BJJ Blue Belt Anthony Bourdain On Dealing With A Self Defense Situation

BJJ Blue Belt Anthony Bourdain On Dealing With A Self Defense Situation


58 year old BJJ blue belt Anthony Bourdain is an American chef, author, and television personality. He is known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and in 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he joined CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Bourdain’s wife. Ottavia is a purple belt BJJ competitor. She trains twice a day. In September 2013, she convinced him to start training at Renzo Gracie academy in New York.

After his first training session, he was hooked. He has a very demanding job which requires him to travel a lot so he always makes it a point to train Jiu-Jitsu abroad. In the past years he has trained in Hungary, Korea, Turkey, USA, Scotland and many other locations.

As a result of his training, he has lost 30lbs.

Bourdain was recently interviewed by GQ Magazine, and they asked about his passion for Jiu-Jitsu and how he would deal with a self defense situation.

“How would you disarm a guy with a knife who was, I don’t know, asking for your wallet?
Oh, I would give him my wallet.

No questions asked?
If you were in a knife fight… if we both have knives, one of us is going to get cut, you know what I mean? That’s for sure. If you’re trying to take my life, yeah, I’ll fight you. You’re threatening somebody I love? Sure. But my wallet? Take the f**king wallet.

It’s not a fear of death thing, either. You cut me bad, I can’t train in jiu jitsu.


Judo for BJJ final
What if you were forced to protect someone you loved? From a jiu jitsu-y technical standpoint, what would you do to take the guy out?
I would be really unhappy about that! I would hope that I could choke you out before I bleed out. It’s not a striking form. I would definitely be at a disadvantage. Jiu jitsu’s all about getting close and taking someone on the ground. That’s not really where you want to be with someone like that.

Why does jiu jitsu speak to you at this point in your life?
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There’s no end game, and it’s very, very technical. Every day. Even on a good day.

It’s like writing. You have a good writing day, you write for a certain period of time, and you reach a point where you’re done for the day. You’ve created a number of problems for yourself. How am I going to proceed tomorrow?

Jiu jitsu is like that. You go in. Things work. Most other things don’t work. And you spend the rest of the day thinking about how you might suck less tomorrow.

 Is there a connection between this and your appreciation for martial arts? Why are these sort of things manifesting for you at this stage in your life?
Jiu jitsu isn’t a very violent. They call it the gentle art. You’re working really hard to not get tapped. But you’re not intentionally looking to damage someone, [like] your training partner. People are very nice. There’s no high fiving. There’s no striking. You really seek to do no harm. You’re all learning together. I would say it really doesn’t have anything to do with these violent impulses.

If anything, my wife got me into it. My daughter—now eight—has been doing it half her life. I started getting it from them, the ladies of the family.”

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