Josh Barnett of the UFC, Erik Paulson of CSW and Feargus McTeggart, head coach of Brea High School wrestling and the Brea Wrestling Club. They have worked together and created the California Catch Wrestling Association, CCWA.
Catch Wrestling is a turn of the century wrestling hybrid that combines wresting with submission holds. It was popularized by wrestlers traveling with fairs and carnivals. The rules are very similar to BJJ with the big difference that a match can be ended win a grappler is pinned. (Both shoulders/center spine on the mat)
Matches were 5 minutes long. Out of 30 some odd matches not one ended in a draw and all but one ended in submissions or pins. Neither wrestlers or BJJ guys clearly had an advantage. Wrestlers were susceptible to leg attacks and BJJ guys to the cradle and pin.
“Our goal is to bring the sport of Catch Wrestling back to the public eyes and back people back on to the mats as another addition to the existing styles of amateur wrestling (Folkstyle/Freestyle/Greco-Roman).”
A simple breakdown of the rules are:
-Win by pin, submission, or points -A pin is when a wrestler's shoulder are pinned to the mat for a silent 3 count. A pin cannot be score while in a wrestler's scissor (guard) or if caught in a submission (catch) -A submission is when a legal hold makes a wrestler give up either verbally or by tapping the mat or opponent 3 times -Points are scored as follows: 2pts takedown, 1pt escape, 3pts high amplitude throw or takedown. -Matches are 5 minutes in length -Shoes are allowed -Headgear is allowed -Illegal hold and techniques: Heel hooks Spiking an opponent on their head or neck Scissor takedowns Throwing submissions -No guard pulling or stalling
BJJ Legends: If you would talk about how this rule set prevents stalling or maybe makes it less of an occurrence.
Erik Paulson: First of all, the time limit is shorter, so it makes it more of a spectator sport. The pin, people don't jump to their guard or flop on their back because of the pin. If your shoulder is hit, you lose. So guys are fighting from the top trying to get the other guy on their back. And the submissions are faster, a little more diverse.
Like right there, that's a pin, that's a pin right there.
McTeggart: Yes, and that was part of the equation, was really to try to amp up the risk-taking because of the short time. The idea was to promote not only the submission aspect, but the wrestling, and really try to ingrain wrestling into the submission process. To immerse it in it, if you will; embed it, if you will. We want wrestling to be the primary transitionary part of grappling. Because in wrestling, true wrestling, freestyle, Greco, folk style, you don't go to your back. So if you go to your back, you have a three-count to get off your back. Other than that, you can do pins.
So what we're hoping is that wrestling will then smoothly transition then into MMA, into grappling. It's the next exhibition sport in the Olympics. We know wrestlers are specifically trained to stay off their back. On the other hand, when you're going for submission, you might give up a take-down. But if you're going for a submission, you can be rewarded with a two-point and/or get the submission. But at the same time, as long as you're on your back, you're fighting to stay off your back. So it stays really close to its origin of wrestling, and that's what we're trying to do.
BJJL: Are the parents upset that you're allowing submissions?
McTeggart: No, it's only for kids of a certain age. So we don't teach it to little kids, they have to be anywhere from 18 and above. We've gone down as low as 14 years, which is the high school level. So if anything is taught correctly, be it karate or judo or wrestling, provided that kids are taught to respect their opponents and do the right things.
BJJL: How was your turnout today?
McTeggart: Pretty good, for the first time around.
BJJL: Do you know how many competitors you had?
McTeggart: In the submission was 20 competitors, ranging three different weight classes. We also had four girls compete, as well.
BJJL: I saw a lot more submissions, nothing went to a draw, and I saw some crazy submissions.
Josh Barnett: Some of the exotic stuff comes from the 10th Planet guys. They're used to using an open, somewhat- It's not like it's unrefined, it is refined, but it's very, I don't know. It's inventive. And plus, our environment doesn't place a lot of restriction on submission. So we want people to go out there and come up with stuff off the top of their head, or create a killer unusual move and use it.
BJJL: The cradle was messing up the BJJ guys.
Josh Barnett: As far as cradles are concerned, well, I mean that's just a- Let's just say you're in a fight, you get cradled up, and you get your head kneed into oblivion. So part of the reason for the pin is to help teach and refine techniques that will be useful for fighting. But if you're getting cradled, you should be kicking out, working.
