Find Your Way Back to the Familiar

If you are stuck in a position you do not know how to get out of, find your way back to a position you do know how to get out of and escape from there. I received a call from one of my lead technicians the other day with a question about how to remove…

A Willow in a Snowstorm (Jujutsu and the Transcendence of Violence)

Does your jujutsu (jiu-jitsu) propagate violence or transcend it? The Japanese word jujutsu (柔術) is often thought to translate as ‘gentle art.’ Gentle implies a lack of force or lack of strength. Anyone who has ever done any form of jujutsu knows that there is nothing gentle about being thrown, pinned, joint-locked, or choked. In…

John Danaher on the Importance of Training in a Gi for Beginners in BJJ

Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor John Danaher on teaching BJJ to beginners (excerpted and transcribed from the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton, episode 40): “I would run all beginner’s classes in a gi. Let’s break down what changes when you put a gi on and you take one off. Really, only a few…

Learning Self-Defense For Others

The Gracie jiu-jitsu self-defense curriculum is not for you. Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners often talk disparagingly about the Gracie self-defense curriculum. They say things like: “I don’t care about that. I just do BJJ for fun. I can defend myself. I don’t need that stuff.” The people who say things like this are usually capable, fit,…