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Mtripp
1/21/2010 5:35pm,
DVD's came today. Not real sure where to post the review.

Clearly the ideas of "context" and "defining terms," have never been more important.

I will write more when I am sure this is in the right place.

Red Elvis
1/21/2010 7:32pm,
Surprised you spent money on a foregone conclusion such as this. Anyway, this review is better off in the following forum.

Martial Arts Instructional Book and Video Reviews - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=59)

Diesel_tke
1/22/2010 3:22pm,
****, have you already watched them all?

Look forward to the review.

Mtripp
1/22/2010 7:21pm,
I think I'll leave it here and let the powers that be decide; and yes I have watched them all... more on that in a bit.

First, we are going to have to agree on the term "combatives," or at least understand how the Gracie's seem to be defining it. We also need to be aware that "combatives" was the latest McDojo fad, but is now being replaced by MMA. You see that term a lot, and it needs context.

While there tends to be problems around here with the term "real fight," I suspect when most of us hear the term "combatives," that is what we are thinking about. I also feel "combatives" for the general public is, or at least should be, quite different than "combatives" for say "police/security" or "military." In any event, legitimate study of "combatives" should be about avoiding, evading, and when all else fails, repelling, a violent personal assault.

When I bought this DVD set I was expecting to see the Gracie family take on these matters. Having owned all of their VHS tapes I was looking to see something along the lines of their self-defense series. This is not the case.

On this DVD set, "Combatives" is defined by "The guy may punch you." Their problem with "Sport Jujitsu" is that the problem of the punch is not addressed. Ok, fair enough.

This course claims to be, and I quote "The fastest way to street readiness, Guaranteed." That is a registered trade mark with the Gracie Family. However, NO WHERE on these DVD's do we learn how to deal with a kicking attack, any sort of hair or clothing grab, or any body hold other than a headlock. Knives are not dealt with either, and for a "street system" to have a "Phase 1" concept of "closing the distance," I would think that might be a good thing. In the late 60's, once Judo was an Olympic sport and the training tended to shift that way, Japanese Police Officers were getting stabbed at an alarming rate due to the bad habit of grabbing people like a Judo match.

My point is, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If we need to worry about punches, then we need to worry about kicks, knives, etc. So, we do not agree on what "Combatives" are. The rest of my review will be based on their use of the term.

Lets begin with the Blue Belt Qualification Handbook that comes with the course.

First we get the official Gracie version of history, which was disproved so long ago it makes one wonder why they keep sticking to it. Helio was taught Japanese Jujitsu, but there were problems with Japanese Jujitsu because it was too complex and relied too much on strength. Helio corrected these problems and created Gracie Jujitsu.

Fact Check: Nope, they were taught Kodokan Judo. Yes, a good big Judo player will always defeat a good small Judo player. There has never been an open weight All Japan Judo Champion under 170 pounds; and every grappling sport has weight classes now. Helio created a game plan for himself which was a war of attrition. Let the guy get tired then finish him. It worked very well for him, and very well under the rules of the fights he fought in. We all saw in UFC 5 the problem with that game plan, and we have never seen it again.

We now get the rather heavy handed "Sport Jujitsu vs Street Jujitsu" concepts of the course. Again, their use of the term street means the guy can punch you too. They set up the three guidelines for their program, and then give you three fundamental questions to ask about any technique you are going to learn. I am only going to quote one, because frankly it is simply a variation of a much better one put forth by Col. Rex Applegate.

The Gracie version: 1. Can I apply this technique in a real fight against a striking opponent?

Applegates version: 1. Can I apply this technique against a larger and more powerful opponent who is determined to stop it by any means, fair or foul?

I submit, for "Combatives," Applegate is the one to use.

More to come...

Carpe Noctem
1/22/2010 7:56pm,
Subbed. I'm really interested in hearing your opinion on these (Combatives being near and dear to my heart, Army and all...)

Diesel_tke
1/22/2010 10:43pm,
Ditto. I have been going through the program in my spare time, just for something to do. And I have noticed similar stuff. The techniques are mostly the same as what I have done in the past. It seems that the focus is naive and honestly ignorant. I look forward to what Mark has to say on the subject, because the reviews I have seen so far have been from BJJ biased players, and people who are WAY less qualified than MTripp is.

honest_truth
1/22/2010 11:17pm,
This thread has my interest.

i have always had my doubt about anything "combatives" and its superiority over full contact sports

Justin C
1/22/2010 11:39pm,
I watched some of these dvds at my friends house and it has holes but I guess for distance training not to bad.Just drives home the point you need a real school.

Dsimon3387
1/23/2010 12:15am,
It is amusing to see that some hold the view that a kick should be thought of as the same as a low punch. More than a few actually more than a few. I have heard this view from many who should know better.