BJJL: Oh, I'm going to work on it when I go back to the academy.
Josh Barnett: There's options to go off their legs, there's all kinds of stuff. But the thing is you just cannot hang out, you can't try to work, just sit around and wait to maybe get a reverse hold. You can't wait to do anything, you got to be active.
BJJL: Very nice. Now are you happy with the turnout? Because this is the first event.
Josh Barnett: Yeah, I'm happy with the turnout. It wasn't a massive amount of people, but we had enough to get some good pools going. And we did just that, we pooled everybody. So we round robin everyone, wrestled everyone, some people go three matches today even with only four opponents.
BJJL: And the next catch wrestling tournament will be?
Josh Barnett: We don't have a set date yet, I'm sure it will be piggybacked on another wrestling tournament. But part of the reason why we want to be at these wrestling tournaments is to try inspire and show these amateur wrestlers a style that is also, it's not entire foreign to them, that’s complementary.
So I want to get wrestlers involved in getting on the mat and using submission again. And that's the main thing about this. That and I can't stand stalling, I mean there's so much stalling in the grappling world.
BJJL: The IBJJF is trying to change the rules, we've got two new leagues trying to change the rules, Rickson is changing the rules, Rigan is changing the rules, everybody is trying to get rid of stalling. And, today, I saw no stalling.
Josh Barnett: The easiest way to get rid of stalling is put the power on the refs and then make them use it. And there you go, pull the trigger on people. If you're stalling, you pull the trigger. "Hey, warning, warning." Three stalling calls and you're DQ'ed out of this tournament. You have no business being on our mats if you don't want to go out there and engage, take down, throw, submit, pin these people.
BJJL: Right on. Well, thank you very much, sir, and much success in your future endeavors.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Jiu-Jitsu for everyone; Jiu-Jitsu is like a church
BJJ Legends: So for you, Jiu-Jitsu then is for everybody, men, women, children.
Rickson Gracie: Yes, I feel Jiu-Jitsu more like, instead of sport, more like a religion because you can really interact in a sense where you develop in yourself as a God. You're improving your patience. You improve your strategy. You improve your emotional control. You improve your capacity to handle pressure. So all those improvements make you feel enlightened and more capable to resolve the matters in your life. So I feel it's a very positive thing. When you go to academy, for me, it's similar to coming to a church because you just go for the self-improvement and become a better person.
Tomorrow: Rickson answers, What does BJJ offer to someone who has never had BJJ in their life before?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: We ask Rickson Gracie If he struggled with the path that was chosen for him?
BJJ Legends: I started Jiu-Jitsu a little bit late, my late 20s. I've been doing it ever since, past 14 years. It hasn't always been easy. It took some time for me to understand some things about myself along the way. You were born into the family. Everyone around you did Jiu-Jitsu. For me, it was a brand-new discovery, but what I found was, as I progressed through the belts, I also progressed as a person, in terms of how I understood myself and what I saw as elements of myself that either needed modification or didn't.
Sometimes I was resistant to the changes that Jiu-Jitsu was affording me. Did you find that for yourself, as a child growing up, even though you had excellent examples all around you? Did you ever have an internal struggle as to the path that had either been chosen for you or that you saw laid out in front of you?
Rickson Gracie: No, I never felt uncomfortable in any situation. Well, something I have to learn is how to manage my extreme confidence in myself, how not to be aggressive or impose my desires or my position to others. So in one point, I felt like I have to just express how good I am, how tough I am, and the way I want.
Then I realized all this power becomes even stronger when I start to respect people and become more concerned about how they think and how I should approach people. So as I'm getting bigger in my confidence and my self-esteem, I start to feel like how important for me is to level up myself and make everybody feel confident to approach me, to talk to me.
Even sometimes I have to apologize in another matter. It's not about me. I'm tough guy in the streets. So whatever I say is right. It's not like that. I feel like it's given me the sense of apologizing if I'm wrong, respect people in the line, and so on. So that's a great learning process.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us that Jiu-Jitsu for everyone; Jiu-Jitsu is like a church..
