Archive for July, 2011

Jiu Jitsu Super Powers

July 24, 2011 10 comments

With all of the super hero movies coming out these days; X-Men, Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern, the list goes on…..I am reminded of reading an old article my friend Alan “Gumby” Marques wrote where he mentioned that knowing Jiu Jitsu is  about the closest an average person can come to having Super Powers.

Last week I went to train at Caio Terra’s new gym and I was a little early so I suited up and waited on the side of the mat while the instructor was finishing up the kids class. As I sat down the instructor was just pairing up the kids to spar with each other for 5 minute rounds. My attention was immediately drawn to a wiry girl who was probably about 13 years old and most definitely not threatening looking. She was paired up with a stocky boy who was probably about the same age but much bigger than she…he didn’t look mean but to an outsider this match-up must have looked uneven to say the least.

As the two combatants shook hands and the instructor shouted go, they locked up…each one looking for a  take-down. From the way the girl moved I could tell that she was the experienced grappler, but, this boy must have had 30-40lbs on her….this could be interesting. The boy pulled guard. The girl took her time and passed his guard and moved to side control. After patiently waiting for her opportunity, she then seamlessly transitioned to mount. Knowing how hard it is to maintain mount on a much larger and stronger opponent, I expected the boy to bridge hard and roll the girl onto her back, turning the tide….if you think holding down an unwilling opponent much larger than you is hard, try getting them off of you when you’re on your back and they have gravity on their side!

The boy struggled….he was not letting the girl “win”….he was desperately trying to escape. You could tell from the look on his face that he was not expecting this outcome. It was like watching a mouse try to get away from a boa constrictor, the more he struggled, the more tired and panicked he became. In desperation, the boy turned onto all fours while the girl transitioned to his back. From here it was text-book; she got her hooks in and rolled him onto his side and sunk in a beautiful rear-naked choke. The boy had no choice but to tap out just before the 5 minutes was over. Graceful in defeat, the boy stood up and shook the girls ahnd and they gave each other a hug. The boy walked away having felt the power of Jiu Jitsu and no doubt eager to learn more and come back stronger. The girls mother stood on the sidelines beaming with pride and excitement over her daughters performance.

At some point in our youth, we have all pretended we were super heroes. We all wished we had Super Powers. I wanted to fly like Superman, have strength like the Incredible Hulk, sling webs from my wrists like Spider Man, and even though they are technically not Super Heroes…..I wanted to be able to “Judo Chop” my imaginary opponents helpless like Steven Segal and Jean Claude Van Damme. However, nothing I have ever done has made me feel closer to having Super Powers more than Jiu Jitsu.

Wielding the ability to control and submit (restrain or seriously injure) resisting opponents of all shapes and sizes from an unimaginable amount of positions using every available limb and every ounce of leverage, is a skill few people, as a whole, posses or will posses. This is the power of Jiu Jitsu. This is the closest you will come to having Super Powers.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading,