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.