Quick Q&A with Mathew Tinley of the Jiu-Jitsu World League. Rigan Machado and Mathew Tinley are the cofounders of the JJWL.
BJJ Legends: What is the Jiu-Jitsu World League? Mathew Tinley: The Jiu-Jitsu World League improves Jiu-Jitsu for all belt levels and ages, men and women, and kids too. We will "professionalize" Jiu-Jitsu because top athletes are professionals. Equally important, we will make the Jiu-Jitsu experience better for everyone. We must build the foundation of Jiu-Jitsu so it's important to develop our sport for white, blue and purple belts.
The Jiu-Jitsu World League returns Jiu-Jitsu to its essence as a combat martial art. Our Aggressive Rules encourage moves one uses in combat and prohibit artificial tactics that don't happen in combat. There’s no advantages or stalling in combat, and usually combat ends in submission, as our Aggressive Rules encourage.
BJJL: Any plans for the east coast? -Kenneth Brown MT: We will be bringing both GI and No GI events to the East Coast including NY/NJ, New England, Mid Atlantic, Toronto and Florida. We also will visit Northern California, Southern California, Las Vegas, Texas and Chicago and several others.
BJJL: Is Buchecha competing? MT: Buchecha will compete in several events and if he does well, he will qualify for year-end World Championships (every competitor must qualify with points for the World Championships, just like other global sports).
BJJL: $5000 for absolute, how much do 2nd and 3rd get? -- RA MT: The biggest prize money comes from winning the year end World Championships. World Champions at all belt levels will earn cash and other prizes. Of course everyone knows the two black belt open class winners (heavy and light) win $5000 each per tournament.
BJJL: How will the prize money be divided? 12 cities and a quarter of a million dollars MT: We deliver amazing rewards to all winners. Winners of every bracket in every regular tournament win over $1240 in prizes each, that's unheard of. People say we're crazy but we are committed to rewarding our community.
We also are committed to giving back to academies and instructors because they give so much of their energy and exceptional talent to our beloved Jiu-Jitsu. Go to http://www.jjworldleague.com/gyms/ to learn how you can benefit without any cost.
BJJL: Do the women get $5000 for two divisions in the Absolute class? MT: Our tournaments will have women's absolute class. We encourage all women to participate in our events. We will offer prize money for women once their registration numbers approach registrations for men. As Jiu-Jitsu is equally exciting and fulfilling for women, we are committed to improving Jiu-Jitsu for women.
BJJL: Will you offer a Referee course so people can become certified JJWL refs? MT: One of the things competitors tell us that they are disappointed by the quality of referees at Jiu-Jitsu competitions. So we decided to totally change the selection, training and evaluation of our referees to ensure quality. Our referees are carefully selected based on their background and character. Then they undergo thorough and comprehensive training by Rigan Machado and other experienced black belts. Then, each referee will be graded on their performance. The top referees will be promoted to referee higher level matches and earn more money. The referees who do not perform to our high standards will be dismissed. The quality of referees is one of the major differences of the Jiu-Jitsu World League.
We are humbled by the overwhelming support we continue to receive from our community. We've received calls of support from the legends of our sport as well as current world champions. Our first event will have 1000 competitors. We have people registered from all over the world from Japan to England, from the top black belts to white belts fighting in their first tournament. This positive energy motivates us to produce the best tournament ever and to continue to innovate to bring our beloved Jiu-Jitsu on par with other global sports.
Thanks for the opportunity to answers your questions for our community.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie shares his profound and humble personal story of change through Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: It's different for everybody. Can you share with us how that transformation came over you? What was your personal experience?
Rickson Gracie: My transformation is -- I mean, before I was born I was already in the DNA of Jiu-Jitsu. So for me, I was born and raised in the family. When I was kid, "Oh, you wanna be like your dad. Oh, you wanna be a fighter too." So I was born in the family. I was born fighting, competing since six years old. But actually, the transformation became, first, I was trying to be a good fighter. And then I become a good fighter. And then I fulfilled my ego. Okay, I'm good. And then what can I do with that? And that becomes the biggest part. because I started to be a reference for people. I started to teach people to try to become like me. And this process of learning makes them feel like they're improving. And I felt like it's a huge positive component and feed people with what they need. And that's my transformation maybe is from egocentric levels of trying to make it to be important in the community and then to pass that knowledge and to fulfill people and motivate people to excel. So the transformation is from an athlete to a teacher.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us if he has struggled because he was born into a fighting Jiu-Jitsu family.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie will discuss why so many people's lives are changed by Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: This is very consistent with other things I've heard you say, other members of your family. Robson Gracie was attributed with the statement that Jiu-Jitsu... he believes Jiu-Jitsu is fantastic and that its a form of education.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJL: He felt it was transformative. Do you feel that same way?
