Take your BJJ Blinders off and realise when you are putting yourself in danger
So in walks this questionable new student… as soon as a spoke to the guy I knew something was OFF “Years in the game will help you develop this sort of radar”
Anyhow, we spoke and he seemed polite enough so I said “Ok, lets get him a Kimono and into class.” Given that he claims to have trained BJJ at another local academy but wanted to try our Core jiu-jitsu program I had him join the group class and working with one of more senior green belts.
Class goes fine until the drilling Begins
Now I cant remember the exact setup but at some point (Student A – our guy) is in closed guard when the visitor lets call him (Student B) picks up student A and slams him to the mat approx 3-4 times. Slamming is highly illegal in BJJ and almost all other grappling styles since it can cause serious damage but that doesn’t make it any less of a possibility and it is a highly effective tactic that you are likely to run into against anyone with a lot of strength and very little patience when they find themselves locked in closed guard.
I have seen a lot over the years on the mats but was totally blown away by this. Not the guy trying to slam his way out of closed guard but by the student so intent on holding closed guard that he allowed himself to be slammed” it takes two to tango and you have to hold the closed guard to have even been slammed once much less 3 times.”
Yes it is illegal to slam /heel hook/neck crank etc. but that doesn’t take away from the damage done when these tactics are applied. Do you really want to be limping off the mats hurt by a neck crank when you could have instead avoided the whole situation by simply playing the situation a from a bit more of a defence first perspective.
For illustrative purposes lets take a look at a match where slamming was allowed between two of America’s best competitors form the 2000’s era (Ryron Gracie vs Cameron Earle)
(Backstory: Here goes Cameron Earle is a beast tearing up the local sport bjj scene even defeating legend like Marcelo Garcia twice and he is matched up vs Ryron Gracie “also a very high level grappler looking out to prove the effectiveness of his style of jiu-jitsu. Funny enough he is now theleader of the keeping it playful movement. But this modified rules match shows the other side of the coin as when Cameron Jumped guard as is his habit he forgot the slamming was allowed.
When training with friends or familiar people the odds of this sort of thing are slim but whenever you add a new element to the equation it is always best to take a safety first approach to your tactics. Think about it, would you really try to invert and spin under a fairly new 260 lbs brawler that walks on the mats?
When they don’t know the position or how to” play the game” the odds of something bad happening (them awkwardly falling on you) drastically increases when we put ourselves in any vulnerable situations.
Jiu-jitsu is a complete martial art so keeping yourself safe from avoidable injury on the mats is something simple that we should all be mindful of.
This holds no bearing on the Sport vs Self Defence debate as it is really clear to me that people all study for their own reasons. Some athletic and competitive others more fitness / technical or self defence based.
The beauty of Jiu-Jitsu is It’s all good “IF” you pick the right tool for the job.
NO ONE OWNS JIU-JITSU, IT BELONGS TO THOSE WHO USE IT BEST