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Legendary Quest: Learn How To Fight

One of my legendary quests is “Learn how to fight”. This is not borne out of some sick need to go around beating up people. It’s because I want to be able to defend myself and my family should the need ever arise.

I think all men can identify with this desire.

A number of years ago I had an altercation on the subway which left me unscathed but; nevertheless, quite shaken that I’d almost had my ass handed to me.

Shortly after this I took up boxing which was awesome (boxers are incredibly fit!) but unfortunately I couldn’t keep it up as baby #1 came along and family commitments took over.

I’ve still wanted to learn how to fight though so midway through 2013 I started to investigate various fighting styles.

I really love boxing but decided against it due to the fact it’s a standing fighting style and if the fight goes to the ground you are in for a world of pain.

That being the case I didn’t want to do something which was just purely ground fighting either be it wrestling or brazilian jiu jitsu.

So instead I took up Jujutsu.

What is Jujutsu?

This wikipedia article sums it up nicely:

Jujutsu developed among the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon.

Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws.

These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker’s energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.

It combines elements of Karate, Judo, Aikido and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to provide a full range of techniques in all situations.


Training consists of 2 hours with the first 30 minutes usually being devoted to cardio and stamina training. After this we always practice our repertoire of breakfalls so we learn how to fall in the most efficient manner to avoid injury and also so we can get into a fighting position as quickly as possible.

The remaining time is then spent learning different techniques whether they be:

  • striking
  • blocking
  • throws
  • joint locks
  • or grappling

What I’ve Learnt

I’m not going to go into the actual techniques I’ve learnt as I’m not qualified to teach anything. However here are a few thoughts regarding fighting:

  1. If you can, avoid fighting at all costs. It is extremely risky and an unlucky punch can kill someone. It really should be left for life and death situations. If someone wants your wallet or the keys to your car just give it to them.
  2. If you have to fight, get in first and commit to total dominance of your enemy. If you truly believe someone intends grievous harm to yourself or your family don’t wait for an invitation or for them to instigate action. The first person to engage usually has the upper hand so make sure it is you. Then show no mercy until your enemy is completely taken out. If this means concussing your enemy or breaking limbs, do it.
  3. The simplest techniques are the most effective. Everyone loves flying kicks or spinning roundhouse kicks because they look so impressive. Unfortunately they are very easily telegraphed and set you up for an easy take down. Instead focus on simple, straight line actions that incorporate defense and attack. Think open palms, elbows and knees.
  4. Be prepared to get hurt. A real fight is messy with lots of adrenaline and testosterone pumping so be prepared that you won’t come out of a fight unscathed. Heck we get little injuries just during our training sessions where everyone is ‘playing nice’. The real thing won’t be as forgiving.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve been loving going to Jujutsu training every week for the health benefits and also the confidence boost it gives.

If you’ve wanted to learn how to fight get out there and do it! The time to learn is not after you’ve been beaten up but beforehand so you are prepared!