Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Self Defense - Deepen Your Core Art

Recently Ronda Rousey, a world class judo practitioner, fought Holly Holm, a world class boxer/kickboxer. Ronda was defending her belt. She lost decisively.

Both are true competitors, but with very different world class core skills.

I want to share some thoughts with you on why it is very important (whatever else you wish to learn) to work on deepening your core art skills.

Let us say your core art is judo. For many years you have been at a world class level. You have worked out with very good coaches and training partners. Through the years you have made sacrifices so you could put in an accumulation of quality training. Your mind and body are built into a powerful and skillful machine for judo throws and judo type ground grappling (hold downs, chokes/strangles and arm locks). Your reflexes are highly tuned to subtle balance shifts in your opponent and yourself. You have earned by constant practice the title world class.

It isn't just the power in your moves, it is as well your deep sensitivity to the shifts in balance and leverage between you and your opponent that you have slaved on to obtain. It is one thing to have a powerful throw, it is quite another to have that world class timing WHEN to execute.

You at some point decide to enter MMA (mixed martial arts) or perhaps you wish to strip down your judo for basic self-defense purposes. Let's speak about MMA here. You are aware that in MMA the rules are very different from judo competition. For example you can be kicked and punched standing. On the ground you can be leg locked and ground and pounded.

Immediately you can see that in order to get into position for your world class judo throwing game on the opponent you have to get by their strikes. Also the chances are very slim you or your opponent will be wearing a gi to use for the throw (and judo grappling on the ground).

So you and your coach/training partners start with modifying your core art skills. How can you adapt your throwing expertise to a no-gi situation? How do you get by the problem of strikes so you can set up your throws? How do you deal with such things as ground and pound and leg locks?

Because for many years you have worked very hard (and smart) learning your throws and judo grappling you certainly have a deep core of skills to work with. No gi throws you will pick up relatively easily. Yes, you still have to work on it but you already have years of judo to greatly help you.

The main problem will probably come from dealing with skilled strikers. To do your judo throw you need to grab long enough to execute your throw.

Now let us say you learned some boxing, enough for the level of boxing/kickboxing you have been facing. In other words you were close enough in power/skill to weather any storm until you forced a clinch to then work your judo throw and then judo grappling. You have been rather successful because you are so good at your judo (in relation to your opponents) and good enough with your boxing (again, in relation to your opponents) that you are now a champion in your weight division.

Now say you are in 6 or 9 months going to fight a world class champion boxer/kickboxer. The boxer/kickboxer has some takedown and ground skills but no way close to your judo skills.

Now before I continue I want to define how I am using 2 terms. One is the word possibility and the other is probability. Probability means here what likely will happen more times than not. Possibility means what "could" happen somehow, even if not probable.

When you train with each other it is better to stay with what is probable than what is possible. If you are going to fight a world class boxer/kickboxer within a year, you would do much better stripping down how fast you can get the opponent to the ground and kept there. This means you need to strip down your judo throws. Below is a video with further views on this subject.

Thank you for reading this and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Self Defense Awareness In Stores

It is very important to be aware of your surroundings, even in stores. Let's say you are at the grocery store. Instead of leaning over your cart, resting your arms on the handle, and looking down at your shopping list, hold the cart in front of you while maintaining good posture and balance. Before you get to the end of an aisle be aware you will have a bit of a momentary blind area. Before you turn, ensure your posture is set so you could (if needed) push the cart to distract someone who may try to rob or attack you some way.

The video goes more into these details. The thing is you need to make it a habit to be aware that in our environment you have blind areas. One is of course at the end of shopping aisles. Another is when you are in a movie line, which you should look behind you at times. Basically you need to look around with awareness. Also before you turn at (for instance) a corner or at the end of an aisle, be balanced and aware that there is a momentary blind area. Robbers are LOOKING for a potential victim; someone NOT being aware

In ending, when with friends, make an agreement (and a habit) to be aware of your environment, including when turning corners.

Take good care and always train safe.

