Mixed Martial Arts has become one of the most popular sports in the world today. It has replaced boxing as preferred viewership among spectators.   MMA gives the world a glimpse of all sorts of fighting styles and different ways you can protect yourself from your opponent.  The fights are usually about 3 minutes a round and anywhere from 3-5 rounds depending on the fight.  Opponents go at it in whichever fighting style they choose.  There is a referee, judges and a point system.   People watch intently to see who will win by knockout, submission, or by number of points based on criteria (punches landed, etc.).  The problem with MMA is that it doesn’t necessarily reflect what happens on the street.  I’m not trying to trivialize anyone who fights MMA, they’re all exceptionally talented fighters.  What about the average person who isn’t a professionally trained fighter who wants to learn self-defense against an attacker on the street?  MMA is a sport.  Anything can happen on the streets.

There is no referee on the streets. No judges. No point system. In a situation like these survival is all that matters and that is the focus of the self-defense classes at Guillobel in San Clemente on Saturday mornings.

What separates this class from others at Guillobel is that it is grassroots Jiu-Jitsu Class 101.  As Sensei Paulo states, “My Jiu-Jitsu comes from a focus of pure self-defense.”  Students not only learn tried and true Jiu-Jitsu survival techniques they also learn theory behind what they learn.  There isn’t any rolling. No heavy drilling. A simple stretch to warm up the body and then straight into an hour of grassroots street survival skills. No ego. No competition. Just a simple neutralization. When you begin the class you will immediately realize there is a reason and purpose behind every move you make giving you an enlightening training experience. He continues, “I’m from Brazil and I’ve been in all sorts of altercations on the street that were life-threatening.”  It’s Murphy’s Law on the street and anything that can happen on the streets, will happen.

The basis of training Jiu-Jitsu at Guillobel is survival.  If you are put into a situation or physical altercation, which cannot be dealt with peaceably, you simply walk away, if not you run, and when all else fails, you defend yourself or someone who cannot do so for themselves.  Jiu-Jitsu was developed to empower the weak and give them a fighting chance against stronger opponents.  Yes, it is also a fun and entertaining sport to watch within the realm of MMA but you cannot compare what happens in a controlled environment to what happens on the street.  Don’t get me wrong.  Competition is a positive character building experience and all who practice any martial art and have an opportunity to compete should do so.  But let’s not forget no matter what happens on the mats is trivial compared to what can happen on the streets.

Be alert. Stay focused. Stay sharp.  Train like your life depends on it.