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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Next Frontier

Team:
Wanted to pass along this excellent post from Roy Dean, in which he discusses being respectful and harmonious towards martial art styles other than Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It's a solid entry, and one we support. 

The next frontier in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is in making friends with our more traditional martial arts brothers:  Aikido, Judo, Karate, various styles of Japanese Jujutsu, and so forth.  When BJJ first came on to the scene and made a splash with the UFC, it carried a swagger that turned off a lot of potential practitioners.  It had the Bad Boy/Tapout/My school logo depicts an animal or a beatdown down vibe that not too many soccer moms or high level executives want to be a part of.  And that was the allure for a lot of those guys that joined.  The association with tough guys.  The thuggish vibes they feel free to emit when congregated with the larger tribe.  Tournaments are the perfect venue for seeing this.  Group monkey behavior at its finest, groups easily separated by logo’d T-shirts and lineage.
But things are changing.  Many of those elements are more interested in MMA now.  After all, BJJ takes a long time.  Too long.  It’s deep, and in real life, you don’t have to be deep to be effective.  Some guys want to express themselves through the totality of the tools available, as quickly as possible, and that can only be done in an MMA setting.  But for most people, BJJ is more than enough.  Physically demanding, mentally stimulating, and close enough to a real fight with the randori (sparring), training method, pioneered by Jigoro Kano.  Founder of Judo.  A traditional martial art.  And BJJ is no different. In fact, it’s the evolution of Judo.  It has joined the ranks of traditional martial arts, as it recognizes it’s place in the continuum of combat.
This is neither good nor bad.  It just is.  It’s still a foundational discipline for MMA, for those parties that are serious about excelling in the sport.  It’s also a more available option for those interested in cross training.  There are more than just a handful of blackbelts in the US, centered around Southern California, like it was 10 years ago.  Things are different.  We’re not longer the problem child- always getting into fights- and are a little more reserved.  Like our brothers and sisters.  We already know how to fight- now it’s time to share that knowledge with a new audience, who’ll not only pick it up quickly, but have an appreciation how how unique this art really is.

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