Innovative Martial Arts
15-1599 Dugald Rd
Winnipeg, MB
204-505-2787
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Beginner Info

What is Jiu-Jitsu? (and why you should do it)

Martial Arts come in many, many different flavours. Yet we find most people don’t really understand the differences in them. So what exactly is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

On the surface they can look sort of similar, lots of very different martial arts where similar uniforms based off of the original Judo / Jiu-Jitsu uniform. Same as Hockey, Basketball and baseball all have a similar looking jersey at first glance.

The uniform we wear was designed to be grabbed, pulled, used for throws, controlling and attacking and strong enough to withstand all that. It was thick, strong and a single piece of material with no seems from one sleeve to the other. Other styles like karate and TKD borrowed the general design, but used a lighter material and seams as they didn’t need to be as sturdy for a punching / kicking based style.

And that is one fundamental feature of Jiu-Jitsu, it is a grappling based style emphasizing control of the opponent over inflicting damage through impact. In Jiu-Jitsu we attempt to immobilize and control our opponent through leverage in order to nullify anything they might want to do, while retaining the ability to attack ourselves.

Contrast this with a karate idea of “Ikken Hissatsu”, or "to annihilate at one blow”, the idea being to do devastating damage via impact in order to end a fight.

This is likely how Jiu-Jitsu got it’s name, which translates roughly to “Gentle Art”.

A example of this concept would be in the early days of the UFC and other similar events, when fighters of different martial arts went in to test their style against other styles. Back in those days Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dominated in competitions with very limited rules… But, the Jiu-Jitsu fighters also won uninjured, and without injuring their opponent either.

This was achieved by taking their opponent to the ground, pinning and controlling them and forcing them to submit, or tap out by choke holds or arm/leg locks.

The practicality of it, and the safety of it (as well as the fun) made the style explode across the world.

As a martial art Jiu-Jitsu is much more hands-on then many. There is no standing in lines counting of punches, there is no memorizing and rehearsing patterns. Everything is done with a partner, and each practitioner knows exactly what they can do against a resisting opponent. After training for a while anyone can learn to control and subdue a larger, stronger opponent in a live situation, and will have done so many times.

Nowadays Jiu-Jitsu is practiced by young children, older adults, military, celebrities, police, and everyone in the middle. The combination of being fun, a great work out, highly practical and yet one of the safest martial arts has made it the fastest growing martial art on the planet.

If you haven’t tried Jiu-Jitsu it’s never too late or too early. Just get on the mat!

Beginner Info

What is a Submission?

One of the key concepts in martial arts is the idea of a "submission", a point where one person taps out conceding the match.

This concept has been around for a long time, it is documented right back to ancient wrestling and pankration in Greece.  The means have varied in different times and places.  Raising 2 fingers, saying uncle, tapping out, etc.  But the idea has always been the same.

In a match one person places the other in a situation where they are forced to concede, recognizing that they are caught in a position where they would end up seriously injured if the match where a real fight.

Basically the "checkmate" of the martial arts.

Most people are familiar with the concept, it's been getting used in Pro-Wrestling for years as a carry over from when the matches where not scripted.  UFC is now a household name as well.

But yet there is still some confusion around exactly what is going on.

A tap out is not one person giving up because something hurts.  It is one person giving up because they are in a position where they could be hurt.

When a person taps out due to being caught in a arm bar it is not because there arm is in excruciating pain, it is because they recognize that they are in a position where their opponent could cause serious injury to their arm if the fight where real.

Generally waiting until your arm is hurting to tap out is a terrible idea and will lead to damaged joints pretty quickly.

Of course pro-wrestling plays things up... but they are acting, not really trying to cause pain or injury.  And in professional MMA fighters will at times try to hold off on tapping out longer and sometimes to the point where they are doing damage to their joint, but they are professionals with a lot of money and their career on the line.

For the rest of us, that should never be the case.    We tap out because we recognize we lost, not because we are in pain or already hurt.

Why is the receiver the one that is responsible to surrender?  Martial Arts is a funny thing, it is an activity that both builds confidence and teaches humility when done right.  In the process of getting good, you have to surrender 1000's of matches to people bigger, smaller, older, younger, stronger, weaker and every thing else.    Everyone gets caught sometimes, and everyone has to be willing to admit that they where physically defeated by anyone else on the mat if they get caught.

This is something I see as a huge benefit to building character over styles where all the scoring is done by a ref or judges.  Scoring points for hits which is fuzzy in the best situations too easily leaves the humility part lacking and the confidence turns to cockiness.  When you tap out it's not a bad ref call, you lost, and you admit it.

Beginner Info

How to Wrap Your Hands

I did a series of pictures years ago, but figured a video might be more useful.  So here it is, how to wrap your hands for class:

Good wraps are also important, they protect your hands and lengthen the life of your gloves.  The short ones available at big box stores aren't going to give the same level of comfort and support as a good pair :)