Friday, August 16, 2013

Ten soldiers

...wisely led will beat a hundred without a head. ~ Euripdes

When I was 12 (many years ago), I was learning Shotokan Karate from my father. Back then, the comparison between styles was the normal calculator for effectiveness. For example, one guy would say he trained in some esoteric form of Tree Rat Krav Maga, which of course would beat mall karate. People were stylistically fearful. Of course, this is all horseshit. How vigorous the person training is the key.

Yet, there are exceptions to the above.

On the way home from karate class, I had asked my father one question, "Where there any other martial arts you would like to learn?" Anticipating an answer of ,"No, Shotokan is the little shit. Now shut up!"

His answer was different, "Jiu jitsu."
Me, puzzled, "Why is that?"
Him, "Because it's a killing art."

Fucking mind blown. That is the specific moment which started my search for jiu jitsu. Not because I wanted to kill anyone. But rather for the serious effectiveness of such an art. For karate by then early 80's had already began heavy watering down, and started to become jazzercise with elbow strikes. It eventually became bullshit. My dad hated this crap, as do I. Although my dad no longer really trains, his mental capacity for it is still very sharp, and can read an opponent incredibly well(something rarely anyone teaches anymore, except when I'm teaching the noobs). When we watch the UFC, he complains about hand position, foot rotation, balance, sloppy execution and generally poor technique. Often times before Joe Rogan can fire off the same critique.

Modern jiu jitsu (the Brazilian variant) is just now, slightly starting to see the same shift. There are a few out there who speak fondly of old-school "1994 jiu jitsu". This is the key indicator, the same warning we saw with karate in the 80's; this is the demarcation between good and bad. Many years from now, if my progeny asks me what style I would consider learning:
Me: "1994 jiu jitsu."
"Why?", they ask.
Me, "Because it's a killing art."

Thanks pop!