Rickson Gracie: I'm sorry.
BJJL: He felt it was transformative. It changed people, that Jiu-Jitsu had the ability to change people and that was one of the things that made it fantastic and the fact it had an educational component to it. Do you feel the same way, that it's very transformative for these reasons?
Rickson Gracie: I'm positive, but not because Jiu-Jitsu transforms you. Jiu-Jitsu gives you the opportunity for you to know what you are made of and how you adjust yourself to get better. You don't have to be panicked in those situations. Jiu-Jitsu proves that. You can be more relaxed here. You can have your leverage to instead power. By understand about your leverage, your weight distribution, your techniques, your elements of emotional control, you definitely become a different animal. You become a much more complete animal in terms of strategy, in terms of courage, in terms of capacity to handle emotions. So that transformation, coming from within, based on the exposure of Jiu-Jitsu.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us how Jiu-Jitsu changed him personally.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie describes how the JJGF will be of service to the Jiu-Jitsu community and the community at large.
BJJ Legends: You were talking about the three pillars.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJL: You talked about communications, competitions.
Rickson Gracie: Competitions.
BJJL: We talked about the rules a little bit. And the third?
Rickson Gracie: The third one will be, maybe, the most important in service, of all. Which is, feed those. For example, I just talked about the teacher, who coming from a competitive school, training, system. It becomes a black belt with good recognition. Then we opened the school and it has no teaching programs from our traditional aspect. The education aspect is exactly created to provide knowledge. To provide programs for those teachers become more effective in the way they teach. By having those programs...becoming a certified instructor, training, he becomes much more knowledgeable with the elements he can use to fulfill the needs of the community. That will be very, very important for him to have more students. It will favor the instructor. It will favor the school honor. It will favor the students because more people can learn. More people can enjoy the math. The teacher will be happy to favor more people. The school honor will be happy because it can retain more students. Education is a very important tool for the federation to spread the concepts, to spread the knowledge, to make our culture have a reference for the future. Without that, any school can teach anything without having the idea of what is our backbone.
Tomorrow: Rickson will discuss how it is that Jiu-Jitsu has changed so many lives.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie: Stalling is an Efficient way to win a fight but it is not very Effective in a real fight.
BJJ Legends: Let's talk about that for a moment. This isn't the first interview that you have done and I managed to see one or two of them, and you talked about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJ Legends: I think you've been circling around it here a little bit in terms of the things you and I have been talking about right now. Let's stop for a moment and talk about how the Jiu Jitsu Global Federation, the JJGF, is going to promote efficiency.
Rickson Gracie: No.
BJJ Legends: Effectiveness.
Rickson Gracie: Effectiveness.
BJJ Legends: Excuse me, effectiveness over efficiency.
Rickson Gracie: Yes, because efficiency is how many packages you do a minute. Effectiveness is what's the purpose of this. So efficiency to get medals, I mean, I can see the guys consistently win medals by doing very boring game, like very bored. It's just the way they fight. It's very efficient to get the medal. But the effectiveness of this in real life, is almost close to none. So I don't believe in that kind of efficiency. I really pray for people understand. Jiu Jitsu is something we have to have for effectiveness. To result, to be able to survive, to be able to protect, to be able to create elements for you to feel good about yourself. Not only when you compete, but when you walk on the street.
Tomorrow: Rickson will talk about JJGF's service goals.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie believes you have a responsibility to your community to teach the minute you put a black belt on your waist.
BJJ Legends: I noticed that you said you wouldn't be a Jiu-Jitsu fighter without self-defensive aspect, will not be a complete fighter or inability to teach. What responsibility do Jiu-Jitsu artists have to share the art, to share the sport, supportive aspects of the art and the self-defensive aspects of the art with others?
