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  1. slideyfoot is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/11/2011 5:46pm

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     Artemis BJJ | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Bristol Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff C. View Post
    Annabelle, BJJ unfortunately is ate-up with male chauvinism. It is hard for any female to find a suitable BJJ school. Good luck to you!
    I'm going to go a bit off-topic here, but as encouraging women into BJJ is something I very strongly support:

    It can be difficult, but there is plenty of support for women in BJJ now. For a start, there is a large (and growing) community of women blogging about their experiences, of all ages. I'd recommend any woman interested in BJJ check out BJJ Grrl's excellent advice for women here, along with other great BJJ blogs like Julia, Georgette, Ashley, Allie, Megan, Dagney and Jo. I've got some general advice for women over on my FAQ too, but then I'm a guy, so it isn't from first-hand experience.

    There are also regular events like the Women's Grappling Camp, run by black belts Val Worthington, Felicia Oh and Emily Kwok, along with Oh's student Alaina Hardie (who came up with the idea in the first place).

    The positive developments in BJJ for women extend to equipment too, with specialist gi suppliers like Fenom, and other manufacturers like Tatami Fightwear working to produce lines for women (and thankfully they aren't all pink).

    Speaking personally, I've been a member of at least two clubs where there were a good number of women training, in a supportive atmosphere: Gracie Barra Birmingham and the Roger Gracie Academy (London). The best training partner I ever had was a woman, Christina (now a purple belt at Jude Samuel's place).

    Hopefully with the continuing improvements for women in BJJ, the gender gap in membership will gradually decrease.
  2. Jeff C. is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/11/2011 7:31pm


     Style: Ju-Jitsu/BJJ/Judo

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    Awesome, and thanks! I am going to share some of your links with some other female friends of mine. I am very glad to hear it is improving!

    Jeff Cook
  3. gonzomalan is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 4:19am


     

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    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage View Post
    The Gracies offer no distinction between a combatives blue belt and a BJJ blue belt, other than claims that the former would be more effective in a fight.
    No, they make a marked distinction in belts, hence why they do not recognize belt colors from other schools until they "verify" that the possessor of, say, a purple belt, has the same training as a GJJ purple belt. It would be naive of them to think that even though they don't recognize someone else's purple, they would expect other schools to recognize a Gracie Academy purple just because it's around their gi.
  4. gonzomalan is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 4:20am


     

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    Quote Originally Posted by slideyfoot View Post
    Although in fairness, as has been said before, the purpose of Gracie Combatives is to prepare for an untrained attacker, so they could argue that the kind of details I'm talking about are mainly important when sparring people who are also trained in grappling, which they examine in the Master Cycle.
    this. in addition, the apparent depth of the master cycle would indicate that the amount of instruction from white to blue belt is about as much as the instruction from blue to blue 1 stripe. Not that I'm suggesting that the basics aren't important, because R&R definitely encourage endless drilling of the basics, but i think there's a misconception that the rest of the belt promotion process will be dealing without a knowledgeable opponent.
  5. gonzomalan is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 4:23am


     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das Moose View Post
    And that's why you should spend your time training in the most effective way...

    Here's the thing. As Slideyfoot was saying above, yes, it takes a long time to get good at BJJ, you spend a lot of time getting your ass kicked, and finally you get to the point where you can work on your offence. But you know what? That's reality. Exact same thing happened to me in boxing, exact same thing in wrestling. You're trying to fight a grown man here, you're going to need to develop at least some skill to beat him.

    It takes time and effort to get good enough at an armbar to even use it on someone who doesn't know what they're doing.
    ...
    If you can beat skilled people, untrained people are EASY.
    the first sentence you wrote and the last one i quoted here lead in different directions. "Effective" is a subjective word. For most schools, that's learning how to submit, sweep, and counter another bjj practitioner. In the case of the Combatives, it's getting someone who knows nothing to learn enough bjj to submit someone else who knows nothing, but might be physically stronger. That doesn't take a long time, as you suggest here:
    If i'm rolling with a newbie, they do retarded things like put themselves in triangles, try and headlock pass the guard, try and bench off mount etc. All making them a thousand times easier to tap than any decent blue belt.

