Cesar Gracie – “Total Jiu-Jitsu”

What is the fundamental concept of jiu-jitsu? Is it the embodiment of an academy that trains strictly for the glory of victory at a tournament? Some would think it’s the doctrine of a school that trains solely for victory in the cage or ring, at the expense of negating all other elements, including self defense and gi training.

Monetary issues seem to play a key role on where a school places its direction and philosophical leanings. If the jiu-jitsu instructor’s forte is in gi competitions, you can expect that his student base will follow his lead. The same applies to gi-less submission fighting and MMA. If a school focuses all of it’s energy on MMA fighting, it will invariably alienate the public at large, which is by no means interested in fighting for profit. On the other extreme, you’ll have the jiu-jitsu instructor that places all of the training emphasis on street self-defense. That school’s students will never excel at any serious competitive sport level and MMA fighting would prove disastrous. So where should a school focus it’s energy? Enter, “Total Jiu-Jitsu”.

Total jiu-jitsu is not a new concept, but rather an old one that has been justifiably revisited. It incorporates all of the elements of jiu-jitsu; (self defense, gi training, MMA and gi-less submission grappling.) It embraces with an open mind the idea that incorporating other styles such as wrestling, sambo, etc, is beneficial to effectiveness.

By offering all of these elements at the same facility, total jiu-jitsu meets the specific needs of the general population. As people’s requisites change, they find no need to join another school. The gi wearing tournament competitor who decides to make the leap into cage fighting need look no further when he or she decides to fight. Assuming the competency of an academy to provide world-class training in the aforementioned curriculums, students are afforded a cornucopia of technical wealth.

One might wonder why most academies don’t offer total jiu-jitsu. The answer is simple. Most instructors are simply too complacent in their teaching methods. The instructor that has spent a lifetime learning and teaching gi training exclusively, will find himself ill equipped and therefore threatened by other systems. Unwilling or unable to expand his horizons, he will dread outside influences. This commonly produces a state of denial where the teacher rejects with xenophobic fervor the possibility that there is something of use that he does not know.

Fortunately there are those who are astute enough to recognize the need for total jiu-jitsu. This new breed of “super instructors” will pave the way for the resurgence of jiu-jitsu and martial arts in general for the twenty-first century. While other academies become prehistoric dinosaurs, impotently wallowing in their own mire, the total jiu-jitsu practitioner will only continue evolving with technique and honest approach.

-Cesar Gracie

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