The Structure of Self Defense, Part 3 The Guard

Whenever I’m asked by a friend to teach “show” them some jiu-jitsu I inevitably show them the rear naked choke.  Its easy to teach and the results are dramatic as it can put someone to sleep in just a few seconds.  Yet what I want to show them is the guard.  The guard is jiu-jitsu.  It is why jiu-jitsu is special, and it is why jiu-jitsu works so well for self defense.

The reason I don’t show people the guard is really simple: it doesn’t lend itself to a couple minute long demonstration.  Its a somewhat awkward looking position for those who aren’t familiar with jiu-jitsu and most of the things worth knowing take time to learn.  And yet, if you are really interested in defending yourself you need to know this position.

Continue reading “The Structure of Self Defense, Part 3 The Guard”


On Meta-Jiujitsu

BJJ is a martial art designed for self defense, permitting a smaller person to survive a conflict against a larger, untrained opponent.

The ‘untrained’ component of this definition is important, because in BJJ schools only the newest fish is actually untrained.  Everyone else is trained to one degree or another.  A technique that works against an untrained opponent might not work against a trained opponent.

For example, getting a lapel choke or an americana against an opponent who doesn’t know how to escape the mount is relatively easy, while if your opponent knows the upa escape it can be nearly impossible.  This of course is compounded when your opponent knows the upa escape, the elbow escape, the earthquake escape and knows how to use these techniques in series.  So what do you do?  Meta-Jiujitsu! Continue reading “On Meta-Jiujitsu”