„There’s no Gi in the streets man, that Jiu Jitsu/Judo stuff wouldn’t work on me.“ How many times have you heard that sentence being uttered? You’ve probably defended the argument that yes, it does work on the streets… And that is very true; however, in real-time terms, there’re a few things you’d need to adapt when in a self-defense setting – especially when you and your opponent are both standing up.
In that effect, Shintaro Higashi shows an approach through which you can use Judo to obtain control over your opponent and set up a throw in a self-defense situation.
BE CAREFUL WHEN CLOSING THE DISTANCE – FAKE A PUNCH FIRST
When you’re in a classic Judo setting, it’s only natural that you will have to gain control over your opponent by first closing the distance between the two of you, and then by establishing a dominant grip. This closing of distance and getting your grips stands true for using Judo in a self-defense scenario as well, albeit with a very important distinction with the previous case.
Shintaro explains that you cannot just go ahead and grab the opponent’s T-shirt in here, because if you do that then you’ll fall easy prey to a barrage of punches. Instead, what you need to do is provoke a reaction on their behalf; you have to do something which will make them react in such a manner that you’ll be able to get your grips, without the fear of getting punched in.
And how can you do that? It’s simple – Shintaro advises you to fake a punch. Even if you’re not the best striker, you can fake a punch to make them cover their face; a reaction that you’ll use to close the distance and grab a hold of the inside of their elbow.
SET YOUR CONTROL AND GO FOR AN OSOTO GARI
Yes, to grab the inside of their elbow. This is an important aspect of gaining control over your opponent and limiting their attacking prowess; if you don’t grab it and then lock it in tight to your body, then there is a good chance that they’ll be able to bodylock and overpower you.
Now, the second step in gaining Judo control over your opponent that Shintaro shows is reaching over their back and grabbing the end of their shirt. Then, pull it to the top of their head and get your thumb to the inside of it for extra control as well.
From here, you can go for an Osoto Gari variation or snap the opponent down.
Now, even if you lose your grip over the inside of the opponent’s elbow in the process of setting up the throw, you can still effectively defend yourself! Shintaro shows that the most important thing in this case is to, yet again, beware of the punches that may come from the free hand. Therefore, establish a grip on their bicep muscle and/or on their shoulder, by grabbing their T-shirt sleeve.
Shintaro emphasizes that you can’t be lazy with your arm in this situation, other than if you want to get a fist in your face. Your arm needs to be active, so that you can either elevate or lower it to block the incoming punches.
If, however, you manage to get a hold of the second collar/high T-shirt grip in the process as well, Shintaro demonstrates that then you can go for the standing Baseball Choke too – which’ll incapacitate your opponent in a matter of seconds.
Watch Shintaro Higashi demonstrate this approach to using Judo as a self-defense tool on the video below:
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