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You do not need to fear the Gracies anymore !!!
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Several years ago ...

I was at Soke's house interpreting for Ed Martin. Arnaud and a couple of other French guys were also there to discuss the "What is Budo" video which was to be filmed. On the subject of the UFC soke made the statement, "The only reason someone creates a competition is so they will win it." He went on to talk about how Judo comps don't allow strikes, Karate comps don't allow grappling. The UFC was created by the Gracies because it was a format that would provide a win for them. He also showed us a newspaper article. A famous wrestler in the '60's had made several negative comments regarding Takamatsu-sensei and his regular newspaper column and said that the master was just a Jiji (insulting term for an old man). Takamatsu-sensei had said that he could beat the wrestler with "one hand tied behind his back" and would offer a challenge to this guy - himself or his number one student Hatsumi. The Newspaper (Tokyo Sport) showed a picture of Hatsumi-sensei and the wrestler both in fighting stances - shapping up for the big fight. The wrestler was knifed later that week in a brawl and died so the fight didn't happen. Hatsumi-sensei laughed and said back then he was crazy, he was ready to fight the wrestler in the ring.

Later on we also did some training at the Hombu concerning ground-fighting and escapes from various holds, including things like an improved mount position etc. Hatsumi-sensei waved a finger over the room and bellowed "You do not need to fear the Gracies anymore !!". I also remember a funny incident from that session. I was trying a rolling escape from an arm-bar but just couldn't quite get the leverage to get over, my partner was a much stronger guy who was holding me well. Suddenly he gave a bit of a yelp in pain and I managed to get over - what happened? It was then I realised that soke was at the guys other side putting on some pain hold - he gave me a grin a walked on laughing. That's it ! - I thought - if I'm stuck in a bad situation I just need to call soke and he will appear to save me !! :)

You need to know how to escape from pins, how to restrain someone effectively and how to choke someone or break their limbs / neck etc. Mix Taijutsu up with BJJ? Well my opinion is that wrestling is for wrestlers. The guard, mount, side mount, north south, turtling, triangle choke (with the legs), Juji, etc etc don't work in situations involving multiple opponents and/or weapons. The guard was made famous by BJJ because not many grapplers knew about it. Most wrestling style allow for the pin to be used win so they generally tried not to allow their backs to be on the floor. Real fighting styles like ours mostly ignored it because it leaves the groin vulnerable, not to mention the insides of the thighs if weapons are involved.

My advice to people who want to mix up their fighting styles, learn to fight your own fight. Train more, train harder - that is what you need - not becoming a "jack of all trades". If you want to train for the ring then learn grappling. If you want to train for "real fighting" learn Taijutsu. Do nothing that is unnecessary - don't waste your time.

As for Bujinkan instructors that set up half-arsed "ground fighting" courses - what are these idiots doing? They take their rank in the Bujinkan and use it to justify teaching things they know nothing about. Usually they run "commercial" schools and need to cash in on the martial fads to keep students and make money. Taking simple wrestling moves and adding them to their Bujinkan stuff they embarrass us by presenting bad grappling as "Bujinkan training". If you want to learn grappling find a good instructor who can teach you properly - someone who has had many fights against quality opposition.

Posted on: 2003/2/20 11:35
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Re: You do not need to fear the Gracies anymore !!!
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Hi Zenigata

Are 'Gracies' in general bullies? Even Tim Bathurst made an off the cuff remark regarding their 'style' last year. Where do they hang out (so I can stay away)?

I remember an excercise we did in your dojo last year where two people knelt facing away from each other on a mat, with a hanbo between them. The winner had to 'escape' from the mat with the hanbo, without the other person still attached (if you concentrated on the hanbo you lost). What type of training would this be called in Japan?

Have you had many matches against quality opposition in your wrestling career to date? I think you'd make an excellent rugby player (prop?), even though rugby these days is getting more like soccer - bring back Buck!.

Regards
Miuki

Posted on: 2003/2/20 12:10
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reply
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Quote:

Miuki wrote:
Are 'Gracies' in general bullies? Even Tim Bathurst made an off the cuff remark regarding their 'style' last year. Where do they hang out (so I can stay away)?


I wouldn't say they are bullies. They created (improved on?) a style of fighting based on grappling skills that has taken the martial arts world by storm over the last few years. They are arguably the best at what they do in the world.

Quote:

Miuki wrote:
I remember an excercise we did in your dojo last year where two people knelt facing away from each other on a mat, with a hanbo between them. The winner had to 'escape' from the mat with the hanbo, without the other person still attached (if you concentrated on the hanbo you lost). What type of training would this be called in Japan?


This was my own invention. Just a balance control exercise.

Quote:

Miuki wrote:
Have you had many matches against quality opposition in your wrestling career to date?


I have, but quality opposition always beats me. I wrestle twice a week at Rings Australia with Chris Haseman. I feel my games improved a lot over the last couple of years but I have a looooong way to go yet.

Quote:

Miuki wrote:
I think you'd make an excellent rugby player (prop?), even though rugby these days is getting more like soccer - bring back Buck!.


I liked playing rugby in high school but I don't know much about the game. Being from West Australia the only winter sport I follow is AFL.

