Once again, its been a long time since I've updated this blog. I finished my first semester as a junior and in just a few days the second half begins. College is going by so fast. Since I last wrote, I have brought home another gold medal.
I competed at the 10th planet Omaha in house tournament, and won with a double wrist lock. Training is going well for my big tournament in April. That being the fist ever physically challenged grappling tournament, presented by FightMedicine.net. Amazingly enough, it will be hosted at the Renzo Gracie academy in Manhattan. What a honor it would be to meet Renzo Gracie himself.
I also am competing at another local tournament February 28th. Since I last wrote, I feel that I've gotten much stronger and aggressive. With that, I have found a new desire to win and push myself like I never have before. I'm only 30 years old, and feel that I've found my stride, or am starting to at least.
Lastly, I have acquired my first Jujitsu sponsor: http://thejiujitsu.com/
As much as this blog is about my journey in Juijitsu, I want to take a break from writing about the tournament scene. I want to talk about matters of self-defense, as it mainly relates to others like myself who have Cerebral Palsy or any physical challenge they live with everyday.
I have been a life long Martial artist, I've had the honor of training with a handful of amazing instructors in various styles. At heart, I'm a grappler, the clinch and fighting on the ground is where I find I am most at home. However, the question I now am asking myself, is how am I going to defend myself standing up? That is, being attacked by punches, surprise attacks, weapons (Knife, stick or gun), how am I going to defend myself when I am using my crutches? Let alone in my wheel-chair or scooter?
As I mention before, I am a lover of the submission and clinch fight game. I have trained in a vast majority of stand up arts and understand their methods exceedingly well. So in theory, I know how to show and talk my way through stand up fighting methods when it comes to teaching. When it comes to teaching the self-defense class at my college, I show a technique from my knees and have my assistant instructor translate it for me standing up.
That teaching method however, hasn't come without criticism, a fellow student at my college apparently said behind my back that I shouldn't teach stand up fighting, simply because I can't stand up. While these words are harsh, perhaps the words are needed though.
Because, in all honesty, when it came to a real self defense situation I'd probably get my ass handed to me. That is unless I do something about it. Why am I trying to figure these things out now? 1) There is no better time like the present, and if I ever had to defend myself, I don't want to have my ass handed to me. 2) I have the dream of adapting a self defense program for special needs people as a whole.
The hope of it would be to make people with various physically feel safe, its easy to see that programs like this already are in place. But most of them, I find, are rooted in traditional martial arts. Not that I have anything against traditional methods. I just do not believe that when it comes down to an actual encounter, can actually save ones life.
What I would propose, is something more straight forward and nasty. This would mean the three C's method:
Cover: That is, useful methods of covering the head and body.
Crash: That is, using various cover methods to crash the attackers center line.
Clinch: That is, grabbing onto the attackers body in a dominant way, where you are in control and dictate the finish.
Obviously, after the clinch, one would add in dirty boxing strikes from whatever context the found themselves in. As always, physical violence should be a last resort, one regardless of physical limitations should learn how to have situational awareness and learn to talk their way out of an attacker. Or as Bruce Lee once said in the movie "Enter The Dragon" "You can call it the art of fighting, without fighting".
There would also be fire arms training, which is why I am taking the steps needed to purchase my first gun (something my mother isn't happy with). Not only do I want to learn to defend myself with a gun, but others who are like me as well. let's be honest, a gun is sometimes the best option if your house is being broke into or something of that context.
I know that a ton of research is in order, but that's why I'm taking the shots to the face now and learning all I can. The brutal truth is that we all must search to find what works for us in combat. There's no one size fits all answer.