Why Did You Start Jiu Jitsu?
We all start training in Jiu-Jitsu for some reason or another. The most common reasons I hear by potential adult students walking into our gym are to learn self defence, to learn how to fight, and to get fit and strong. If I think back to why I started Jiu-Jitsu in the first instance it was definitely the self defence/fighting aspect.
Of recent I was told a great reason on why one of our students chose to learn Jiu-Jitsu.
A couple months back someone walked into our Academy here in Coolangatta that I had not seen for some 18ish years. This person was an old high school acquaintance of mine. He was a couple years older than I in high school, basketball was in at the time, and he was part of the top basketball crew in our high school. I had just started high school and wanted to play basketball with these guys. Fortunately I was stupidly tall at 13 and I was accepted by these older kids to play b-ball with them every lunchtime. Some 2ish months ago this old school acquaintance walked into our gym, he had already been training Jiu-Jitsu for a few months elsewhere, but had heard we were there and had come to check it out.
Just the other day we got talking. Out of interest I fleetingly asked why he had got into Jiu-Jitsu? His response was definitely unique, but also once again revealed to me the true value of this martial art.
In short, this member replied that he had started Jiu-Jitsu so to perform a citizen’s arrest. Now I know nothing of the law in this regards so I started probing deeper into the subject. He mentioned that he had been living in a block of units locally, some of his young relatives similarly lived in this block of units, and all the residents were constantly being terrorised by a drug addict from the area. He was fearful for the safety of his nieces and nephews and would continually call the police, but they would always arrive too late, and this out-of-control drug addict would be long gone into the night. This member decided that if the police were not able to protect him and his family he was going to do it himself. Now as aforementioned, I do not understand the law with regards to this, but nevertheless lawful or not, I was inspired by his story. I am not promoting these actions, nor suggesting that anyone should do the same, but I was inspired by it. Anyhow, this member had recently just started watching the first UFCs where a skinny and apparently weak Royce Gracie was defeating all of these freakishly strong fighters without having to strike them. No puches, kicks, elbows, or knees, just grappling. He was intrigued by this. He knew he could not hit this drug addict as he would be the one that would find himself on the wrong side of the law, but he also was fully aware that the safety of himself and his family members was potentially threatened, and they could not keep going on living like this. Consequently, he started to see Jiu-Jitsu as his answer. He started training in Jiu-Jitsu for the sole purpose of making his citizens arrest. On hearing this story I was naturally taken back, I had never heard a story of this nature before, so I asked, ‘Did you make the arrest?’ His response was as follows: As had happened many times before this same out-of-control drug addict rocked-up at his apartment block. This drug addict was screaming and yelling profanities. This student decided tonight was the night. He yelled back at the drug addict to go away (but in a little more profane way than this) to which the drug addict replied, ‘Who the F… are you?’ The student responded something along the lines of, ‘Who the F… are you? I live here!’ The student in his pajamas at the time quickly got dressed and approached the drug addict out the front of the apartments. The student did not go into a whole lot of detail, but basically said he took the drug addict to the ground without striking him, took his back (which is a strong control position in Jiu-Jitsu), the police were called, and he held him there until they arrived to arrest him.
For me, whilst this was a quite intense scenario and reason for starting Jiu-Jitsu, it once again reinforced what we all know of this martial art, being its unique ability to empower people to defend themselves without seriously injuring their opponent or attacker. And whilst this is definitely an extreme measure, and an extreme reason for starting Jiu-Jitsu, I personally felt a sense of pride in being a part of a martial art that can offer such strong real-world application.
So in concluding, I would love to hear all your reasons for starting in this amazing martial art of Jiu-Jitsu. I definitely welcome any comments on this thread.
Thanks for reading and happy rolling,
Co-owner at Flow Martial Arts