By Coach Kevin Aldridge
As a kid, I loved martial arts movies, one of my favorites was Enter the Ninja (1981). Movies are a great form of entertainment; however, they can also portray solutions that aren’t practical in real life situations. Most conflicts can be handled using verbal Jiu-Jitsu or by checking our egos and walking away. Unfortunately, there may come a time when this may be unavoidable so consider the following:
• Manage the distance. If your attacker doesn’t have a firearm then keep a safe distance. They can’t hurt what they can’t touch.
• Keep an eye on their hands. Make sure they don’t pull a weapon out of their pockets or from under a shirt.
• Be aware of your surroundings in case your attacker has friends. You don’t want to end up being a human soccer ball.
• Take them down. Ninety percent of physical conflicts end up on the ground. Although Jiu Jitsu fighters are trained to fight off our backs, this is the last place we want to be in a conflict for safety reasons. Try and remain on top.
• Control your attacker. Many times, simply controlling your attacker is enough to make them reconsider their actions. This is a good method to buy yourself time until law enforcement arrives to take over.
• Remember to be responsible with your Jiu-Jitsu. Your actions may have consequences even if you are attacked. For example: In my opinion, applying a choke is less lethal than breaking my attacker’s arm or leg. A choke may put my attacker to sleep for a brief period, but it will allow my attacker to continue making a living post-conflict without a permanently damaged arm or leg.
“I am a shark, the ground is my ocean, and most people can’t even swim.”
– Jean Jacques Machado