In virtually any violent encounter that falls short of attempted murder, your goal will be to escape from the threat as expeditiously as possible. If an assailant is gripping your wrist and dragging you somewhere you don’t want to go, your first concern is to make him let go. If a bully puts you in a head lock in a bar so his buddy can hit you, your first act should be to get your head out of the lock.
That’s where jujitsu techniques come in. If you need to free yourself from a wrist grab, it can be as simple as turning your hand or angling your arm in a specific direction. If you must extract yourself from a head lock, knowledge of jujitsu techniques can make it as easy as maneuvering your attacker’s arm forward while turning your face toward him and slipping your head out from behind. If the other person isn’t committed to harming you, the altercation will probably be over.
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Jujitsu Techniques Are Serious Business
In reality, the severity of the attack will determine the severity of your response. If the other person is intent on causing bodily harm and begins by laying hands on you, you’ll obviously need to thwart his attacks — but before you can do that, you’ll need to break free of his hold. Again, this is where these jujitsu techniques come in. Although “jujitsu” translates as “gentle art,” the execution of even the most basic jujitsu techniques can have a devastating effect if you need them to.
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In fact, jujitsu techniques are all about escalation. It’s not an all-or-nothing fighting method like some styles — which is what causes many practitioners to freeze up on the street. Jujitsu techniques enable you to do what’s necessary to repel the attacker and then take steps to prevent him from continuing, all while avoiding the use of excessive force.
Choosing the Right Jujitsu Techniques to Counter Street Attacks
Presented in this article are five street attacks you’re likely to encounter. They might not appear life-threatening, but if you don’t take action quickly, you risk great bodily harm.
The jujitsu techniques offered in response are fairly simple by design. Why? Because simple jujitsu techniques are the most effective when you’re under duress.
The scope of jujitsu means that within the art are numerous responses to the same attacks — not just the ones shown here. None is wrong as long as it works. The best one for any particular situation is the one you’re most comfortable doing.
Concepts to Keep in Mind When Using Jujitsu Techniques
Any jujitsu pin or lock taught in class can easily become a joint dislocation or break on the street. All that’s required is a bit of extra pressure, torque or speed. The difference between the opponent feeling pain and the opponent being injured is a fine line. In a real fight, you’ll rarely have time to evaluate your options; immediate action will be needed to preserve your safety, so make sure you know exactly where that line is.
Ideally, an escape — and all jujitsu techniques — should have three elements:
- Jujitsu Techniques Element #1: The first element in your jujitsu techniques should be a distraction such as a strike, kick, stomp, nerve attack or verbal utterance. Your goal is to increase the attacker’s response time. Studies have shown you can buy yourself .3 to .7 seconds while his brain processes the unexpected sensation or information.
- Jujitsu Techniques Element #2: The second element is the actual technique sequence, which is designed to release his hold, counter his attack and ultimately establish control over him.
- Jujitsu Techniques Element #3:The third element is the finishing move. It could be a strike to a vital area or a pin, lock, submission, break or dislocation — provided, of course, such an escalation of force is warranted. In other words, to stay on the right side of the law, you can use a finishing move only if you’re unable to withdraw and the attacker represents a continuing threat.
About the Author:
A 10th-degree black belt, George Kirby has taught jujitsu for 43 years. In 2007, he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year. For more information, visit George Kirby’s website.