    I'm not sure what an untrained guy is going to do that's so worrying we should be training for it.
    Answer: punch you in the face. this leads into the conversation Rener had on the Fightworks podcast on "when is a 'sport' bjj'er 'street-ready'?" answer: depends, which is the point of Gracie Combatives. If you get to blue, you have some assurance that you know techniques and strategies that would help you win a fight.
  6. gonzomalan is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 4:24am


     

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    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage View Post
    Bottom line: You learn words first before you learn sentences.
    that's one of the things i love about the GC learning: they essentially teach you not only the words (techniques), but also how to string them together to, continuing the analogy, reply to the most common insults in a decisive sentence.
    Building a cohesive game usually never takes place in a linear fashion. It's not like a building from the ground up. I put stuff on the backburner all the time, and come back to it later on and find that I have worked on something else that helps me with it. But someone else might not have that same progression.
    that's probably a reflection of not learning the same things in the same order, i.e., not having a curriculum to serve as a guide.
    I agree on this. More self defense in BJJ would be great, not just strikes, but knife, gun, club defense that used to be a part of the system. Like I said before, I think the techniques on the combatives dvd are fine. I just don't agree with the idea of correspondence substituting actual training, and then awarding belt rank and certification to open schools based on that correspondence.
    The master cycle is slated to have this and more. Also, the instructor certification process now has mandatory in person training at the Gracie Academy (again).
  7. gonzomalan is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 4:34am


     

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    I'm posting this as a separately in case it leads to a derail, but i hope it doesn't.

    Is it possible to provide full resistance without any counter-grappling? This seems to be an underlying sticky point. If i start training with my brother, and if we start getting good at a technique the way GC prescribes, and he provides more and more resistance the better i get, i fully expect him to punch me in the face if i don't succeed with a technique or effectively prevent his strikes. Not out of malice, but just because at what would be full resistance, he wouldn't be thinking about pulling his punch.

    So, do you have to know bjj to be able to say your training partner is fully resisting you?
  8. slideyfoot is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/13/2011 6:46am

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     Artemis BJJ | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Bristol Style: BJJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzomalan View Post
    No, they make a marked distinction in belts.
    I continue to feel that they should make that distinction clearer. Yes, they state it in their training literature, but visually speaking, you still have two people wearing the exact same thing around their waist.

    This is what I said last time that topic came up:

    Quote Originally Posted by slideyfoot View Post
    However, while it is discussed at length on the website, I'm not sure the distinction is sufficiently clear to the general public (though you could argue it is their own fault if they don't bother reading the website. Same argument Ari Bolden has used against his critics).

    This is because there is not yet an overt split between Brazilian jiu jitsu and Gracie jiu jitsu. Many schools will still say they teach 'Gracie jiu jitsu', but not employ the official Gracie Combatives program. The terms remain interchangeable to a certain extent, though they are beginning to diverge in content as a result of Gracie University marketing (though as I've discussed before, this is the culmination of a long process).
    Is it possible to provide full resistance without any counter-grappling? [...] So, do you have to know bjj to be able to say your training partner is fully resisting you?
    It can be difficult to gauge exactly how much your partner is resisting, but it isn't hard to set the parameters for full resistance: try your hardest to stop me doing whatever I'm trying to do. If what I'm trying to do involves grappling, and you aren't grappling in response (even if it is only rudimentary and untrained), then you aren't trying your hardest.
  9. Conde Koma is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/16/2011 12:52am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The Gracie Academy just posted this on their facebook page a few hours ago, where a UK instructor goes a bit in-depth with the whole "street vs sport" thing they do, and why it's different/better.

    billysue2 posted the following statement on Sacha's YouTube channel:

    "I think its great that you guys are focusing on what bjj is supposed to be. I've been to lots of jiu-jitsu dojos in the UK and Europe and I've never seen any that do sparring with strikes. To me that's ridiculous. The only problem I have with Gracie University is the complete absence of resistance sparring for a blue belt. That's a joke. You aren't competent if you can't defend full contact random attacks. It reminds me of the time I spent/wasted in Japanese Jujitsu."
    Sacha's YouTube reply to billysue2:

    @billysue2 Thank you for your comment. The main reason why 'some' of the BJJ community members are against Gracie University, or even Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in general, is that they don't fully understand it. Among other things, they see, hear or focus on a snippet of information such as 'there is no competitive sparring on your journey to blue belt' and so presume that there's no 'sparring/fighting' in any of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu syllabuses.

    So let me verify a couple of points for you, since you do seem genuinely interested in the system and its differences.

    Let me start by saying that although Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu both came from the same source, and they feature the same sweeps, submissions, controls and escapes, there is a significant difference between the two. Most notably, is the training/teaching philosophy. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is taught, first and foremost as a system of self-defense, with the objective of giving the student the ability to stay safe and prevail during a real street fight confrontation, whereas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in most cases, is taught exclusively as a recreational sport.

    True - There is NO competitive sparring on your road to blue belt, and, coming from a sport BJJ background myself, I must admit when I first heard this I was like, huh...how can this be? That is until the process was explained to me, and then it made complete sense.

