“Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.” – Susan B. Anthony
I started training in martial arts about fifteen years ago, and right from the beginning self-defense has been a priority for me. Not only is it comforting to know that I can defend myself and my family if necessary, the training is also fun and interesting to me. That said, I know that odds are on my side that I’m not going to have to use it. According to Statistics Canada, in all reported cases of violent crime against men, 84% of attackers were acquaintances of the victim and nearly all were involved in some form of criminal relationship or activity. There are still many benefits for men to train their self-defense, and it’s not that random attacks are completely unheard of. The world can absolutely be a dangerous place but the average law-abiding man, it would seem, doesn’t have as much to worry about if they don’t go looking for trouble.
The statistics of violence against women tell a different, darker story. In the majority of cases of violence against women the attackers were not strangers or acquaintances known from criminal activity, but family members or intimate partners – current and former. One study found that half of Canadian women had experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16, and 67% of Canadians said they personally knew at least one woman who had been a victim of violence. These statistics cover extreme examples, but they don’t even touch on the countless everyday encounters that aren’t ‘attacks’ per-say but violate personal space or comfort in public. Faced with these truths, self-defense training becomes much less hypothetical.
Not only am I a strong believer in self-defense training for women in general, but particularly in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art that not only provides tools for dealing with a larger, stronger attacker but also provides options for control, de-escalation and scaling. Very few martial arts have been tested in as many real-life situations across all walks of life, and keep things simple to maximize training time. At Arashi-Do Martial Arts, we follow the teachings of Mestre Sylvio Behring, an 8th degree black belt and one of the world’s foremost experts on self-defense. While we also love the sport of Jiu-Jitsu, self-defense is and will always continue to be a mainstay in our classes. Try 30 days of classes free with no obligation, and see for yourself what kind of impact Jiu-Jitsu can have on your life.
Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at email@example.com for more information.
Everan demonstrates an excellent “side base” before a Mini Monkeys class
“Base.” If you’ve watched Professor Tyson teaching a BJJ class, particularly for children you’ll hear this word brought up constantly. It’s the very first thing taught in our free 30-minute introductory private lessons, and also the beginning of every single stripe test. Whenever a new self-defense technique is taught, the children are reminded that worst case scenario, even if they completely blank on the technique and can’t remember what to do, that they should at least… (this is where they all know to shout BASE! in unison).
So, what is the base and why is it central to how we teach Jiu-Jitsu? In essence, the term “Base” refers to putting your body in a position that makes it difficult for the opponent to push, pull, lift, squash or otherwise affect your body in the way they want to. With that in mind, it’s impossible to put yourself in a position that works against all pressures at once, so different situations will call for different bases. For the children, we streamline it into two main bases, one for when the opponent is beside them and one for when the opponent is in front. For adults, every position in Jiu-Jitsu can have several different iterations of a base depending on the opponent. This can seem confusing or even frustrating, but less so if you think of it less like a hundred different base positions that you have to memorize, and more like simply looking at the position you’re in and thinking “What does my opponent want in this position, and what would make that difficult for them?” Often it’s something small and simple; For example, inside the closed guard it’s better to have your hands on the opponent’s body than on the floor, and to try to be as long from front to back as possible to put stress on their legs.
Professor Tyson and Instructor Cole working in the closed guard with Professor Douglas Moura in Brazil, 2015
These aren’t huge complicated changes to make, but the effect is enormous on the opponent. Having your hands on them instead of the floor means any move they make is against resistance which means that they will be slower, more predictable and tire more easily. Putting stress on the legs means they can’t relax and hang out in the guard, pressuring them to make decisions more quickly. That’s what base is really about – the small adjustments that can be made in any position to put more and greater obstacles between your opponent and what they want. Many martial arts styles neglect this concept and instead rely on being fast, strong and flexible enough to get what you want before your opponent does. That works sometimes for some people, but there is always someone stronger, faster and more flexible out there. Pay attention to your base, and before long you’ll be making these adjustments without even having to think about it!
