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Mixed Martial Arts and Jujitsu

The purpose of this article is to briefly explore some of the differences between competition MMA and self defense Jujitsu as taught at Budokai South in Aiken, South Carolina.

Those who train and participate in MMA on a full time basis are among some of the most impressive athletes in history. Not since the Roman gladiators has society had a forum to view fights with so few rules restricting the techniques of the combatants. A well trained mixed martial artist must have skills and experience in boxing, kicking, and grappling. Anyone that is “one dimensional” or simply weak in a particular area is susceptible to a quick exit from the match. While the mixed martial artists are impressive, obviously there are some differences between competing in MMA and self-defense. The following discussion focuses on some of the major differences between Jujitsu at Budokai South and MMA, without any intention to detract from the skills, training methods, mentality, purpose, or focus of those in MMA. Make no mistake that well trained mixed martial artists are some of the toughest humans on the face of the earth.

The purpose of Jujitsu at Budokai South is for self-defense where traditional Jujitsu techniques are applied to modern attacks for the purpose of defending yourself, family, or friends. The goal of training is perfection of the techniques, and it is fully understood from the beginning that such perfection is not possible. It is at this point where the “art” is joined to the “martial”.

The first difference between MMA and self-defense is that MMA is a physical contest between two willing parties. In preparing for an MMA match, each contestant is able to study and prepare for the unique strengths and weaknesses of the other person. The contest is scheduled between two parties in the same weight class, on a specified date, time, and location. In self-defense, the attacker is likely larger and stronger, his skills and experience are unknown, the time and location are selected by him to obtain the element of surprise, and nothing prevents multiple attackers from joining the attack. It is difficult to safely train for a surprise attack by a larger and stronger opponent. By learning small pieces and techniques over the course of a few years, the attacker (uke) and defender (tori) learn the technical components of each technique due to countless repetitions so that practice may approach reality with an acceptable level of safety.

A second difference to account for is a weapon. In a sanctioned MMA match, neither combatant has to worry about the other one using a knife, club, rock, or pistol during the match. Thus, it is not necessary to address the potential for this to occur during MMA training. In self-defense, it is necessary to assume that the other person has and will use whatever weapon they have available. This condition requires constant awareness of body positions and “safe zones” to protect yourself from an unarmed, or possibly, armed attacker.

A third difference is the presence of rules in the MMA. Anytime a rule exists in MMA, it exists out of necessity. Some basic restrictions include: no eye gouges, no strikes to the back of the head, no strikes to the groin, and no strikes to the throat. Why do these rules exist? These rules exist to protect the participants. As brutal and bloody as the MMA matches can be, some techniques have been deemed too severe for the competition. In self-defense, there is no such thing as a technique too severe to protect your life. While these same techniques cannot be fully executed in self-defense training, they are simulated to train the students to execute those techniques when needed.

Does this assessment somehow imply that mixed martial artists are not able to defend themselves in a real life attack?
Absolutely not! This article simply showcases the purposes for some of the differences in training methods and techniques.

Budokai South Defensive Arts Institute
Minami Budo Ryu
Ju Jitsu / Aiki Jujitsu / Judo / Self Defense
Aiken, SC
Phone: (843) 864-3125
Email: newtobudokai@gmail.com

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