Posted on: 2003/2/20 12:56
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Re: reply
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Hi Duncan,

I'm happy you finally realized it :)

------------------------------
[note of the moderator: please add to the topic. Use PM for comments like this]

Posted on: 2003/2/20 13:24
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Re: You do not need to fear the Gracies anymore !!!
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Duncan,

So we don't use the "guard" position? What do you call do-jime with the legs?

I'm sure you have trained sakuhi from Koto-ryu.
And Fubi from Shinden Fudo-ryu dakentaijutsu.

What about the kata calling for "umanori" in Shinden Fudo-ryu and (I believe) Takagi Yoshin ryu? What is that if not a "mount" position [umanori = literally "mounting a horse" or "riding a horse"]?

In the Bujinkan I have encountered various overall strategic goals in different taijutsu exercises such as:
* escape
* restrain the adversary
* hurt the adversary
* knockdown or takedown/throw the adversary
* do whatever is necessary to protect life

I have seen this accomplished tactically through such means as:
* strikes (e.g. kosshi sanpo)
* grappling (e.g. torite goho, and the above mentioned "guard" and "mount" techniques)
* taihenjutsu (e.g. tonso kata)
* all of the above with weapons
* various combinations of all of the above

Can all of these be held to the test of "multiple attackers against weapons?" I would also say that none of them work against an assault rifle at 30 yards. Is that any less fair?

Posted on: 2003/2/21 6:48
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re
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Quote:

akaoni wrote:
So we don't use the "guard" position? What do you call do-jime with the legs?
I'm sure you have trained sakuhi from Koto-ryu.
And Fubi from Shinden Fudo-ryu dakentaijutsu.


Do-jime is not the same as the guard used in BJJ. In grappling the guard is a defensive position in which the most basic strategies involve gaining control of their upper body (sankaku jime or arm bar) with your back on the ground. Any variations I have seen in Japan with soke have involved creating space for kicking, knocking the opponent back for leg control or sweeping to get above the opponent. The "space" is different.

Quote:

akaoni wrote:
What about the kata calling for "umanori" in Shinden Fudo-ryu and (I believe) Takagi Yoshin ryu? What is that if not a "mount" position [umanori = literally "mounting a horse" or "riding a horse"]?


From my experience in both, the style of mount you want to use is very different from the one used in grappling styles.

Quote:

akaoni wrote:
Can all of these be held to the test of "multiple attackers against weapons?" I would also say that none of them work against an assault rifle at 30 yards. Is that any less fair?


You missed the most important elements: timing, distancing, balance control etc
Hastumi-sensei once said that if you gain an understanding of these your can win even in a nuclear war.

Posted on: 2003/2/21 8:02
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Gracies
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I would also like to point out that, just because a Gracie fights one way in the Ring, doesnt mean they fight that way on the street. The Gracies have there background firmly rooted in street fighting as well as JuiJutsu. Like how we pratice Randori with each other, and how we would really apply taijutsu in the "real" moment of need.

Not to mention, they do have something most Bujinkan members dont, they are tough as nails and because they fight in the ring, they are confident at using the majority of there skills at full speed and contact. (Though I do agree the UFC has too many prohibitive rules to call it "real" fighting).

It all comes down to the person, not the art.

My 2 yen,

Posted on: 2003/2/21 8:08
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Re: You do not need to fear the Gracies anymore !!!
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Do-jime is not the same thing as the guard --- further explanation.

I described the "most basic strategies" in using the guard as a bit of an explanation for those who know nothing about the subject. Fighting from the guard, and passing the guard for that matter, are quite complex subjects worthy of many years of study for any student of grappling. The two examples I gave, the triangle choke and the arm bar, are from my understanding the most basic and often the first two a grappling student will learn. Most people in the Bujinkan will know of them thus I gave them as an example of the sorts of things the guard is used for and the sort of thing I have never seen done in the Bujinkan. I believe that the fact that these are a basic in one style but absent in another demonstrates a fundamental difference.

The only tactics I have seen soke use from Do-jime are those which do not give the opponent access to his groin. Some of these overlap with various grappling tactics but as you are not using what I would call the "guard" I can't see how it is the same.

The only "guard pass" I saw while in Japan was keeping the balance back (to avoid being swept, choked or arm bared), digging the elbows into the thighs to create space and using the hand to crush the balls, separate the legs, keeping the legs open with elbow and knee control and slam punches into the groin.

Posted on: 2003/2/21 10:32
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Fear
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I'm scared of anyone who practices any martial art at full speed, with full power, often.

One night our dojo was 'visited' by some Thai kickboxers and I managed to walk straight into what started off as a punch, and ended up being an elbow to my jaw. Another night a BBJ guy turned up - talk about a cyclone in close. Locks, bridges and smoking barrels etc. Very intense individuals.

Once the smoke had cleared however, the visitors were manic balls of sweat whilst our seniors didn't look like they had raised a finger. Our disheartened visitors haven't been back. What appeared to scared them the most was, as Zenigata alludes to below, were attacks to their balance - both mental and physical - without the need for any strength.

Posted on: 2003/2/21 11:31
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Re: Fear
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A point about the guard.

The guard will only work as long as you are facing the opponent. If you manage to turn your body sideways you will find it fairly easy to move between the legs.

Miuki pointed an important fact about speed. If somone is fast an accurate you need to be at least as fast and accurate in order to defeat them.

P.S. I know that some of you will disagree saying that timing is more important and thats fine as long as you can react in time for the attack.


Posted on: 2003/2/22 1:43
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