Old School, New School, or Somewhere in the Middle
There is a big debate in the Jiu Jitsu community whether the old school “self-defense” Jiu Jitsu or the new school “sport” Jiu Jitsu is the way to train. There is an argument that in a confrontation with a normal person on the street you aren’t going to need sport techniques, but at the same time, when these students roll at their old school gym there is most likely elements of sport Jiu Jitsu techniques. The other side of this, is that if a student is consistent at a sport school, they will eventually gain enough knowledge to deal with a random passerby. These are the main arguments of why both sides are superior. For me, I think it would get boring after a while only training self-defense, when an actual street encounter is a rare incident; however, I do understand the importance of the knowledge. As one who competes, there is an allure to competing, as it shows us where are skill is, at our current rank. I think the best version of Jiu Jitsu is somewhere in the middle. The balance between being able to defend yourself on the street and being able to use sport techniques on the mat is where I think Jiu Jitsu will prosper the most. It’s important to know techniques that can save your life, but just as important, is to give students the ability to push themselves and those around them through competition. Students don’t even have to compete in tournaments, the friendly competition at the gym is usually enough to keep students coming back for more.