Being a life long martial artist I believe everyone should train in some form of martial art, this is especially true for women. Lets face it, if I’m a 6’2” 220 pound man the odds are far less that I will be targeted out for attack versus the odds for a 5’2” 115 pound woman, and I can pretty much guarantee no one is looking to rape me while the petite woman mentioned above appears to be an easy target. I know rape is a very ugly word and an even uglier act. I wish I didn’t have to address it, however it’s an unfortunate reality in our world, it’s been here forever and sadly it’s going to continue and for this reason EVERY women should train in the martial arts.
We can’t fix the world around us, the best we can do is prepare for it. This holds true in all areas of our lives. We study to prepare for the workforce, we eat to nourish our bodies, and we should train to be prepared just in case we are faced with an unfortunate confrontation with an attacker.
Wile training in any martial art will be beneficial, some are superior to others. I’ve seen videos claiming to show self defense techniques that make me cringe. Although they may mean well and believe in what they are teaching, they are not based in reality. One thing to remember is that fear, adrenaline dump, being caught by surprise, and being overpowered are factors that will confuse you and cause the loss of fine motor skills, so your training should reflect this. Also, taking a seminar in self defense is a great start but will not fully prepare you should an attack become reality. Consistent training in varying conditions is necessary to minimize your risk and prepare you to react, and to react effectively.
I strongly believe Brazilian jiu jitsu is a great martial art to address self defense. While most arts have effective techniques, lots of these require physical strength, and in some cases a willing partner. Brazilian jiu jitsu from its inception was built on the concept of a smaller weaker individual being able to overcome and defeat the lager stronger adversary using leverage, angles, and fulcrums. Sure the concept of using someones strength and momentum against them sounds great but good luck in applying this concept to a non willing attacker. Most martial arts will also address specific attacks, grab from behind, wrist grab, 2 handed choke, etc. however what happens when that attacker slams you to the ground, or worse yet; you’re in you bedroom sleeping and you’re awakened by an attacker climbing on top of you. This is where your BJJ skills will be the difference.
Brazilian jiu jitsu for self defense addresses every possible attack and Brazilian jiu jitsu by design excels when taken to the ground. When attacked from behind and lifted up before you get a chance to react the defense gets much harder and inevitably you will be thrown to the ground and BJJ is the best option from this disadvantaged position. Remember the initial grab was a surprise and being thrown down was a shock to your system and there is the possibility that injury may have occurred from this, this is why consistent training is paramount to effectively manage the events that will follow.
A complete Brazilian jiu jitsu self defense curriculum will address all the attacks from the standing positions as well as the ground positions, it will prepare you to be comfortable in uncomfortable positions, and it will teach you the ability to take control of a situation you initially had no control over.
When choosing a BJJ academy, you need to be aware of the type of academy you are visiting. An large number of Brazilian jiu jitsu schools are focused solely on competition training and never teach the self defense side of BJJ. This is ok if your goal is to compete, however if you’re looking for the ability to protect yourself and your family this may not be the route to go. The training you will receive will prepare you for sport competition and while this can carry over to self defense it is limited. Be sure to search out an academy that has a focus on complete Brazilian jiu jitsu and covers self defense as well as competition BJJ.
Next up will be part 2… Sil Jun Do for Women’s Self Defense