Rickson Gracie: I think, I mean, you can compete, you can have no responsibility of anything. But at the moment, you become famous, you put a black belt in your chest, I mean in your waist, and you open a school. You should have the compromise to serve the community in a complete way. I think if you just gotten, I mean, I heard another day, a student coming to his teacher, his Jiu-Jitsu teacher and asked for self-defense. And he said, No, if you want a self-defense, you learn Krav Maga. We hear training Jiu-Jitsu competition, and I feel like this is just like killing the sport, that's killing our traditional culture. Because the first generation, the second generation of the Jiu-Jitsu family, when they go on the street, they feel comfortable while they're competing. And why this doesn't translate anymore? Is just because the competition becomes so specific, so much detailed in grips and stalling, which doesn't translate in effectiveness anymore.
And on the schools, the programs of self-defense have been forgotten, just because 'let's train, let's roll, let's have fun.' But the community service, the need for the community is much more than just having fun, or get sweat or get busted ears. You have to know how to protect yourself from a slap, or a knife or a gun or something. You have to have chances, nobody is going to be unbeatable, nobody is superman. But more elements you have to fulfill the need, the more you going to feel better, walk around, talk better, everything will be better for you. And the Jiu Jitsu I learned all my life, the Jiu Jitsu I teach all my life, has none of those strategic elements to the medal.
It's all bout effectiveness, it's all about what works for you on the mat, on the street or in the cage. And that's I feel like, that's crucial for us to preserve our culture and leave Jiu-Jitsu to the future with some kind of reference. Because now, or a few, the Jiu-Jitsu is going in that direction. And the roots and the effectiveness and what we believe is being forgotten. And Jiu-Jitsu maybe ten years from now, will be like Judo, with great athletes, tough guys, but doesn't translate to reality anymore. It's like Taekwondo, which same thing, great athletes, super moves, but completely unrealistic if you put the guy on the cage or in a self situation, on a self-defense.
Tomorrow: Rickson gives us one of several gems not to be missed: Effectiveness (being able to protect yourself) vs Efficiency (winning tournaments)
If we're only living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle during the time we are on the mat, then that might amount to about 10% of our weekly routine, but if we take the lessons from that 10% and apply it towards the other 90% of our life… WOW! Now we've found a way to embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. -- Eliot Kelly
Community Service is a powerful tool used to improve the quality of living in society. No matter how big or small the service it’s contributable efforts play a major role in raising awareness for taking a selfless action in making the world a better place to live and play. The principles emphasized in martial arts are one in the same as the endless passing of knowledge from one’s experience supplies the recipient a positive outlet to enhancing their lives. BJJ black belt Eliot Kelly success as a competitor and personal growth showcases the results that Martial arts produce. Giving back Kelly has taken part in various community service outreaches with a fusion of martial arts doing his part in uncovering a solution to a problem.
BJJ Legends got the opportunity to speak with Kelly has he touches on the influence community service has played in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community.
When you think of community service & Martial Arts what comes to mind?
Kelly: In my opinion, most martial arts have an element of community service built into their practice. The core of martial arts is about development and growth. Conceptually, martial art is about facing the challenges we have to better ourselves and the people around us in the dojo,and applying the lessons from those challenges into our daily life off the mat. I feel the spirit of martial arts is about leading the person in front of you to a better, stronger place, and as a result of that you become better and stronger. I see community service as just that. Facing a challenge to better the people around you andhelp them grow. The result is in a better community for everyone!
How is the focus on community service used in the BJJ community?
Kelly: I think Jiu-Jitsu has an excellent reputation for including community service in their practices, and I don't think this is a coincidence. The act of training makes us humble, helps us express humility and gratitude for where we are in life. As a result the Jiu-Jitsu community gravitates towards finding ways to better the people around them through service. When people talk about living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, I think community service is a key component.My Professor, Marcos Torregrosa, for example goes all over to teach seminars, but he will also teach a community service like seminar to raise money for a good cause and bring awareness towards certain topics. I recently attended a roll-a-thon even in Rocklin at Professor Gustavo’s Infinite Jiu Jitsu Academy where they raised awareness and funds for Autism. Professor Claudio Franca hosts a food drive seminar every year in the fall to help feed the hungry and the price for the seminar is "food." All these Jiu-Jitsu related community service events are great examples of the BJJ community getting together to collaborate, contribute, and enrich those around them.