Jujutsu 101

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Simply put, in order to get good with leverage control for self-defense purposes you need to practice them on others as well as feel them mindfully applied to you.

When you are coaching your partner you are mindfully feeling the subtle changes in his balance disrupting and leverage control over you.  This then can be given back to him as feedback to help guide him in improving his own skills.

This is a different mindset (coaching) than just mindlessly letting your partner control you with leverage and waiting for your turn to do the leverage control moves on him.

Coach and partner must mindfully be attentive to what changes are occurring.  It is important to take your coaching role responsibly.

You are feeling for subtle changes; at the same time though you are increasing your own sensitivity between you and your partner in regards to balance and leverage.  

This is extremely important because if you are not sensitive to the subtle changes going on you can’t develop useful timing and finesse.

I look at this as win/win coaching because not only is the coach helping the partner, the coach is as well improving as described above. 

There is more to win/win coaching but what is written here is extremely important.  If you and your training partners really take serious your times at coaching, it will make a world of difference in the long run.

Most of us have limited time to practice so it is very important to get, for everyone, as much benefit safely as possible. 

Remember, to get really good at leverage control and their off-balancing set-ups, you need to not only practice applying them on others, but you also need to feel them applied to yourself.  You need to have both experiences.

Always train safe.

Fred Crivello

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Self-Defense Shin Toughening With Rubber Tubing

It is very helpful to have tough shins.  If you kick someone in the leg with a toughened shin it will hurt the opponent more.  Also in ground grappling pressing a conditioned shin on an opponent's leg, arm or wherever feels different from an unconditioned one.

Though there are other ways to toughen shins this video shows how I have done it for years.  It is quite simple and requires a piece of rubber tubing.

Take good care and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Self-Defense Reality Check - You need to work on both your power and sensitivity awareness.

Sometimes you get a student who believes that any technique will magically handle any body type.  This is like believing a successful little league baseball (kids) team can hold its own against a major league team.  The overwhelming odds are they cannot.

If you start out without much natural strength, speed and coordination then your path will be longer than someone who is already gifted with these qualities.  There are limits to learning timing and technique.   You have to have some physical machinery to work with.

For those who have ever played baseball you know that if you give a major league home run super-star a hollow plastic bat to use against a major league pitcher, he simply (no matter how perfect his timing and technique is) will not hit the ball as powerfully as when he uses a bat used in the majors.

This doesn't mean you cannot learn how to use the most of what you have (in weight, muscular structure, etc.) for some decent levels of basic self-defense.  But if you are serious to take it to the next useful level you will need to get stronger, faster, tougher and have better endurance.

On the other hand those who come to the table with way above average strength, speed, etc. will have to handicap their physical advantages for awhile IF they wish to gain the mindful awareness and sensitivity to subtle changes in balance and leverage going on in a self-defense struggle.

You of course need to work on both your sensitivity of the subtle changes in balance and leverage control (which leads you to better timing and coordination), as well as on your physical machine (strength, endurance, toughness, speed, etc.).

Please take a moment to consider the points in this blog post.

Take good care and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Self Defense Headlock Coaching Tip

Below for your convenience is the full description from YouTube on this video.  Read it before you watch it.  You may get more benefit from the video.
Headlocks are basic in self-defense. One needs to coach each other with care.  You need to put plenty of time in feeling them applied to you, as well as doing them on others. This video is a place you can start to help begin assisting each other learn a bit about leverage control and balance disruption in regards to headlocks. There certainly is a lot more to how to practice headlocks, but if you both coach mindfully and with care what is shown in this short video, you and your training partners can safely make some gain in skill quality. Always train safe. Thank you.

Before I end here, PLEASE be very careful in this drill.  Both the coach and the training partner must demonstrate care for each other's neck area.  With mindful and sincere care you both will make gains in a safe way.

Thank you and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Monday, July 1, 2013

Self Defense Visualization Reality Tip

Take a moment and carefully listen to this short video. It may help you get more gain from your visualization practice time.

Take good care and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101