Shrimp Out! Shrimp Out!

I totally forgot to tell you that I tried Brazilian Jujitsu. Some of you might recall my love affair with Japanese Jujitsu, that was brought to a swift end when I found out I was pregnant with Riker. I can finally be gone from Riker long enough to take a class, so my friend Jenn Sansom and I went to her Brazilian Jujitsu school, so I could give it a try. You can read her truly excellent post on it here. I also highly recommend you read her blog anyway, as she’s a terrific writer and all around awesome girl/ninja.

Here is the difference between Japanese Jujuitsu (JJJ) and Brazilian (BJJ). You know when you watch the flowing yet deadly dancer karate movies? That’s very similar to JJJ. You know when you watch muscley dudes beat the snot out of eachother in what looks like a really cuddly fashion on the Spike channel? That’s BJJ. Now I love me some martial arts, but JJJ recalls my muscle memory from being a dancer. It’s very similar. And it allows to strike quick, or punch a nerve or lock a joint, and Get the Crap Away. Which, in a self defense context, is what I prefer to do. Damage, and get out fast.

BJJ is a whole different sport involving down on the ground pinning, and trapping. It’s more akin to wrestling, and very new to me. And, as it relies on you either pinning someone, or being pinned then escaping, it’s less appealing to me from a self defense standpoint. I never want it to get to the point I’m pinned to the ground.

The other big difference being JJJ is like my dance classes, you learn routines and are tested on those routines in order to advance. BJJ you learn “steps” and then compete in live tournaments. The first, being familiar, appeals to me more.

Though given BJJ or nothing, I’d be at BJJ every day. Plus they yell things at you like “shrimp out” where you basically get out of someone’s guard by shaping yourself like a shrimp and squiggling away.

All in all, BJJ just lit a huge metaphorical fire under my toosh to get back to JJJ. Except Bjj is 5 minutes away, and JJJ is almost 40, with traffic. Sigh. Maybe BJJ during the week, and JJJ on the weekend. Oh yeah, and I have a husband, two kids and a part time job.

Jenn says she will be a helpful ninja, and find me some japanese jujitsu closer to the house. So stay tuned for further updates from the ninja twins, as we go try new schools.

Cheers to Jenn!

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About Jennifer James

I'm a full time mom who works full time. I'm a painter, a dreamer, and a believer that the most feminist thing you can do is adore your femininity. I say what I think, when it's appropriate for sharing. I write when I feel like I have something to say. I love always.

4 thoughts on “Shrimp Out! Shrimp Out!

  1. I still enjoy stand-up karate, and I’m hoping to get into a bit of stand-up MMA (which is the part where the guys on Spike are hitting, kicking, or hugging each other). But I’ve been on my feet for so long (about 5-6 years of stand-up karate and Japanese jits) that I wanted to focus on groundwork for a while.

    A lot of people who teach grappling arts will tell you that 90% of all fights go to the ground and that’s why you should study their art so you can get the jump on your attacker. (1) That’s not true. (2) No one should ever *want* to end up on the ground, especially since a lot of fights happen in populated areas where people might step on your head. The main reason I love BJJ is that it can be *adapted* for self-defense. It’s alive, which means you get to test stuff out right away. It’s also helpful in that you can get used to escaping from a big guy trying to pin you—which I pray never happens to me, but I hope that my muscle memory will react in that situation and my body will know what to do.

    Some of the stuff we learn isn’t applicable—I’m never going to do a flying armbar on the street; I’d kick ’em in the kneecap and run away given the choice. But a lot of it could easily be adapted. That’s why I loved the self-defense seminar we did a while back. No, you don’t want to play around and try for a gogoplata if a guy’s knocked you down—you lock up guard, pull him in close, then stick your fingers in his eye and choke him out.

    Ack, I didn’t mean to go all “Jiujitsu Sage” on you there. Hang on, I have to go see if I remember Rohai kata.

  2. Jen you make excellent points, of which I agree with all of them.

    Other main feature is I don’t have to worry quite so much about getting my nose ring ripped out, or my glasses broken. No matter what Tamra says, I can’t fight without my glasses. Taking them off, not an option.

    I miss kata.

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