    Let me explain. The problem occurs at this level when you directly compare to two systems together and do not take into consideration the differences. The definition of a BJJ blue belt (ignoring the occasional politics and fake belt promotions associated with much of the modern day BJJ practice) is that to be a blue belt you have to be able to beat/hang with a blue belt, to be a purple belt beat/hang with a purple, etc. all in 'live' 100% sparring. So, from the very start of the jiu-jitsu journey the focus of a BJJ white-belt is concentrated around being able to beat/hang with 'advanced' BJJ practitioners in the sport-focused grappling matches (i.e. no strikes of any kind involved).

    Now, lets flip it back over to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Grand Master Helio Gracie's definition of a blue belt is: Someone how can defend themselves against a larger, stronger, more athletic attacker in a 'real' street fight situation, and as such understands and has learned the core techniques (those which are now featured in the Gracie Combatives program) which would be essential in giving you the ability/strategy to do just that. So, with this, it becomes clear that the initial training objective of a beginning GJJ practitioner is not to prepare for "BJJ Trained'' opponents in 'wrestling' or 'grappling' matches (something that would only take place in a gym or in a sportive setting), but to prepare for the eventualities of a real street fight against the most likely opponent - a bigger, stronger, untrained attacker. As a certified GJJ instructor, it is my primary goal and obligation to ensure that if one of my students gets in a street fight 6 months from the day they sign up, they do not get beat up. So, until a student is deemed "street ready" no training time is spent on the sportive aspect of the art.

    So comparing the belts together (at this level) is a very chalk & cheese approach. A BJJ student focused on sport application may have trained 1-2 years to obtain his blue belt, and may have been able to do that with a relatively limited amount of techniques so long as he was athletically capable of 'hanging' with the rest, whereas a new GJJ student may have learned and developed reflexes in the street applicable Gracie Combatives techniques in as little as 12 months.

    If you put them both together at this stage and fought in a BJJ 'competition' then there's no doubt that the BJJ practitioner should have a definite advantage, after all that is what their 'focus' has been since day one. On the other hand, if you put both students in a real fight against a bigger stronger attacker then the GJJ student should have the definite advantage since that is what their focus has been since day one.

    Now bear in mind that there are always 'exceptions' to the rule but I'm hoping this gives you a little insight to the importance of understanding what the students 'focuses and goals' are at this level as it will help to further explain some important points later in this explanation.

    So we have ascertained that the only way to gauge the progress of a BJJ student is by how well they do in competition or competitive sparring against another skilled practitioner, AND the only way to truly gauge the progress of a beginner GJJ student would be to see 'how well' they do in a street fight against a bigger, stronger, unskilled attacker. While it is practical for a BJJ student to practice this way, it is impractical, immoral, and illegal for a GJJ student to practice this way (street fights). Therefore, in order for a beginner to be able to learn the techniques properly and effectively they NEED to be done within a communal learning environment with a co-operative partner. After all, if you don't understand a technique well enough for it to be successful against a co-operative opponent, then you'll surely have trouble against an uncooperative street-fight opponent.

    Showing complete technical understanding of ALL variations of the 36 Gracie Combatives techniques, while demonstrating sharp reflexes with instinctive responses to technical indicators presented by your training partner in an unscripted Fight Simulation exercise, qualifies you for your blue belt in GJJ. And that is where the journey begins.

    Only once you have earned your blue belt, and the Gracie Academy is confident that you understand the techniques and principles that will keep you safe from the most likely attack behaviors against the most likely street-fight opponents, does the training-focus switch to 'How do I defeat a bigger, stronger, more athletic, SKILLED opponent in a sportive grappling match OR in a street fight' and this a achieved through immersion in 'The Master Cycle.'

    In the Master Cycle, not only will you learn hundreds of additional "street-fight-only" techniques that are rarely taught outside of the Gracie Academy and its Certified Training Centers (CTCs), but you will also learn all the sport BJJ techniques that are taught everywhere else. In addition, you will experience the 100% competitive sparring that you are inquiring about, but you do so in ways that are much more dynamic than what is found in most BJJ schools.

    Let me explain a little further. There are 3 class "types" within the Master Cycle curriculum that ALL students must participate in and these are: 1) Rapid Mastery Classes, 2) Fight Simulation Classes, and 3) Focused Sparring Classes. These classes are further divided into smaller categories but I'll just give you a condensed breakdown as this explanation is getting long enough as it is.

    Let's say for example the Master Cycle technique of focus, is a certain arm bar. Once you are confident in the individual steps of the technique, you will put it to the test in a very specialized Rapid Mastery Drill (RMD) against a training partner who is providing progressively increasing intensity until you reach failure. The goal here is to work up to 100% resistance so you can learn all the applications/limitations of the newly learned arm bar.

