Jiu Jitsu Training Philosophy At Bam Bam Jiu Jitsu Academy


Hey guys, welcome to this course on an introduction to jiu jitsu. My name is Scott Sullivan. I’m a third degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I started back in 1994 when I watched the first UFC. I was just mesmerized at how jiu jitsu skill can be used to overcome bigger and stronger attackers. And so, I fell in love with that. I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve trained with some of the greats – Hicks and Gracie. I’ve trained in Brazil and I have a school in Houston, Texas called Bam Bam Jiu-Jitsu Academy. You’re open to come by and give us a visit if you’re ever in town. But this is the chorus on beginning jiu jitsu. I want to get you started. I want to take you from the very beginning. I want to work with someone who doesn’t know anything about this amazing martial art and get you up to speed.

How Jiu Jitsu Is Taught

Now, I just want to say something just right out of the gate up front here because in the Jiu jitsu world right now there are two main approaches as to how this art is taught. The most common way is sport jiu jitsu. It’s jiu jitsu designed for tournaments. That’s great. You can learn a lot of skill, you can gain a lot of skill doing tournaments. It’s an environment where you’ll get high level jiu jitsu guy versus high level jiu jitsu guy. They just go at it. It does teach a lot of important fighting skills and fighting virtues.

However, because of the rules in the sport like anything else it’s not as realistic as it could be. In other words, the rules provide or create a certain environment where you’re allowed to do a lot of things that would help you win the tournament that you would never do on the street. And so, there’s a lot of artificiality being created here by the confines, by the protection of just the tournament rules. So, although training for a jiu jitsu tournaments can be a good way to build a ton of jiu jitsu skill (those guys are amazing. No doubt about it.) still I don’t think it’s the best way for a beginner to approach jiu jitsu.

Jiu Jitsu For Self-Defense

If they’re coming for the most common reason which is self-defense, that’s the second reason why people train in jiu jitsu. It’s also another focal point for how Jiu-Jitsu is taught. That’s the second sort of focus or goal.. And so, that’s my focus. What I’m going to teach you here is jiu jitsu for fighting, jiu jitsu for self-defence, jiu jitsu for when you’re out walking in the Wal-Mart parking lot (some guy tackles you on the ground) when some guy comes and attacks your family. I want you to have the most essential jiu jitsu skills to handle that kind of situation.

Jiu Jitsu For Real Life Fighting

Real life fighting. That’s a different kind of approach. That calls for a different kind of training. When you’re trying to learn jiu jitsu to fight someone who’s bigger than you are, maybe drunk, maybe on drugs, trying to pound your face in a hamburger or on the ground – that calls for a different set of skills, a different set of techniques than if you’re training for going against another jiu jitsu guy doing some kind of fancy jiu jitsu moves on you.
That’s the different kind of attacker.

So, these are two different training methods and there’s nothing wrong with a sporting aspect. I like the training that way too. It’s a ton of fun. However, it’s not the same as training for self-defence. So, my jiu jitsu style, my belief is that martial arts should always be about self-defense first and foremost. And so that’s what we’re going to focus on here – Jiu jitsu for a real street fight. I’m going to teach you the most important things you need to know to win a real street fight and jiu jitsu is really the best way to go about that.

Why Jiu Jitsu Is The Best Martial Art?

Now, I want to give you some reasons here why I think really jiu jitsu is the best martial art in the world. And I’ve done a lot. I’ve done everything. I’ve trained in Kung Fu, I’ve done karate, I’ve done all that stuffs. There are some good aspects to all of these martial arts. However, I think jiu jitsu is the best martial art. And let me just kind of explain to you, why? I’ll give you five reasons why I think that. First of all, let me just clarify what I mean. Let me define my terms by what I mean “Best”. By best, I’m just thinking in terms of purpose fulfillment. If you are studying a martial art to defend yourself on the street then jiu jitsu is the best way to go. It’s the set of skills that’s going to get you to that goal. Let me give you five reasons why. Jiu jitsu is going to get you there better than any martial art will.

Reason Number One: Jiu Jitsu Works

Jiu jitsu works. This stuff works great. A lot of martial arts, they teach things that are kind of theory based. If he does this, you’re going to do this and then that’s going to take him down and then you’re going to win. And it’s never really battle tested. You just kind of have these ideas. It kind of looks good on paper in a sense when you’re working with a cooperative partner in the dojo or of a school. But it’s never battle tested against an opponent who is resisting 100 percent. That is not true with Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu jitsu is very scientific. And what I mean is is that all the stuff is battle tested. You can have an idea. You can learn a jiu jitsu move and then go out and practice it for real against a person who’s resisting 100 percent. And if you get that move, you make him tap. Let’s say, you’re shooting for a choke-hold. So, you’re going to grapple the guy and you’re going 100 percent and you get that choke-hold on him and he taps out. It works. You know that it works. You got it on him and he was trying 100 percent to stop you. So what I’m saying here is that the jiu jitsu moves – they are battle tested. It’s not just theory. It’s not just guesswork. It’s proven. There’s a real scientific proving ground going on here on these mats. I think that’s just invaluable. You can have a real confidence.

You can know that your jiu jitsu works because you’ve done it before. I think it’s just amazing for that reason and so jiu jitsu has been developing in this kind of a lab environment for a long time – the lab of the mats. You get an idea, you get a hypothesis about a move; maybe this will work. It was tried, oh it works. OK great, keep it. Let’s try. Oh, it doesn’t work, okay, throw it out. It’s been kind of a scientific process of hypotheses verification or rejection.

So, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to use this term scientific when it’s applied to jiu jitsu. This is the stuff that has been proven to work. And if you don’t believe it you may google some youtube stuff and look at some videos and see what I’m talking about. It’s extremely effective. Some have even said that Jiu-Jitsu gives you a kind of a superpower. That’s the first reason why I think Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art in the world; because it just works.

Reason Number Two: Jiu Jitsu Specializes In Ground Fighting

The second reason why jiu jitsu is the best martial art is because jiu jitsu specializes in ground fighting. It’s a ground based martial art. And that is the most critical area for real fights. Real fights; they don’t look like in the movies; not a bunch of stand up punches and kicks all the time. What usually happens is, maybe a punch or two, but the guys are locked up and they fall on the ground.

Once you get on the ground that is the jiu jitsu men’s world. You’re in his universe right now. If you don’t know how to fight on the ground and you’re with the jiu jitsu guy you’re fighting with, no chance you’re going to win it. That’s his world. So, most fights are going to end up on the ground, not all of them. And they all start standing up. I agree with that. But in most fights, they fall on the ground. And once the fight gets down there it’s all Jiu-Jitsu. So, if you know how to fight on the ground, the other guy doesn’t, he doesn’t have a chance. So, that’s why with jiu jitsu you are mastering the art of ground fighting which is the most crucial area for real fights.

Reason Number Three: Jiu Jitsu Allows For Degree Of Force

Third reason why I think jiu jitsu is the best martial art in the world is that jiu jitsu allows for degrees of force. This is very important. The force you can apply with jiu jitsu is degree-able. You don’t just have a one answer for everything. Let’s say your favorite striking move is need of someone’s face. That’s your self-defense move. Well that’s good for some situations. But it’s not good for all situations.

I suppose you’re just at an office party and a co-worker or a boss has had a little too much of drink and he’s just going out of control. Or, suppose you’re with someone you know is just kind of holding you a little bit too tightly at a party or whatever. And you feel uncomfortable. Striking is not appropriate in these situations. So, with jiu jitsu, you can win a fight in multiple ways. You can take a guy down and just control him; no strikes at all. You can win a whole fight without ever throwing a punch.

A lot of times, especially with kids, you could take the attacker down or the person, the antagonists, you could take him down. You could control him on the ground and and that’s the end. He feels like he’s been bested. He’s been dominated on the ground. He can’t get out and the fight can end right there without anything else; just controlling him on the ground. We also can have joint locks. You can apply just a little bit of force to negotiate in the fight that way. And then you can go all the way from there, all the way up to lethal choke-holds, breaking bones and the most damaging of moves.

So you have this whole spectrum of damage that you can do in jiu jitsu. You just can’t do with an elbow to the face. That’s just kind of a one answer to everything. It’s just not appropriate for all situations. Now I’m not an attorney, of course. But to having this range of force options is very important for legal reasons. Jiu jitsu means gentle skill. You can win a fight very gently if you want to. If the circumstances call for that so, you can be very gentle in your self-defense or you can be very damaging in your self-defense. But jiu jitsu gives you those options. Do you see that? I mean you have a whole range of options to choose from, not just break somebody’s nose. Jiu jitsu allows for degrees of force. I think that is also a big benefit of it.

Reason Number Four: Jiu Jitsu Helps Winning Against Bigger And Stronger Attackers

Jiu jitsu gives smaller and weaker people the ability to beat bigger and stronger attackers. This is huge. This is just huge. A lot of martial arts purport to do that but they don’t. Size does matter but it’s not the only factor. With jiu jutsu if you know how to fight on the ground and you’re a small guy and you get a bigger guy on the ground. If you know the techniques he doesn’t, he’s just toast. If you don’t believe me just google it “Jiu-Jitsu school” in your area, go take a trial class over there. And when it comes time to roll which just means to wrestle, pick a small guy in the room who’s got some kind of colored belt on; a blue belt, purple belt, brown whatever and roll with him and you’ll see what I mean.

So jiu jitsu allows the smaller weaker person to overcome the larger person the reason why is because jiu jitsu is based on technique and leverage. Once you get a certain choke-hold or a lock or a hold, these things are technique based. The success of these moves is based on technique more than strength. So, you can use technique to overcome force and that is a huge advantage for smaller people.

Reason Number Five: Jiu Jitsu Is Fun

The fifth reason why I think Jiu jitsu is the best martial art in the world is that it is just a ton of fun. When you get to roll in the act of just grappling with a partner, it is very addictive. It’s the best stress reliever in the world. I could be having a bad day. I go to the academy and I start rolling and all my troubles just go away. It’s a ton of fun rolling with your friends. It’s just addictive.

If you haven’t done it then I highly recommend it. Not only that, it’s also intellectually engaging. There are thousands of moves in jiu jitsu; sweeps, armlock, chokes, you can’t learn them all. I don’t know them all. I’ve been doing jiu jitsu for a long time. I don’t know them all. Nobody does. It’s constantly evolving all the time. It’s just so mentally engaging that you never get bored. So, you’ve got this training environment where you get to roll and have fun, learning new moves all the time. It’s just a ton of fun.

I hope you’re going to love your journey in jiu jitsu. It will be very rewarding I promise you. It will give you self-defence. It will give you fitness and you’re gonna have a lot of fun in the process.

Related Article: Jiu Jitsu Houston: The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.