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Old 06-10-2007, 03:15 PM   #58
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Budo - NY, MD
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 932
Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

I was just at a BJJ seminar with Royler Gracie (a very cool, gracious, amazingly skilled guy who has a lot of passion for what he does and seems to greatly enjoy sharing it with people) on Friday night and it was very interesting to me that we didn't do anything that could be considered groundwork until nearly halfway through the seminar.

The first half emphasized (among other things) controlling/manipulating the distance while on your feet, how to close with someone while protecting yourself from strikes and landing your own strike first.

Something else he emphasized at the beginning of the seminar was that this workshop was not a tournament that we were there to "win", we were all there to help each other learn. I also noticed that people seemed to take this to heart and that those I worked with were interested in helping me "get" what we were doing, as opposed to some aikido seminars I've been to where too many folks seem more interested in either 1) teaching me their version/interpretation of what we're doing, which may or may not have anything to do with what the instructor has shown. 2) Trying to show me that they can stop what I'm trying to do -- I usually just switch to another technique, not interested in that game since I think it has about as much to do with "honest combatives" as does modern karate point sparring ("tag", you're it).

Royler was very clear about what he was teaching (at one point made the comment that he's not offering magic, just stuff to add to our game that will help if we continue to train hard in the basics) and had no qualms about jumping in, demoing and talking through with everyone to make sure they were getting it. It think it's a testament to how this art is being transmitted that it's caught on in popularity so much, is an integral part of the broader sport of MMA and continues to be trained by elite instructors that get hands on time with their students.

Oh and BJJ's dominance in MMA lasted the way it did because the Gracie family has always trained to make their stuff work against strikers, other grapplers, etc. Look at the old UFC "bio" tapes and you see Royce doing bag drills and training to control the distance against strikers. It's pretty apparent in the sport today that you need to have something of the hybrid approach and that no one system has all the answers.

As for how this works for someone training in martial arts today, as most reasonable people keep saying - it depends on what your goals are. As long as there's honesty with what the training is meant to achieve and you enjoy what you're doing -- where's the beef?
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