Friday, January 21, 2011


When commenting on his martial arts system of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee cautioned his followers not to “fuss” over it, as it was “just a name.”  That philosophy applies not only to JKD but to martial arts in general.  There are only so many physical techniques we can use in our application of martial arts.  Some systems specialize in one particular area but they all have commonalities between them.  There are only so many ways to punch, kick throw and, yes, grapple.

Now before you get all bent out of shape after reading that last paragraph, remember, I did say there are subtle differences between systems.  They’re not all the same.  But overall, martial arts have more similarities than differences.  When Brazilian Jiu Jitsu began gaining popularity in North America, I noticed grapplers from other disciplines began incorporating their techniques into the BJJ game, and these players had advantages over their opponents.  They used techniques no one had seen before or expected, and they were able to catch the competition by surprise.  At the time, this development was unique, but today it’s nothing special.  Even within grappling, players will cross train in different specialized systems to become more complete practitioners.  The submission grappling world is at a point now that there is no real differentiation between a BJJ technique, a Judo technique, a wrestling technique and so on.  Yes, we credit a specific system for whatever move we may use at that moment, but overall it’s still all part of the submissions game.

In this video, Christian Graugart shows us a series of techniques that are endemic to wrestling but applicable to BJJ.  As you watch these useful moves, remember that it’s all just grappling.  If these techniques become popular in gi BJJ, you eventually won’t be able to tell where they originated.  Remember, it’s all still grappling and don’t fuss over its name. 

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