One of the reasons I chose training at Lincoln BJJ Center over staying with the Jiu-Jitsu program at the dojo is because Shihan wants the dojo program to have more of a focus on self-defense, with a greater emphasis on throwing. I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t like working on takedowns and throws, and my dislike for them became even worse after I broke my wrist while being thrown last year.
We do practice takedowns at LBJJC, there are four of them listed on our blue belt requirement sheets (three Judo throws, and one wrestling takedown), but we don’t work on them to the extent they do at the dojo. Then last week in BJJ class, Greg gave me some homework. I have to practice the set up for a double-leg takedown at least ten times a day! I told him that I know my takedowns suck, because I don’t like working on them, and he responded “Yeah, but the worst takedown in the world is still better than jumping guard on the street.”
Even though I don’t like doing them, I do understand and appreciate the validity of throws and takedowns, especially in a self-defense situation. That’s why I begrudgingly participate in Throwing Sundays in our Ethridge class. I’ve only resorted to jumping guard once in competition, and that’s partly because I’m afraid that my dojo coach, Amy, will yell at me if I don’t at least try to pull off a throw (damn Judokas! ;). I’ve usually managed to get the takedown points in tournaments, except for a couple of times when my opponent jumped guard on me.
I would much rather take a standing opponent down from my guard than to throw them from standing, but Amy would definitely yell at me if I walked out onto the mat and sat down on my butt! Self-defense is not my primary focus in my Jiu-Jitsu training, but it is a concern, so I keep practicing takedowns and throws, with the hopes that one day I will be as comfortable with them as I am with grappling.