defenses Kesting is talking about:

There’s been a lot of talk about the advantages of sport versus street jiu-jitsu, but Kesting insists that most of those differences have been exaggerated by instructors who have a vested interest in teaching street BJJ. In the end, what matters is whether or not students are learning to defend themselves against an attacker who is applying pressure.

You can listen to Stephan Kesting’s opinions on street BJJ and the Gracie stand-up self-defenses below:

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