Daily Rickson Interview Series 4 of 24: Does BJJ still need self-defense?

Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?


BJJ Legends: I spoke with a Jiu Jitsu black belt who told me that he felt that self-defense, the self defensive aspects of the art, were no longer necessary. His opinion, the capable blue belt would be able to handle themselves on the street in a self-defense situation, if they had experience competing under the supportive elements. This sounds like to me that you don’t believe that.

Rickson: I definitely don’t believe that.

BJJ Legends: Why, why not?

Rickson: Because you know, I’ve been doing seminars all over, and they may know how to [inaudible 00:00:38], how to guard, how to be the action, but they don’t know how to avoid punches in the guard. They don’t know how to feel comfortable in a stand up situation. They don’t have no ideas of how to use the side kick, the blocking. So the fight doesn’t start and or end on the ground. A lot of things can happen in between and I feel like, not only for the competitor, because if you think every guy going to go in your school to learn how to compete, you’re very wrong. I mean, the self-defense program is to feel women, children, who has sometimes like a little intimidation, they feel like shy or insecure.

So you cannot expect this kid will be a great competitor. You have to feed them with what they need so they don’t get bully on the streets. So just by learning how to not be pushed or not fall easy is already a great positive valuable thing for him to learn. The elements Jiu Jitsu has to favor the community cannot be just forgotten because somebody’s just had [inaudible 00:01:43] years and try to compete. I think competition is a great aspect of the sport to develop the atheletics by the competitive result of the athletes, but not to fulfill their needs of a different purpose like a law enforcement, women, and so on.

So I’m totally disagree with that. And for me, the Jiu Jitsu who don’t know self-defense, he’s incomplete, he may even can handle himself, but he don’t have no elements to teach his daughter or his weak cousin to be what he does. So for me, our culture is based on self-defense.

Tomorrow: Is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?

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