A Standup Game

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Master jiujitsu coach John Danaher relates a story about watching jiujitsu black belt Dean Lister submitting people using leg locks. When Danaher asked him about this, he says that Lister responded with:

“Why ignore 50% of the human body?”

Wise words. To which I would add:

“If almost all fights start standing up; why basically ignore standing grappling?”

It is surprising to hear how little many jiujitsuka practice in the way of “stand up.” Some, none at all. Sparring for most of them always starts on the knees. Sure, some schools have a takedown class, or wrestling or Judo once or twice a week, or perhaps only done in the elf defense portion of the class, or the lead up to a competition.

Surprising because that is not what jiujitsu was ever meant to be, and it seriously limits the overall practicality of the training. Certainly there is concern with the potential for injury, but it (stand up) does not have to be trained in a manner which is all that injurious), and students can be taught how to throw properly and to take falls. It shouldn’t all be just one big athletic scramble.

Jiujitsu today is perhaps in a unique position in the world of grappling arts, in that it can incorporate throws and takedowns from virtually any other discipline:  Judo – even allowing a whole host of throws that are no longer legal in Judo competition,  wrestling, Sumo, even traditional jujitsu and Chinese arts. I know because that is what my teachers do. And in every class.

Have a stand up game. It will improve your jiujitsu.



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