I don't buy this, because the GJJ student has only done it theoretically. I would still put the advantage with the BJJ student, because they have tested their technique against a fully resisting opponent from day one. They know what it feels like when they try that mount escape they drilled earlier against some huge white belt who is trying to pull their head off in sparring.
Originally Posted by Sacha King
A GJJ student can only draw upon the experience of drilling, which is very, very different from sparring. In turn, it is also very, very different from a street fight. Of course, sparring and a street fight are not directly comparable, but you do at least gain some understanding of what it is like to try and apply technique against an unwilling opponent.
To use the old swimming analogy, the GJJ student has learned how to swim by the side of the pool, without getting in the water. The BJJ student, on the other hand, has spent plenty of time swimming up and down the pool, perhaps exploring the deep end.
If you now throw them both in the sea, then the BJJ student is going to be dealing with some things they haven't faced before: it's a different environment to what they're used to, but they've got some experience with something comparable, even if the pool is a much safer setting than the open sea.
The GJJ student, on the other hand, would probably be at risk of drowning. They've never been in water before, so this is a completely new experience for them. Things that made sense theoretically don't seem to quite apply, and there are a raft of small details which were never covered, because they only become apparent from first-hand experience.
I don't see how this precludes taking the next step and testing your technique against resistance. The BJJ student needs to learn within a communal learning environment with a co-operative partner too, when first being taught a technique. However, that then progresses to increasing resistance until you get to full sparring.
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.
The GJJ student is stuck at the first stage of learning. The problem here is that ANY technique can be effective against a co-operative opponent. I can get a flying armbar during drilling every time. I damn sure can't get it in sparring. With more drilling, I'll understand the theory better, but I've got no hope of understanding the application until I've repeatedly failed at trying it in sparring and learned from my mistakes.
This is what I'm eagerly waiting to see for myself, as it would answer a lot of the reservations I have after watching Gracie Combatives. Hopefully they'll release the Master Cycle on DVD too, as I would definitely be interested in getting hold of that set.
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. [...]
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).
That would still leave one reservation, however, which is the lack of competition. If you never spar with people outside of your own school, in the high-pressure environment of competition, that's one thing: many people choose not to compete. I myself have only ever competed once, and it isn't something I particularly enjoy.
However, if the entire school never competes, that's a problem. With no outside influences, that school is likely going to stagnate. Something I babble about at length here.
Aside from the age old debate of 'self defense vs sport' and all this discussion of efficient methods of learning - I just want to point out that, at least from what I have heard and read, most people's gripe with combatives actually has more to do with the correspondence rank testing and the idea of the "gracie garages" where beginners lead beginners.
Originally Posted by Sasha King
Even if Combatives was a standard BJJ program in DVD format, it would still be inherently mcdojo because of the correspondence rank advancement. We've already seen how it ends, from the mail-in-vhs TMA bullshit of the 70s and 80s. Despite the noble intentions of the creators of Combatives to spread JJ to areas that lack it, there are tons of people who don't want to put in the hard work who are more than itching to abuse this system. They existed in the 70s and 80s, and probably moreso now with the MMA boom.
Last edited by EternalRage; 1/17/2011 1:55am at .
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.
That's a nice analogy, slidey, but IMO it works the other way round.
Originally Posted by slideyfoot
Let me start by saying I really enjoy sportive sparring - I do about 8 hours per week. But IMO the guys that have done the Gracie Combatives are much better at self defense... And it's been proven in front of my eyes many times.
As a GJJ academy, we have regular 'fight simulation classes' where guys take it in turns to be the unskilled opponent wearing boxing gloves. And we often have visitors from sport BJJ clubs all over the world that are blue/purples that join in the class. Everytime the same result has occured - they start off with a sportive mindset and then get a serious wake up call when they eat a punch or three. It may be something as simple as not controlling the opponents posture while elbow escaping, or not previously trying an upa while someones punching them. A classic example is disregarding the arm outside of the triangle whilst setting it up. And is much as I love the open guard/space generating flowy style jiu jitsu, it gets you punched in the face.
We've had guys with 7 or 8 years of BJJ experience walk off the mat saying that they realise they don't know 'real jiu jitsu' at all. So to use your analogy, it turns out that our sportive visitors couldn't swim in the real pool at all.
