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  1. Scrapper is offline
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    Fear and bullets.

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 5:47pm

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     Style: MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The Difference Between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and American Jujitsu.

    Critical differences between Brazilian Jujitsu and American Jujitsu.

    Occasionally, people have asked me what the differences between Brazilian and American jujitsu are. In the interest of answering the question for everyone, here is an overview.

    American jujitsu was developed by Steve Crawford, a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shorinji Ryu Jujitsu, under Kenneth Penland. He has a 1st Dan Kenpo, a 2nd Dan in American Karate, a 2nd Dan in Combat Grappling (I don’t even really know what that is…I’ll have to ask!), a 2nd Dan To-Shin Do JuTaijutsu and a 2nd dan Kodokan judo. Essentially, as the school moved toward an MMA focus, the various styles began to merge, with certain styles and techniques being phased out, and new techniques being assimilated all the time. The school also acquired competitive kickboxers, wrestlers, and boxers, which further influenced the curriculum. When the UFC and the resulting explosion of BJJ occurred, Crawford (in a good-natured, competitive mindset) began to call the current amalgamation of styles “American jujitsu” as a reminder that others were working along the same lines as the Gracies.

    Stylistically, they both include a heavy grappling component. An American jujitsu student will spend between 65-85% of their training time on the mat doing no-gi submission grappling. This does not include conditioning, which is done before formal class time (in the “conditioning” class) or on your own. AJJ rolling pretty much always starts standing, throws and takedowns are considered an essential part of the arsenal, for reasons I will get to shortly. Full-speed, continuous grappling is the standard randori practice; starting on the feet and ending with submission or time limit.

    Specifically, as a grappling style, AJJ is not terribly fond of guard work. I will now pause for the BJJ’ers of the world to try to imagine what that looks like. That is the first major difference between BJJ and AJJ as grappling styles. This is not to say that the guard is considered an inferior position, or something distasteful. AJJ is very focused on competitive MMA and “street” effectiveness. Reliance on the guard, or the “chess match” grappling style espoused by much (not all) of the BJJ world is not in accordance with the AJJ mindset. In AJJ, the goal is the rapid, effective, and brutal overwhelming of the opponent’s defenses and a speedy victory. AJJ still works from the guard quite a bit, as any GOOD grappling style does. Empirical evidence has proven that facility with the guard position is essential, so please do not misunderstand this point. It is simply approached with the assumption that one will work out of, or through the guard (offensively or defensively) quickly and decisively.

    The main difference between the two (and it is the most obvious and critical difference) is this: striking. In AJJ, you will hit and be hit. Even if one was to consider one’s self a “pure grappler,” in the AJJ curriculum, one would still have to develop familiarity (at the minimum) with basic boxing, muay thai, and san shou techniques and strategies.

    As a competitive style, AJJ deals with the critical aspects of safely closing the distance, effective clinching, throws/takedowns, and ground and pound strategies. An AJJ competitor will at the least, understand these elements, and most develop very real proficiency. This is why randori starts standing up, and why guard work is not the preferred method of securing position. (My favorite guard pass involves punching my opponent in the face, stacking them, and punching some more). This is oft practiced with one participant (wearing boxing gloves) laying in guard, or mounting the other, and punching repeatedly while the bottom man attempts to escape. San shou-type sparring is often employed, with participants being permitted to punch all the way to the ground. Upon hitting the ground, participants strive for superior position for more punching, or escape back to the feet. In this drill, fighting is stopped only if action on the ground ceases, or if one participant lands sufficient a quantity of unanswered blows as to make further efforts academic.

    There are routinely scheduled striking classes, and roughly 1/3 of regular classes are striking oriented. With the exception of drilling specific techniques for facility, all training is done live and non-compliant. Rank promotions are determined by displaying facility with the techniques specific to that particular rank, and an extended live roll to demonstrate skill and conditioning. For live testing, fresh opponents are rotated in every 2-3 minutes for:

    20 minutes for orange belt
    30 minutes for purple
    40 minutes for blue
    50 minutes for brown
    60 minutes for black.

    The person testing for rank MUST demonstrate skill and facility during the ENTIRE roll. You do not have to beat everyone, but just being a tap-monkey for the whole time is unacceptable.

    I hope this will help people to understand the differences between AJJ and BJJ. While the names may be similar, as styles they remain quite different, technically and visually.

    Any questions?
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  2. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 5:53pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So I assume based on the use of belts that you train in gis. ?
  3. Scrapper is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:10pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Not really. It's a personal preference thing. Wear 'em if you want to, but most of us don't. the belt system is employed because it si what people have come to expect.

    I know, it's weird, but the style sort of developed istelf, so there are some incongruities in places...
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  4. Tom Kagan is offline
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    Dark Overlord of the Bullshido Underworld

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:17pm

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     Style: Taai Si Ji Kung Fu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The actual difference is 4,500 miles (7,242 km), more or less. :smile:
  5. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:20pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No gis, why the hell give belts?
    Last edited by Aesopian; 1/03/2006 10:45am at .
  6. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:21pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Do you guys compete in no-gi grappling events?
    I'm curious because, outside of major fight teams, I've rarely been impressed with the grappling at "freestyle jiujitsu" schools. Whatever name they choose.
  7. Scrapper is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:25pm

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     Style: MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by UpaLumpa
    Do you guys compete in no-gi grappling events?
    I'm curious because, outside of major fight teams, I've rarely been impressed with the grappling at "freestyle jiujitsu" schools. Whatever name they choose.
    As a team, we do not currently do so (however one is in the works). The AJJ competetive focus is, at least for now, on the cagefightning/MMA scene. As the style grows, more people are becoming interested in grappling tournaments that don't invlove striking. Crawford is currently working to accomodate this need.
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
  8. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:27pm

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     Guy Who Pays the Bills and Gets the Death Threats Style: MMA (Retired)

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There really aren't any around here... to such a point that we're in the process of setting one up now. I, personally, know for a fact that my sub grappling game is (pardon the pun) sub-par, but I feel my overall MMA game is better as a tradeoff.

    The belts thing is mostly used for quality control of people who might want to go out and open up their own schools or teach elsewhere. Herb Dean, and Larry Landless are AJJ black belts, for the record.
  9. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:30pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    That's cool.
    Dean is a good ref. So the submission factory is ajj then?
  10. Scrapper is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:37pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by UpaLumpa
    That's cool.
    Dean is a good ref. So the submission factory is ajj then?

    I know Herb is. I don't think that Submission factory is AJJ specific. Since Herb doesn't live in the Midwest anymore, I assume it's who he trains with wherever he lives.
    And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

    --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
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