Thursday, May 25, 2006

Has MMA/NHB passed the Gracies?

In this old (1999) article, Brian Kodi challenges some of the early dominance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his article, "Weaknesses of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu." I'm sure there are as many political (mostly) arguments in the grappling/NHB game now as there were in the 80s and 90s in Jeet Kune Do, but he raises some points. If you have an opinion or counter-argument and can articulate it, please comment or email. Keep in mind, my inexperience on the subject. My interest is primarily in what works to save your life, not win a tournament. This article is timely in that some of his points are about the obsolescence of BJJ in light of the more current developments to combat it (better striking from within the guard, better takedown defenses, etc.).

Some of his points:
  • Royce made his mark and promptly took a leave of absence following his 35 minute draw against Ken Shamrock in UFC 5. He has been missing in action for quite some time. Reason: Proficiency in BJJ is no longer the dominating factor in NHB success, and Royce can no longer be the formidable fighter he once was under no time limits.
  • Training predominantly with a gi in BJJ has become a detriment: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is excessively dependent on clothing to hold, reverse and submit. Since most contestants in NHB do not wear a gi, Jiu Jitsu loses a part of its potency.
  • The BJJ guard has lost its effectiveness in NHB...
  • Takedowns are not adequately addressed in BJJ: The prevailing philosophy
    has been that going to the ground is the goal, and how you get there is of less importance.
  • Minuscule lower body submission: Experienced Shootfighters can end the
    fight against the BJJ elite at a moment's notice. Allan Goes' ankle was badly
    broken by Frank Shamrock in a Pancrase match. Goes was lucky the referee gave him an escape since he was too close to the edge of the ring. After the cast was taken off his ankle, Goes became determined to master the lower body submission game. During one of his trips to Brazil, he surprised many of his previous grappling partners by applying quick lower body submission techniques. The persisting hostile stance of the BJJ community to lower body submission only adds to this weakness.

Read it. He backs up each of his opinions with reasons, and that's the only opinion I respect or post on. He ends the article with a good point (I was looking for it), "On a final note, it is important to distinguish between a training regimen for NHB and a street fight. In a street fight, your opponent is fully clothed and does not expect to be triangle choked. Training exclusively with clothing, a handicap in NHB, becomes a potent weapon in a real fight."

I look forward to hearing back from some more seasoned practitioners of grappling/BJJ/NHB with thoughts.

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