As an instructor , I never prompt my students to go out and use Jiu Jitsu in the street.However, this is the most effective form of self defense and at times in our life we may be faced with a situation in which we may have to use it to protect ourselves . In this quick blog, I am going to share the top 4 instances in which my students have used BJJ to protect themselves in the street. 2 occurred in this past year with adults and 2 are just great examples of how children can use BJJ to protect themselves from being bullied.
First off ,I want to briefly list why I feel BJJ is the most effective Martial Art for self defense from personal experience. Prior to owning a martial arts school and instructing I worked in the security field for over 10 years from my early 20's to about 30. During this time I worked many large scale events as well as in some of the seediest bars and nightclubs known to man. Im not a huge guy and back then I was about 5 foot 9 inches tall and 190lbs. That is not big for the job I was doing but I was in great shape and never minded getting my hands dirty. Most people when they think of defending themselves or getting in a fight envision something out of an action movie or themselves throwing punches reminiscent of a Mike Tyson fight. I can tell you after my years of experience in all types of situations, this is not the case. In most cases it is pushing , pulling , falling on the ground and maybe some horrible looking punches. Also most attacks happen with someone grabbing you and it going to the ground. Is a karate chop or kick going to work in this situation? Also in todays day and age , if you do strike someone and its on camera its not gonna look good in the principles office or in court. Jiu Jitsu is built to work when someone grabs you , a fight goes to the ground and the skills acquired can keep you on your feet if someone is trying to get you to the ground. Some people will say , " well if you have multiple attackers then it won't work" . I can tell you by experience , if you have multiple attackers most won't work and you won't be throwing karate kicks or open hand slaps then either.
This was the most recent and occurred 2 months ago at the North Greenbush Mcdonalds . A local student went into the Mcdonalds to get food for himself and his son who was waiting in the car. The restaurant was busy at the time and when my student finally got to the register to order, another man burst inside and was yelling at employees. My student asked the man if he could just order quickly as he had his son waiting in the car and had already waited some time. The man started yelling at my student who was a father in his 40's. The man then followed my student to the double doors as he went to exit and pulled him back inside to fight him. My student who has worked plenty from his feet was able to keep his balance and then take down the large assh*le. His teenage son who witnessed this came in to help but dad had this under control and the man still got no nuggets and ended up on the losing side of this altercation. Police came ...... the staff , witnesses and police thanked the student. He not only defended himself but could have possibly saved someone else from being hurt that day.
The 2nd instance happened to a male member in his 20's. This kid is a very good musician who plays the guitar and sings at local venues. He is probably about 140lbs and a very nice and genuine person. He gets along with everyone and is not confrontational at all. Last summer he was playing at a local bar and a few of the patrons were getting out of control . A girl was pushed by a drunk guy and my student simply helped her not fall and said excuse me to a intoxicated guy. The guy was eyeballing him all night and saying inappropriate things as the student was performing. As things were getting late and starting to close down this guy attacked my student . He ran at him and tried grabbing him and my student put him in a standing choke. If he wanted he could have put him to sleep but he applied it tight enough to get the much larger man to stop attacking . He could apply more pressure if needed at anytime but let security come and take the man away. What would have happened if this guy took the smaller man down and was on top of him? Of all the fights I've seen at events or venues like this ( hundreds) BJJ is the only tool I would put years into to learn to help in these situations.
3 . This one was my son. He was in 5'th grade and we are late bloomers in my family. I was always one of the smallest kids in my grade up until probably 10'th grade. My dad was the same way and my children the same. So , in this case the largest kid in his grade had been trying to bully him for a couple of weeks already. They went outside for gym class one day and the kid was trying to grab him and bully him physically . My son did a double leg takedown on the kid who was twice his size , he then went to what we call side control in Jiu Jitsu and just held the boy who helplessly could do nothing but lay underneath him as all the other kids watched. He struggled to get up but could not. He started crying as a result. Neither boy was hurt this day. They were sent to the office and only the kid instigating got in trouble as he had a history of this. The bully learned a valuable lesson that day and my son effectively used his BJJ to defend himself and at the same time did so without getting himself in trouble. If he kicked or punched this big athletic kid the ways I see other martial arts trained the kid would have overpowered and just beat him up AND he would have gotten in trouble.
4. In this last case , my son was in 7'th grade. New school , kids didn't know him. Well , this one kid thought it was funny to run through the halls and punch other boys in the genitals . This went on weeks and no staff or teachers stepped in and reprimanded this kid and it was a constant all day thing. Sometimes kids got pretty hurt. My son finally had enough and in the locker room, while changing for gym the kid tried to do it again. My son grabbed him and threw a choke on him. We train in a live manner so we get to know how much pressure to apply to simply control someone as well as to choke someone. He only applied a good amount of pressure for a second and held the boy there. Mentally , I think what was going through this boys mind was " Oh shit , this kid has got ahold of me , I cant get away and he can choke the crap out of me whenever he wants " . My son released this boy unharmed however the boy did cry and had the nerve to go tell the gym teacher after he had been punching boys in the scrotum for weeks. The Bully learned a lesson this day and the scrotums were safe throughout the school from that day on. I got a call that day from the principle and my son was forced to finish the day at home. We went and got ice cream that day. He graduated from high school getting an award and check/scholarship for his moral character throughout his time in school. He was not a bully , he simply was confident in himself and could defend himself against the kids who do not honor the rules. BJJ changed his life.
These are just 4 of the many instances when my students have actually used the self defense in times of need. If the man in example 1 had not used it or known it, who knows what would have happened . In the 2nd instance , same thing. he would at least gotten beaten up and then what happens psychologically ? Will he still go out and perform at venues ? Will his confidence be shattered? In the 3rd example , my son could have continued to be bullied for years. That Bully could have bullied others hurting them as well as molding himself into a further douche . example 4 : That kid would have still run around hitting others in the nuts? I dont think we need to elaborate on that. In all 4 of these examples the student not only defended himself but did so in a manner he could not get into legal trouble or even have to hurt the other person.
Come learn Jiu Jitsu .... why ? Because it really works!!