Grand Master Pedro Valente Sr., father of the Valente brothers of GMA Gracie Miami, has a message about the self-defense in Jiu-Jitsu. Using the UFC 172 fight between Jon Jones and Glover Texeira, he attributes Jones’ success to the self-defense techniques that are no longer prevalent in sport Jiu-Jitsu academies today.
Take a minute to read what the red belt has to say:
“Many martial artists, for reasons which include absence of knowledge and lack of experience in Helio Gracie’s self defense Jiu-Jitsu (the backbone of the curriculum taught at all Valente Brothers academies) question the effectiveness of self-defense in a fight.
In the bout between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira the importance of self-defense was once again proven.
The Brazilian fighter started off well, charging, and quickly making Jones feel the weight of his hand. However, in the very first clinch, during round one, Jones surprised Teixeira applying a fundamental technique of Jiu-Jitsu’s self-defense system. He took advantage of Glover’s semi-stretched arm and instead of pummeling his arm under, he over-hooked the Brazilian’s elbow and applied the lock. A typical defense used in Jiu-Jitsu. This immediately injured Glover’s right shoulder, who asked his corner to ice his articulation between rounds one and two.
Therefore Jones, utilizing a classic move of authentic self-defense Jiu-Jitsu, forgotten by many, neutralized the knockout power precisely from Glover’s heavy right hand and largely reduced its firepower and his ability to win the fight via knockout. Fingers to the eye also helped destabilize the Brazilian. But that is another story.
At the height of the campaign against Jiu-Jitsu “hooligan fighters,” in Brazil, I published an article in 1995 titled “Jiu-Jitsu” in the prominent Brazilian publication, Jornal do Brasil. In this article, written 24 years ago, I foresaw that the Jiu-Jitsu developed by the Gracies was being mischaracterized and that within a few years would be largely forgotten in its foundations. Sure enough today, Jiu-Jitsu that as Grand Master Helio Gracie said is not a sport but a weapon of attack and self defense, has been distorted by sports tournaments that prioritize rules for points, neglecting its self defense base, altering the genuine gentle art into a limited competitive sport that became vulnerable in MMA .
It is time, especially for sport Jiu-Jitsu teachers to reflect rather than to consider pre-sport Gracie Jiu-jitsu outdated, as many think. I believe they need to learn and teach authentic Jiu-Jitsu, which is not based on simple competition rules, but rather in the ancient techniques of stand-up fighting, ground fighting, traumatic blows, self defense, and mainly in its philosophy that comes from the Samurai.
Today, interestingly, what we see in MMA is the rediscovery of these fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu by some fighters: elbows, the pisão kick, throws, grappling submissions and even self-defense techniques, typical of the “old” Jiu-Jitsu (to which we remain loyal) as we saw in the main event of UFC 172.”