Learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
- first and foremost it's about survival...
Our approach at SMAA/WKKJO to teaching BJJ is not soli about learning “fighting” techniques, or how to use a point system to win a match – but to employ self -defense strategy - starting with position before submission is the key to success in learning the “gentle art” and defending yourself with Jiu-Jitsu. It is often necessary to bait the opponent in order to gain superior position and this allows you to progress to a submission, rather than forcing your way to a finish. When learning: it does not benefit you or your partner to sit in a position of endless stalemate. If your opponent wants something it is sometimes more advantageous for the learning process to give them better position, and then attempt to anticipate their movement and defend yourself accordingly – this is an exploratory approach to learning, and we believe this benefits both sides in the journey of developing appropriate responses when practicing and learning Jiu-Jitsu.
Beginners in BJJ (white belts) should first seek to understand the importance of alignment (base, posture, structure) and position (both superior positioning and inferior positioning). Once a solid foundation is laid and the student becomes adept at the fundamentals, the student can then explore defending or marginalizing attacks, controlling the opponent, and maximizing overall positioning. Great progresss is made by asking questions of their seniors. Through this process, students can explore and learn by asking their respective partners about weaknesses in certain areas – what works, and what does not work as they roll through techniques on the mat with their partner. Senior students are then viewed more as coaches to assist the junior students, rather than competitors or obstacles standing in the way of personal triumph or success in competition.
After the beginner student has gained a firm grasp on the basics and has navigated through trial and error to understand the importance of basics and positioning, the student can then take things to the next level by experimenting with finishing techniques to eventually achieve high levels of competancy with submissions. It is hard to effectively get to "C" if you don't know about “A” and B", or how to navigate efficiently between them.
The WKKJO is also the home of Gracie/BJJ Self-Defense in London, Ontario. This system of self-defense is widely known to be one of the most comprehensive and practical sets of self-defense practices in martial arts and real world applications. New developments have and are also being incorporated in this curriculum to keep the applications current.
Tempering the Mind and Body for the purposes of Self-Control and Self-Defense:
When you engage yourself in a practice that requires you to be in the continuous pursuit of self improvement, then this is the state of mind that you perpetuate. With proportionate input from the student and the teacher, only growth and positive change should result.