I have one request: unless it becomes relevant to what the gracies are doing with their material or as a supplemental debate that has a reason to be broached... can the comparison of sport versus combatives training be let go of? The material is the material. It either stands up to scrutiny or it does not... it either works or it is forced. It either has a parity and a naturalness that makes it attractive and useful or it does not.

Red Elvis
1/23/2010 12:37am,
We now get the rather heavy handed "Sport Jujitsu vs Street Jujitsu" concepts of the course.

Funny you mention this and it’s something I'd like to watch myself someday. There has actually been a heated back and forth recently between some people on Helio's side and Carlson's side with regard to "GJJ" vs. BJJ and the difference between what Rorion calls "pure water" (more "self defense oriented stuff") and everybody else who is continuing to evolve the art through sport.

I can see valid points to both sides of the debate but tend to lean more toward evolving and competition than stagnation and copyright disputes. (GJJ students aren’t seen much competing outside the academy ironically enough).



Fact Check: Nope, they were taught Kodokan Judo.


As far as history on the DVD’s I wonder if they (Rorion's sons) are not just condensing the info for time or if they are truly remiss on their own history? I just checked the official Academy site in addition to Royce's site and they both mention Maeda with reference to Kodokan Judo. Although there does seem to be a lack of detailed consistency between those two sites, (and the other side of the family’s sites as well for that matter), Kodokan Judo has not been left out of any of them save the ones with abbreviated histories.

I actually read somewhere years ago that the Gracies went with the name Jiu-Jitsu for two reasons. First, early in the century the names jiu-jitsu and judo were erroneously used interchangeably, were often confused with one another by foreigners and were not officially separated until much later. Second, and probably more likely, it was because what Maeda stated he was teaching was known in Brazil as “Kano Jiu-Jitsu”. I guess we can all speculate on that…



I have one request: unless it becomes relevant to what the gracies are doing with their material or as a supplemental debate that has a reason to be broached... can the comparison of sport versus combatives training be let go of? The material is the material. It either stands up to scrutiny or it does not... it either works or it is forced. It either has a parity and a naturalness that makes it attractive and useful or it does not.

Sorry to have broached the subject but this is the entire premise of this series. The premise that what they are teaching is supposedly much different than other BJJ and worth pursuing because it’s real fighting i.e. “combatives”. Although, from what I’ve read so far, they have apparently left out much of what it means to have real self defense.

Looking forward to the rest of this review…

Lindz
1/23/2010 2:32am,
I have one request: unless it becomes relevant to what the gracies are doing with their material or as a supplemental debate that has a reason to be broached... can the comparison of sport versus combatives training be let go of? The material is the material. It either stands up to scrutiny or it does not... it either works or it is forced. It either has a parity and a naturalness that makes it attractive and useful or it does not.

What? I think I know what those words mean. But not when you put them together like that.

I smell thread drift. maybe this should get culled.

Mackan
1/23/2010 2:53am,
This will be really interesting.

To be honest, I don't know too much about grappling or anything, and the BJJ places around here are both rediculusly expensive and have strange hours for their classes. So I was kind of looking into the possibilities of doing the Gracie combatives program.

Mostly reasoning that it would probably be better than nothing.

(Now, there are rumors that a BJJ guy will open up at my regular training place so I might be able to do "real" BJJ instead. I really hope so!)

But anyway - what's a (poor) guy to do, with no real (or at least reasonable) access to real grappling. I want to know if this is anything for me or others in my situation. For me it sort of feels better than a lot of home made YouTube-fu. FWIW.

In the meantime, I'll stay put in this thread and keep praying that my regular place opens up a BJJ class.

Petter
1/23/2010 5:07am,
It is amusing to see that some hold the view that a kick should be thought of as the same as a low punch. More than a few actually more than a few. I have heard this view from many who should know better.
Back in my krotty days, a few years back now, I occasionally talked to this aikido guy. Although my bullshit detector was not yet tuned to the martial arts, I raised an eyebrow or two when he claimed that the reason aikidoka didn’t train any defence against kicks was because it wasn’t necessary—you see, kicks aren’t just similar to low punches, but are in fact easier to deal with: An attacker who kicks is just putting himself at a disadvantage since he is standing on one leg and has therefore unbalanced himself. Therefore, an aikidoka who can deal with punches will have no trouble at all with kicks.

CrackFox
1/23/2010 5:16am,
A kick to the shin from a guy wearing boots is exactly the same as a low punch to the shin, and you should employ the same defence.

Petter
1/23/2010 5:29am,
And that defence is, presumably, to somehow take advantage of the wrist-grab.

CrackFox
1/23/2010 5:54am,
And that defence is, presumably, to somehow take advantage of the wrist-grab.
I wouldn't know. I do sports fighting and treat kicks and punches separately.