Arashi-Do Behring Symposium Oct 2017

Our school represented well at a whirlwind of a grading this weekend with the head of our organization, 8th degree black belt Mestre Sylvio Behring! It began with the instructor symposium, where Professor Tyson was awarded the first degree on his black belt, which represents four years of dedication and hard work on the mats since he first received his black belt in 2013.

Then came the Juniors grading, where nine of our Junior BJJ students showed their skills for Mestre Behring and earned their Gray/White belts.

Finally, Mike and Stephanie did a fantastic job in the adult grading, earning their first stripes and taking the first big step toward blue belt!

In and amongst the gradings were also several packed seminars in which Mestre Behring’s immense knowledge was on full display for us, as it is every April and October. It truly can’t be overstated how special these events are and we can’t wait for the next one when we’ll be bringing an even bigger group. OSS!

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Why BJJ for Women is So Important

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“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.

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The Benefit of Womens Classes in BJJ

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this recently so I thought I’d write a quick article about the difference between a standard mixed class and the womens class from my perspective.

There’s a myth out there that the reason for womens’ classes are that different techniques are taught to men and women. This is a pretty widespread one and I think it has a lot to do with the idea of using strength and speed in BJJ versus technique. It may seem obvious to some but the fact is that even if you are fast and strong, it’s still important to be as efficient as possible. There’s always someone faster and stronger out there. Different techniques may be more or less useful depending on whether you are tall, short, light, heavy, flexible etc. but those differences exist in men just as they do in women. If as an instructor I feel that a certain technique is the best answer for a certain situation, I’ll teach it to everyone. If for some biomechanical reason it doesn’t work as well for someone, male or female, I’ll adapt the technique or teach them a different one.

Now in my experience, the big difference in womens classes is the natural direction that the class takes. Once you’ve been teaching for a while you start to realize that if you plan an hour of material for an hour of class time you’re not going to get through it all. Depending on what questions are asked, what difficulties people have or perhaps what they pick up faster than you thought, the class tends to unfold in a different way every time. That’s why more experienced instructors will tend to have a general concept for the class with a few techniques they want to cover for sure and then see where the flow of the class goes.

For self defense especially, women do tend to face different dangers and challenges than men do so even if the techniques are the same, the context of a different situation changes how I teach them. These questions about different cases may not get asked in a mixed setting or if they do there may not be as much time spent on them as in the womens’ classes. For example, I teach the same grip breaks to everyone but in one womens class we discussed the topic in detail of being pulled somewhere and having to make a decision of whether to stay connected and buy time or to break the grip right away if a quick escape to a crowded area in the other direction is possible.

Both classes cover both self defense and sport, but many women, experienced or not have found benefits in coming to both mixed and womens only classes to round out their knowledge.

 

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