The Art of Jujitsu

Jujitsu Principles And Concepts

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There are twenty-five physical principles and concepts of anatomical physics that you need to learn and understand to make your techniques work at maximum efficiency. Though designed for this system, the principles and concepts are universal and apply to all martial arts systems.

1. 45/90 Degree Principle

Resistance is created when a 90-degree angle is put against another 90-degree angle. They either cancel each other out or the stronger force overcomes the weaker force. If you meet resistance when doing a technique, and two opposing 90-degree angles are present, redirect the defense at a 45-degree angle to your opponent’s 90-degree angle and the resistance will break down.

2. Anatomical Misalignment

When the spine is erect and the human body is in alignment with its various parts, the structural integrity of the body is strong. By misaligning the body at various key points along the human anatomy, the structural integrity of the body tends to break down along with the body strength. Not only can you misalign an opponent’s body, you can also misalign your own body to render an opponent’s technique weak or ineffective.

3. Anchor Principle

The use of an anchor principle will alter the distribution of strength and energy of an opponent’s attack. For example, when a rear bar arm choke is applied against your throat, by grasping the forearm and wrist then dropping or “anchoring” your elbows against your ribs, your opponent’s forearm is essentially fused to your chest.

4. Back Up Mass

The strength in your arms and legs is limited by various factors, but by applying the back up mass of your body to your defense, you are able to deliver many of your techniques with a great deal more power and focus. If two of the exact same trucks were to ram into each other head-on, one with an empty truck, and the other filled completely with bricks, which one would cause the most damage? The truck with the heavier payload (or back up mass) would cause greater damage to the opposing truck.

5. Balance Principle

If you stand perpendicular to your opponent, your opponent will always be off balance forward and backward, but you will always be on balance. No matter how your opponent stands, situate your body in a “T” position between his legs. As long as you either stand perpendicular to your opponent, or attack him along that plane, he will always be off balance forward and backward.

6. Barring

Barring is always done against the weakest part of an opponent’s joint. Some of those points include the elbow, wrist, fingers and knees. Pressure is applied against the “natural” bend of the joint.

7. Basic Rule of Resistance

In order to have strength, an opponent needs to have resistance. To break down his strength do not resist: when your opponent pushes, you pull; when your opponent pulls, you push. By applying proper timing to the basic rule of resistance, your opponent adds to your strength by inadvertently moving in a direction that is advantageous to you.

8. Buoyancy

Buoyancy is achieved when it becomes impossible for your opponent to empty all of the air out of his body, which prevents him from settling into a strong position. This is achieved by moving your opponent into a buoyant hand or foot position. In a buoyant hand position, the back of your opponent’s hand is against his body, palm facing out. In a buoyant foot position, the toes are no longer parallel and are out of alignment. His body cannot completely settle.

9. Circular/Linear Principle

When motion is stopped for any reason, the person is in a linear alignment. Moving in a circular motion can break down linear strength. Attack a linear attack with a circular defense, or a circular attack with a linear defense. This will break down the strength of the attack.

10. Closing the Gap

When there is a gap between your body and your opponent’s body, someone will close the gap. No matter how tight you get to your opponent, there will usually be a gap somewhere. It may be where his hips are, or the back of his knees, or his back, or his head. Look for the gap and always keep trying to close it. Be mindful that any kind of movement (even breathing) is capable of opening a gap at any time.

11. Compression

Compression is a method of realigning, misaligning, or pressing down upon or against part of the body. In some instances, by compressing the spine you can create a misalignment, weakening the anatomical structure of the neck and spine. This type of body compression causes the structural integrity of the body to rapidly deteriorate.

12. Constriction

Constriction is a method of squeezing or cutting off a part of the body to cause an anatomical change in condition. For example, by constricting the airflow through the windpipe you would cause a choke. Constricting the carotid artery in the neck would impede blood flow to the brain.

13. Dropping the Center of Gravity

You can drop your center of gravity by dropping the buttocks and lowering your body weight so as to stay balanced. It is important that your knees are bent and remain bent. Since gravity is pulling you down, it is important that you work with gravity when performing your techniques, rather than against gravity.

14. Elliptical Circle

Imagine forcing your opponent’s body, or body parts, into a circular pattern. This is commonly done from a linear attack. As your opponent tries to recover from the effects of the circle, you elongate it causing the circle to become an elliptical motion. Applying an elliptical circle to certain attacks affords an effective method of taking an opponent off balance.

15. Extension / Hyperextension

When the muscles, ligaments and tendons are elongated and arced on one side, that side has the extension. Hyperextension occurs when the muscles, ligaments and tendons are over stretched past the extension point, causing damage.

16. Isolation Principle

When an opponent seizes a part of your body and you are unable to move it, he has isolated that particular part of your body. Do not try to move the part of your body that is being isolated. Instead, look for parts of your body that are not being isolated and move those parts instead.

17. Offsetting the Vertical Plane

It takes two elements to throw an opponent to the ground: leverage and off- balance. One effective method to off-balance an opponent is to offset or break his vertical plane. By offsetting an opponent’s vertical plane, his spine is no longer lined up and he’s anatomically out of alignment. The structural integrity of your opponent is no longer there. By offsetting the vertical plane you can make it harder for your opponent to counter moves, and in some cases, even effectively moving his feet. Offsetting an opponent’s vertical plane can be done in a variety of ways. By attacking the side of the neck at a 45-degree angle it will cause your opponent to list to the side, shifting his weight and body position, which works to your advantage.

18. Pivoting

A pivot uses a part of the body as an axis. Pivoting can be used to change from one stance to another. A pivot can also be used to enhance a fulcrum and increase leverage, such as when one is doing an escape from a hold.

19. Pry Release

The use of a pry release involves using a fulcrum to effectively cause the escape. Generally, when you use the fulcrum, you will be pivoting around that point. This is opposed to using excessive strength. Pry release functions like a lever and should be thought of that way.

20. Redirection/Deflection

Instead of meeting the force head on, force against force, we can yield way by deflecting the attack so as not to take its blunt force. Deflections are best done at 45-degree angles to help reduce the strength of an attacker. In many cases, if the deflecting hand is guided past the center point of your attacker’s body, it will lose strength. By redirecting or deflecting an oncoming force, you can keep the flow of your defense moving, and in some cases, actually increase the speed of your counter attack.

21. Small Circle Principle

A small circle will increase the speed and effectiveness of your techniques; a large circle decreases this advantage. Whenever possible, apply smaller circles against linear motions.

22. Stretch-The-Rope Principle

This principle involves reeling in an opponent by constantly taking up the slack. A good analogy is pulling on a rope hand over hand. One hand pulls in the slack, and the other hand grasps that point, keeping the progress in place. By doing this, the other hand can continue to reel in an opponent, not allowing any progress to be given back to an opponent.

23. Torque

This is a process by which we take in the slack by twisting, turning and rotating a part of the body. At this point, one of two things will happen: the part of the body will break, or the rest of the body will follow. For example, with a wrist-flex, either the wrist will break, or you will be able to throw your opponent to the ground.

24. Transitional Realignment

Transitional Realignment facilitates being able to move through a technique, or transition, to another point within the technique. Transitional Realignment is used to slow down, redirect, or render weak, various grappling control mechanics by restructuring or realigning appendages so that strength and/or correct body position is lost.

25. Wedge

A triangularly shaped formation of body limbs, when employed properly, can separate a part of the body or force it apart. This concept involves placing something between you and your opponent. A wedge is also a form of a pry release in the way it is executed.

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