Guiding principles for practice
Before we can race around the track we first need to complete, at the least, a few casual laps to see what the course is like and how the car handles. Our curriculum outlines the basic self defense strategy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and our drills are designed to help you learn how the moves work. There are a few principles we use to shape our curriculum and guide our practice. Knowing these principles and understanding the logic behind them will help you establish a framework for learning brazilian jiu jitsu.
LEARN HOW TO CONTROL YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CONTROL OTHERS
Much of martial arts is about self control. The better control you have over your own body, the more possible it becomes for you to control another person. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not about bigger, stronger, faster. It is about doing more with less. Efficient purposeful control over one’s own movements is where it starts. It’s such an important part of our practice that it’s how we start every practice, with solo drills to build those attributes. Leverage and timing start out as balance and rhythm. In the drills you feel your own balance and inherent areas of strength and weakness. After all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is using your greatest strength against your opponents physical weak point.
YOUR PARTNER IS GOLD
Training Jiu Jitsu requires a partner that provides varying degrees of compliance and resistance. It would be helpful to understand what it means to be a good partner. This of course stems from the idea that we want our partners to stick around, since it’s hard to practice without one.
The techniques of Jiu Jitsu are not accomplished through high rage, low control movements. They are precise technical movements that vary in strategy and execution depending upon the physical matchup between participants. Being able to identify which move is called for and then executing it requires physical and emotional composure. It takes a fair amount of partnered practice to develop that skill and control.
The only way to get that work in is to have good training partners who are in it for the long haul. The more we take care of our partner the more we can train, because none of us can train if all of us are broken.
JIU JITSU IS FIRST A DEFENSIVE MARTIAL ART.
The first objective of Jiu Jitsu is to stay safe and not take damage. This is a stark contrast to the strategy imagined by many people when they think of martial arts; hurt the other person before they hurt you. The problem with this is that humans are actually fairly resilient when it comes to taking damage. It is pretty easy for a small skirmish to turn into a fairly nasty fight when both people want it to. It is also much harder to stop a determined assailant by hurting them then many would think.
Jiu Jitsu has a different approach to violence that starts with you being safe and ends with the assailant unconscious, (and unharmed), from a blood choke. All of this can be done without throwing a punch or trying to injure the other person. We highlight this as a basic principle because the sooner you know they objective, (get to a safe position and choke the other person unconscious), the sooner you will stop looking for ways to injure the other person as a means to stopping them.
YOU CAN’T LEARN IT ALL IN A DAY AND IT’S GOING TO TAKE ABOUT MONTH OR TWO BEFORE YOU begin toSEE THE BIG PICTURE
This seems common sense and most people intuitively understand it. That said, one of the more engaging components of Jiu Jitsu is it’s puzzle like nature. Good Jiu Jitsu is simply good problem solving under duress. It can be difficult to sort through the puzzle during class and not ask, “but what if______________”.
In class we present many drills and challenges to accelerate and solidify learning. The methods we use generally involve 2-3 variables at a time. If we throw in more variables and what-ifs, the level of effective learning goes down exponentially. There comes a point where what should be a workout turns into a discussion. Talking about the skills is no replacement for working with the material hands on. So try to work with the drills a bit before you ask a “what if”.
WE TEACH THE BARE BONES MINIMUM OF WHAT ACTUALLY WORKS.
Our curriculum is the result of several decades of diligent study and practice of martial arts. We have distilled a huge amount of material into a carefully selected and organized volume of work so that you can develop as much skill as possible in the shortest time possible. This curriculum doesn’t live in a vault somewhere untouched. We sort through new material on a very regular basis so that our academy stays up to speed on not just solid basics, but also the latest techniques being used successfully in the highest level competitions around.
This isn’t stated here as a bragging point, (necessarily), but to let you know that while there is a vast encyclopedia of moves out there, they are not all created equally. The teaching staff at Praxis routinely vets material so that you the student are presented with the most practical and efficient techniques possible. In martial arts less is very often more.
THE TEACHING METHOD IS DESIGNED TO BE A LITTLE FRUSTRATING AND DISORIENTING.
Application of self defense techniques is largely the ability to keep a cool head while under pressure and execute well. Additionally, acquisition of physical knowledge is enhanced and made more permanent when you are forced to recall and utilize the material frequently and irregularly.
To that end, many of our teaching methods are designed to keep you a little on the confused side, at least initially. As you gain both confidence and competence we add another level of complexity to keep you on your toes. Like I said, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is similar to solving a puzzle. One of the best ways to get good at solving puzzles is to… solve puzzles. Keep this in mind when you are training and feel like you are not getting it. Often times if you are slightly confused, yet engaged and working, you are right where you need to be. Take a breath and enjoy the process.