    Once the new arm bar has been tested in the RMD, you would then take the same technique and run it through Fight Simulation Classes. Here you would develop comfort in implementing the techniques against a fully 'striking' opponent in a variety of Live Fight Simulation exercises, during which your partner wears 18oz. boxing gloves and you don't. Your training partner's goal is to strike, your goal is to survive, control, and submit your partner. It's challenging, but VERY fun.

    Finally, you would take the same arm bar and solidify it as part of your arsenal as you use it in combination with all your other techniques in the Focus Sparring class. The training partner's are fully resistant, and the sparring exercises are challenging, but by the end, the newly learned technique is yours.

    Basically, GJJ training (in the big picture) not only provides a more realistic approach to training, but also a much more complete and well-planned one in my opinion. Once you, and everyone else interested (BJJ Community), understand the full picture, I am confident that you will retract and concur.

    Gracie University got blasted, as soon as it was launched, by people who never checked it out and based all of their opinions on what they heard from others. Those who actually investigate it for themselves often find it to be the most complete and informative video-based instructional curriculum ever developed. Ironically, many of these same haters are now trying to develop their own versions of what the Gracies have done.

    The Gracie Combatives program was also blasted by people who speculated and knocked it before truly understanding what it was; now these same people and organizations are not only 'borrowing' these techniques as their own, but they're also now trying to developed their own versions of the Gracie Combatives program.

    GJJ blue belts have been blasted by people/organizations who don't understand the big picture, but yet we have many BJJ students (I was one of them!) that switched to training the Gracie way and only then, realized the limited applicability and practicality of the techniques at their own BJJ clubs.

    The omission of sportive grappling in the very beginning allows us to ensure maximum street readiness for our students in the least amount of time possible. And the difference of sportive grappling ability between a GJJ blue belt and a BJJ blue belt quickly diminishes with the introduction of the Master Cycle, so that by the time a student has a few stripes on their blue belt, the is no difference (I realized this the hard way the first time I visited the Gracie Academy in Torrance, when I was a four-stripe blue belt in BJJ).

    The bottom line is that the jiu-jitsu that was perfected, brought to America, and popularized by the Gracies, can be practiced both as a system of self-defense AND as a recreational sport. Any individuals, schools, or organizations that are practicing the art with a primary focus on street applicability, while enjoying and perfecting the sportive aspect as a secondary priority, are practicing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. On the other hand, people who practice the art with a primary emphasis on sportive mastery, while giving little or no attention to real street-fight application of the techniques, are practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    In closing, it's fair to say that Gracie Jiu-JItsu encompasses all of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not emcompass all of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. And with most jiu-jitsu schools focusing exclusively on the sportive application of jiu-jitsu there is no guarantee that a new student who walks into his local jiu-jitsu school will ever learn the most important thing this incredible art has to offer - reliable and realistic self-defense techniques for worst-case street fight scenarios - and that is what the Gracies are trying to change.

    Hope this helps.

    Keeping it real in the UK,
    Sacha
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  10. sapateiro is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/16/2011 11:02am


     Style: BJJ/GJJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzomalan View Post
    I'm posting this as a separately in case it leads to a derail, but i hope it doesn't.

    Is it possible to provide full resistance without any counter-grappling? This seems to be an underlying sticky point. If i start training with my brother, and if we start getting good at a technique the way GC prescribes, and he provides more and more resistance the better i get, i fully expect him to punch me in the face if i don't succeed with a technique or effectively prevent his strikes. Not out of malice, but just because at what would be full resistance, he wouldn't be thinking about pulling his punch.

    So, do you have to know bjj to be able to say your training partner is fully resisting you?
    I think being a 'realistic baddie' is a very difficult thing for any jiu jitsu practitioner because you've spent years building subconscious reflexes that an unskilled opponent doesn't have. So to try to 'switch off' those instincts when being the attacker for your training partner is a real art.

    Anyone who's worked the doors on nightclubs will tell you that the most common attack outside the club is a haymaker punch. Yet most people when working the haymaker punch defense say that they'd never punch like that. A similar thing happens with drilling techniques. You may get taken by surprise when something happens the first time, and then make adjustments so the same thing doesn't happen again - but in a real situation the 'bad guy' doesn't have that luxury of a second go (hopefully!).

    The 'fight sim' classes in combatives schools are a chance to put the techniques together under pressure. 4 mins, unskilled bad guy wears boxing gloves, jiu jitsu guy wears a gumshield. The goal is to minimise the strikes, close distance, takedown and submit.

    This is very different to sportive rolling in mindset, distancing, clinching strategy, submission setup etc.

    Personally I enjoy both - they're just different focuses of the same art IMHO.

    - Gary.

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