As a long time, student and instructor (6th Dan) of Niseido Ju Jitsu, I always enjoy looking on social media for what’s happening in the Martial Arts. One thing that appears over and over again are fights and techniques that raise more questions than answers. I would never claim to be the greatest Martial Arts or the most technically sound. The only claim I would ever make, is that I do know what to look for in a quality, effective technique.
I see young students throwing all of these fancy kicks but with their hands by their sides. It’s great to be able to throw a high kick, although I don’t recommend it in a street fight, but if a student throws a kick and isn’t prepared to defend him or herself following that kick, it’s a poor technique. I’m unsure as to why their instructors aren’t correcting them. Every time a student drops their hands in kumite training, they should be reminded with a light tap to the head or face. As the great Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect Practice makes perfect.”
Another disturbing scenario are all of these techniques being demonstrated at half or less speed. Any technique works with a great uki who is willing to submit to the self-defense technique. I recently viewed a technique that involved a full nelson. In order to stop the uki from executing it, the tori locked his hands and pushed back against his forehead to lessen the pain. Years ago, I asked my brother, a man with a 400lb (181.44 kg) bench press to get me in a full nelson and I executed that same defense that I just recently saw on Facebook. Without realizing his own strength and with me pushing back against my forehead, he almost broke my back. There is no way to defend against a full nelson, once it’s locked in. The key is to defend against it by locking the uki’s arms before he fully gets you into the full nelson.
I recently saw a slow-motion defense against Hadaka Jime or Naked Arm Strangle. I assure you that if I, or any other accomplished Martial Artist is able to fully execute this strangulation, make funeral arrangements. There is no way to get out when it’s locked in unless you are the world’s strongest man perhaps. Remember, all someone has to do is lock that strangulation in for a matter of seconds and it’s lights out. The way we execute Hadaka Jime in Niseido Ju Jitsu is by collapsing the Adams apple and windpipe. It’s not a carotid artery strangle so it’s far quicker and far more lethal, (one second perhaps) than what would have been known in the old days as the “sleeper hold.”
I appeal to the Martial Arts community to keep things real. When we show ridiculous knife techniques for example, we are doing a disservice to our students. There are no good defense techniques against an accomplished knife fighter. Handing over your wallet may be the best self-defense. I have been to many seminars on knife fighting using knives covered in chalk as well as shock knives and we always come out with our Gi’s covered in chalk and shocked more times than any of us care to admit. So, while it’s important to teach what we believe are the most effective techniques, it’s also important to stress to our students that there’s no shame in handing over your wallet if they believe it will save their life.
I will be posting some self-defense techniques and will welcome any feedback and criticisms. Remember, the best technique is the one that saves your life. There is No Best System only best Martial Artists. If I defeat an attacker using Karate, Akido, Kung Fu or Ju Jitsu, makes no difference, as long as I go home to my family. Most of the Arts follow the same principles and are designed to end conflicts as quickly and efficiently as possible. All Martial Artists need to understand that. We are the peacemakers even as we train for battle.