My martial arts career is a rather sad and chequered one. From junior Goju-Kai Karate to Jikishin Ju Jitsu (with a little bit of Wing Chun thrown in for good measure) I have spent a small part of the past 30 years of my life trying to find something that works.
I have found it in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
For the past year I have trained at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Cape Town. It has been a great year and the one thing that has always impressed me is how the techniques I am learning are so invaluable in a fight situation. I have gone from not being able to remove a man about half my size from the mount position (in a very frustrating intro class) to being able to roll with, defend myself against and attack guys much larger than myself.
Now I am certainly no expert on fighting, MMA or martial arts. As I mentioned above I have dabbled in various styles and I have spent a lifetime watching every martial arts movie I can find. For me the key lies in the effectiveness of the technique, whether I feel that in a real life situation I would be able to use it to defend myself.
And after a year (or more) I can say that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is that effective. There is no “secret”, “hidden” skill here, simply tried and tested methods of efficiently disarming an attacker. That to me is what martial arts is about.
This is my journey and boy, what a ride….