Being a very active competitor alongside your duties as an Instructor, what inspired you to take that role of becoming a charitable contributor to society off the mat?
Kelly: I'm still just striving to become a successful competitor and instructor... But through that process I've come to realize that the general public doesn't really understand Jiu-Jitsu and the unassuming power of Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport, it's not just a martial art, and many people refer to Jiu-Jitsu as being a lifestyle. My inspiration began with the desire to better understand and better communicate to the general public, and those involved in Jiu-Jitsu, about the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle we talk about but don't necessarily define. After lots of blogging, thinking, and talking, I feel the lifestyle we refer to isn't just about the training, but applying our training into other areas off the mat. Sam Calavitta, Gary Merlo, Tom Callos, Chad Robichaux, Marcos Torregrosa, and Adisa Banjoku are people that have helped me better understand this idea in application.The Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle begins with stepping on the mat and challenging yourself and the people around you to become better. When we take those lessons from challenging ourselves on the mat and apply them into other areas of our life off the mat, then we begin to live the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
If we're only living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle during the time we are on the mat, then that might amount to about 10% of our weekly routine, but if we take the lessons from that 10% and apply it towards the other 90% of our life… WOW! Now we've found a way to embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. Many of those lessons are basic things Jiu-Jitsu people might take for granted, patience, tranquility, humility, gratitude, communication, strategy, creativity… I could keep going! ;)
What are some community service projects you've participated in ?
Kelly: We try to host a community service related event atour school in El Dorado Hills, California every month, a self-defense workshop, anti-bullying workshop, law enforcement workshop for people to get on the mat to better understand the potential of Jiu-Jitsu. Every year I go to the local high school in El Dorado Hills to help the P.E. teachers teach their combative lesson to their freshmen class. These are events that help bring people off the mat on the mat.
Professor Chad Robichaux of Gracie Barra formed the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program, a program to help combat veterans adjust back to life stateside.Through his own experiences in marital arts, Chad and his wife Cathy have structured an incredible program to serve veterans with PTSD and Physical Trauma.
Last year students in El Dorado Hills hosted a 24 hour roll-a-thon event to contribute funding and awareness towards prostate cancer and the Might Oaks Warrior Program. This was a huge project for them to schedule, organize, network, and implement. A great example of taking the lessons and challenges from training and applying to other areas off the mat.I've been really lucky to have partnered with a few very dedicated members of the community that have helped set up scholarship opportunities at our school. In designing our scholarship program we’ve included a section on community service. Students on scholarship create their own project, on their own hours, and make it happen! In the future, I would like to be involved in creating a non-profit organization that incorporates the power of Jiu-Jitsu and community service in educating our community.
Can you talk a little more about this?
Kelly: I'm thinking a 501c3 would be needed to get things going, but the idea is to create a community outreach program for people who are already involved in Jiu-Jitsu to educate others on the idea of self-defense and get others involved in Jiu-Jitsu. I might be getting repetitive, but I think getting people to live and understand the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle is important. From the challenges on the mat, we are better able to challenge and contribute off the mat. We've thought of a few names and ideas to get things moving, but I don't want to share too much just yet. Maybe another interview in the future ;)
In your experience what have you gotten out Of your charitable deeds?
Kelly: A couple sandwiches.... LOL! Just kidding... I feel my experiences have helped me better understand the arts. Definitely the art of teaching and Jiu-Jitsu, but also the art of communication and the art of organizing events. Every time these things take place, I’m humbled by the power of people wanting to help. All these experiences help me have an attitude of gratitude.
Finally any advice for people looking does start up their own community service outreach through Martial Arts?
