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Ex-Navy SEAL Commander & BJJ Black Belt Jocko Willink on Why Running Away is the Best Self Defense

Ex-Navy SEAL Commander & BJJ Black Belt Jocko Willink on Why Running Away is the Best Self Defense

The Baddest Man in the BJJ World is Jocko Willink.

From September of 1990 to 2010 Willink was a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and Seal Task Unit Commander leading hundreds of operations in combat. He earned his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from world champion Dean Lister, competed at the national level in Submission Grappling, and has trained dozens of professional fighters. He has also coached and cornered fighters in numerous King of the Cage, Pride, and UFC events.
Jocko started training BJJ in 1995 under the Fabio Santos. He then started training 2-3x a day.
He now owns Victory MMA together with Dean Lister. He is a black in BJJ under Dean Lister.

When it comes to self defense, Willink is a realist and he outlines that the number one option when faced with an attacker, is to do the smart thing and run away:

If someone attacks me and they want to punch or kick me, I can just run away. They’re not holding onto me. I can get away from them. It’s when someone grabs you that you need some technique to get out of there, or someone takes you to the ground — that’s when you need some technique to get out of there. If someone just wants to punch me, well, I’ll walk away from them or run away from them. That’s OK.

Obviously, I am a fan of jiu-jitsu. No. 1: It’s very practical, like I said, for self-defense. And again, the goal of jiu-jitsu in self-defense isn’t to take someone down to the ground — the goal in jiu-jitsu for self-defense is actually to be able to defend yourself on the ground, get up, and get away from an attacker. That’s what the goal is.

Now, some people might think: “Well, Jocko, I don’t want to run away if somebody wants to fight me. I want to fight them.” Well, let’s think about where that might end up for you. No. 1: You don’t know if this person has a weapon or not. What if they have a knife? What if they have a pistol? What if they’ve got three or four friends? And now you’re getting either shot, stabbed, mutilated, or otherwise maimed and killed. That’s not what you’re looking for on a Friday night as you’re walking down the street.

OK, so let’s say you’re so tough that the other guy — he doesn’t have a knife, he doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have any friends — and you take him out and break his arm, choke him, and put him to sleep. Well now guess what happens? You’re getting arrested. Now you’re getting in a lawsuit. Now you have to pay this person money that you actually wanted to beat up.

So it’s a lose-lose situation to get in a confrontation on the street. If you can break contact and get away, break contact and get away. That’s what you should learn self-defense for. Obviously, if someone is doing something that they’re attacking someone in your family and you have to step in to defend yourself, well, that’s why you continue training all the time — because that might happen, and you have to be prepared for that. Optimally, you get out of there: You break contact, you get away. If you have to stand and fight, you train yourself so that you’re able to do it.

In the same frame of mind, here are some ‘mental Jiu-Jitsu’ tricks on how to avoid conflict by using humor and witt.

Crucial lesson on how to avoid physical conflict
Sifu Tim Tackett at the CSW 2016 World Conference sharing some ideas of how to avoid getting into a fight:

 

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