Obviously there are guys out there that account for punching but lets be honest here... The vast majority of clubs train solely in the sportive arena. I don't think it's a bad thing provided everyone realises they're doing 'a sport'. And doing sportive sparring isn't always comparable to a real confrontation, because your opponent is a skilled one. And putting years worth of subconscious BJJ learning to one side is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Think about it - if someone clinched a BJJ guy, he'd probably pummel for underhooks. That's not an unskilled reaction. If someone mounted a BJJ guy, he'd probably keep his elbows close & work the elbow escape or upa. That's not an unskilled reaction. Yet these are the reactions that are involved in sportive sparring, and these are the reactions that sportive sparring is training you to deal with.
Personally I think it's ok to have a sportive style, have fun, create space, get a flow going, but then be able to switch to a combatives style mindset when it's needed. Then you get the best of both worlds :-)
The way it is done at your club, I agree, which fits with the old Carlson quote about dropping a belt level each time you eat a punch. However, I was referring to white belt Gracie Combatives students (I probably should have said that, rather than GJJ in general), who apparently don't do any sort of sparring, let alone with strikes.
Originally Posted by sapateiro
Agreed. There's only so much you can do without real interaction IMO.
Originally Posted by slideyfoot
I don't think its only the online teaching. Real self defense training is primarily about awareness, avoidance and deescalation. By the time you have to use your skills your self defense has already failed.
So yes, I have a problem with the training to fight a bigger unskilled opponent. Its an unrealistic scenario that leads to a false sense of confidence at your ability to handle the situation.
Training at a sport base school has the reality of losing which goes a long way in teaching people to avoid fights because they know it from experience.
BTW, if you want to know how to deal with punching train MMA. Learn how to deal with people who are trained to punch and grapple. If you can deal with that then you will have no problems with the 'larger unskilled opponent' .
Just my 2 cents.
This is the age-old argument you find in classical (Japanese) jujutsu, judo, karate, etc. Can you learn to defend yourself through cooperative practice alone? Yes. Will adding resistive, spontaneous training to the regimen steepen the learning curve? Yes, in my opinion. Bottom line is, both can work, but a combination of methodologies is the best bet (my opinion).
I hold pretty high rank in classical jujutsu (master level) and judo; I hold brown belt rank in BJJ from a Brazilian who was "brought up" in the GJJ lineage. I also did 15 years of nightclub and special event work, I am also in the US Army, and I also am a certified MACP intstructor. I have seen students with no resistive training handle themselves quite well in violent confrontations; I have seen black belts with plenty of resistive training have their asses handed to them. I have seen just the opposite occur too. The main difference is MINDSET!!!!
We should be focusing on how to develop mindset as well as the other things we are discussing here. Different people/personalities with various backgrounds require various training modalities. That is the REAL challenge for ANY self-defense instructor!
I agree with this 100%.
Originally Posted by Jeff C.
I believe mindset can be taught but your average person would probably not be very receptive to this type of training. Army basic and Marine boot camp can and do instill the proper mindset in the majority of its trainees, just not an easy or pleasant process.
And to add to what you said above, hardly nobody wants to experience "unpleasant" or difficulties in training. We are becoming a spoiled, soft society; I see it in our privates coming out of Basic Combat Training, and I see it when new students enter my dojo. Nobody wants to break a sweat; nobody wants to put forth any effort, and you can bet your ass that nobody wants to feel any pain either.
Everybody knows what they WANT. Few people seldom know what they NEED. Thus, the McDojos make a killing on making people feel good about their training, "empowering" them, treating them with kid gloves yet telling them they are becoming super-martial-arts killers - without hardly breaking a sweat and working their asses off, without getting their asses beat down now and then, without having their egos destroyed and rebuilt through honest effort. Everybody wants to be a "winner." That ain't reality, folks. It is an essential trait to learn how to lose and pick yourself up and work harder and smarter. Making everybody a "winner" thwarts that process.
My mindset towards the DVDs of Gracie Combatives and other has changed considerably now that I have started training at a BJJ school with a qualified BJJ instructor. I have to admit that the different DVDs that I have collected(Gracie Combatives, Gracie Barra,...), do help out with learning some of the fundementals. But the thing that was always missing was having QUALIFIED eyes watching to make sure I was doing it correctly. I was rolling with my karate students at each training session, but none of them had any BJJ experience and this made it almost impossible to find out errors. My ground game has improved tremendously in the time I have been training with a qualified insructor. The DVDs are a great supplement, but I can see now that that is all they are, a supplement. I was very fortunate to find an instructor an hour drive from my house, which is not to bad. If you have no other choice, the DVDs are an option. It may not be the best option, but it is still an option. The best thing to do, IMO, is to keep looking for a good BJJ school. It may be a short drive or a long drive, but it will be worth it.
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