Kelly: Yes! Seek out Tom Callos and his organization called, The 100. The 100 is a gathering ground for those dedicated to developing the community through martial arts, and a catalyst to promote many types of community service based events. Tom was the catalyst for the Penn Foundation in Hilo, Hawaii, an outreach program for the youth in the area. Another example is the "Alabama Buildvention." Where martial artists gather from all over the world to fully fund and build a home for the less fortunate. We've only done some fundraising for this community service project, but I would like to attend one of thesedays... Another great person to seek advice from is Adisa Banjoku of the Hip-hop Chess Federation. I had the opportunity to participate in a collaborative event with the HHCF and the KO Finisher down in Anaheim earlier this year, and can't say enough great things about their organization and integration, application, and communication of the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle with hip hop and chess. Most importantly, get moving! Just like Jiu-Jitsu, the best way to get started with jiu-jitsu is to get moving. We might fail at first, and many times after that, but keep moving, listen to your coach, and surround yourself with like-minded people that will embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
Any final thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?
BJJ Legends: It's been said that in a self-defense situation, a realistic consideration of holding on until help arrives is a viable option. What are your thoughts on that?
Rickson: Depends. I mean, if you're talking about self-defense in a situation where I'm in a regular equal situation, I can hold the guy for the cops arrive or whatever. But if I know, by holding the guy, his friends will come, or if I'm a fragile woman who has just gotten space and get out of there, it's a completely different feeling of how you have to protect and survive. I feel like jujutsu's capable to give to the opponent a very complete spectrum of the possibility, either to deflect the energy and try to escape, either to kick the guy's butt, whatever it is, the need. In some cases, the opponent is bigger, stronger, meaner, you wanna just the deflect, get space and get out of there as quick as possible. The options are there and the way you're gonna use it will depend of the need.
Tomorrow: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?
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?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson tells us if he will award points or advantages for sub attempts.
BJJ Legends: In Budo Challenge, you set up a situation where competitors are awarded points; eight points, I believe, for attacks, near submission attempts. We saw this many years ago. There was a similar rule in there that rewarded attempts at submission. Will you look to incorporate something like that in the current rules into new rules?
Rickson: No, the idea of Budo Challenge was make something even more sensational for TV was like extreme, only for top athletes, not exactly for like the academic, not for competitions, not even visualizing amateur sport. So we highly… pushing the guys to go for submissions and let everything out. The time limits are smaller, pushing one to explosiveness, so the idea was to create a very dynamic explosive grappling action. I mean, the results are great and this 75% of the fights were finished by submissions. So we have great result at the time. But this concept for the federation is completely different. It is more like attending the vision of becoming Olympic, attending of one vision of unifying the sport and making all the great grapplers. Kind of feel like they belong to one important community which ranking them is a unified system and giving to them the possibility to grow including to a bigger medium, you know.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson describes us what is wrong with the current tournament rules for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: Interviewer: So lets talk about the rules then a little bit because this is obviously something that is a concern to you and you feel it's at the heart of what the problem is currently at least in jujitsu, where the division lies and an element of the artistic aspect. The rules as they exist now, do you feel that they facilitate or promote stalling?
Rickson: Definitely, I feel like the rules are a big problem for us today. Because the intention of the rules are the best, but people start to use the rules in their favor to become more confident to get the medal. So they start to develop, within the rule, situations to be legal and still be able to keep the pace under control. I feel like this is completely against the actual progressive aspect of the fight. So the rules, I mean, I don't want to reinvent the wheel, so the classic points will stay.
The advantage has to go, because the advantage is a very gray area which now they are being used by the top fighters as a point. It's like imagine basketball game where the ball in the rim counts or a soccer game where the ball on the post counts. So people are not going to be paying attention more to making the basket. They will, if anything, touch the ring, okay, it's a point, so they start to play with this kind of advantage as a solid point. And sometimes, you see a ten-minute fight be decided by one advantage. So that kind of downgrades our expectations in terms of action. So by taking that advantage off, keeping the points, the real points on and also penalizing stalling by warning, minus a point, minus two points and DQ, we completely give the athlete the compromise to move, to act, instead of just waiting in a holding position which has no purpose in real life. We develop, we push him to keep moving and if he's in a bad position, make sure to get out of there. If in a good position, make sure you escalate, but you cannot just stall and just jeopardizing the sport, the patience of the audience and so on. So the sport has to be a continuous dynamic action. So I feel like that adjustment in the rules, you create a different, progressive, dynamic fight, which is better for everyone.