Try out BJJ for 30 days FREE at our St. Albert location. Contact Professor Tyson at 780-217-0059 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This is a throwback video to before the St. Albert location, when Professor Tyson was teaching a class called Elemental Jiu-Jitsu at the North Edmonton location based on his book. The video outlines three basic armbars from the guard with three very different styles. The armbar from the closed guard is one of the most important tools to develop for white belts. Opening and passing the guard takes focus, especially against a strong opponent. By threatening the opponent with submissions from the closed guard, you can split their focus between defending the submissions and passing, making their pass less committed and effective. Also, due to the nature of the submission, opponents will often hunker down in your closed guard to avoid the arm being straightened. This makes it easier to go for sweeps and other submissions.
Unlike most sports (and even many martial arts) there is no “best body type” for BJJ and there is also no best way to play it. Everyone learns similar fundamentals, but especially once you get to purple or even blue belt you will start to personalize your style with the techniques and approach that work for you. One of the more common approaches in Jiu-Jitsu is the approach of deception – with the goal in mind of setting up the opponent to think you’re doing one thing while planning another. This can be a very efficient method, especially when fighting opponents that are bigger, stronger or faster.
However, laying traps and deceiving the opponent requires several different skills, and in my experience there is one skill that is often neglected – the skill of selling the first attack. For example, one common pairing is the triangle choke and the armbar. When you attack with a triangle choke, the opponent is likely to try to posture up, leaving their arm vulnerable to the armbar. However, if that was always the plan then fighters will sometimes slack off on the triangle attack. Since the threat of the triangle isn’t real, they don’t panic and posture up as quickly, so the armbar isn’t there either. Even if you’re thinking a few steps ahead, there’s never a time in jiu-jitsu where it’s a good idea to be sloppy or uncommitted on a technique especially against high level opponents. Check out this video of another combination technique for when opponents stack you in the armbar!
This all may seem overwhelming if you’re a beginner, but advanced techniques in BJJ are often just layered basics. Come in and try BJJ for 30 days free, and you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in just a few classes!
Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or e-mail at email@example.com for more details.
Summer is over and it’s time to get back to school and the regular routine of sports activities. September is the month to try something new. May we suggest trying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)?
BJJ is a great sport for young kids and here’s why.
– Making Friends
– Having Fun
– Being Active
The process of BJJ is different from other martial arts. First, you are shown a technique that you haven’t seen before that can look very difficult and complicated. Then step by step we go through the motions of the technique and slowly piece together what it’s supposed to look like. We then work the techniques against increased resistance. This allows us to develop the ability to use the technique and gain a deeper understanding of why the technique is performed the way it is. BJJ is not a monkey-see- monkey-do martial art. It is a challenge that is rewarding, especially in that moment when the technique clicks in. The process of learning BJJ is what develops focus and discipline in every student. With children, we often disguise techniques in skill-building games that encourage physical awareness, paying attention, and building endurance. Once a technique is understood, it is the feeling of accomplishment that builds confidence on the mats and more importantly off the mats. All the while, the kids are having fun and making new friends.
Give us a call and start your 30-day FREE trial. Contact Professor Tyson LaRone at (780) 217-
The Benefits of Curriculum
Professor Tyson LaRone
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is rooted in Matsuo Maeda’s teachings of Judo, which is why in its early development it ended up borrowing many traditions from the Kodokan, including the implementation of structured curriculum at most of its schools. However, as the style became more widespread in Brazil and especially when it was brought overseas, many schools began to reform the techniques that were taught and some decided to do away with curriculum altogether. Plenty of schools are very successful and produce high quality students with or without it, but I personally believe that curriculum can be useful for several reasons:
- Guidance – Having a clear expectation of the techniques and knowledge at each belt level provides direction for students, especially those who want to go above and beyond classes and do extra training on their own. If the instructor isn’t around, the curriculum can provide suggestions for what would be most productive to work on.
- Well-Roundedness – Rolling is an important part of training, but sometimes a student can develop a particular game that funnels opponents through a certain range of positions and whether they win or lose they rarely end up in certain situations. As a result they can develop holes that aren’t immediately apparent, sometimes even until higher belt levels. If a student is graded based on well-rounded curriculum, it ensures that they’ll have at least a basic answer for attacks and defenses in all major positions.
- Consistency – With the basics of jiu-jitsu being taught similarly, it makes it much easier for instructors and students to cross-train at other schools within their affiliation. It also means that using the same frame of reference, instructors can be creative and work together on complex solutions and competition strategies while keeping their foundation solid.
We are now accepting Fall registrations. Call 780-217-0059 for more information about our 30-Day Free Trial or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!