Balance Disruption

September 7, 2009

The theme of good jujutsu is balance disruption. When you are coaching your training partner, ensure you coach your partner toward the habit of off-balancing you prior to setting in with their main control hold.

Watch the following video and please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on this subject.

Take care. Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – Don’t Just Squeeze Neck While Choking. Disrupt The Balance!!!

March 10, 2009

One of the keys of jujutsu, as well as fighting in general, is getting and THEN KEEPING your opponent OFF balance. This, in the heat of battle can often be forgotten.

In a fight between 2 great MMA fighters, Kazushi Sakuraba and Wanderlei Silva in 2001, Sakuraba was working a “guillotine” (a type of front choke) on Silva. Sakuraba certainly SQUEEZED, but he did NOT from the start and during the hold, DISRUPT his opponent. Silva, eventually regained his posture and smashed Sakuraba to the mat very hard. Sakuraba seemed to injure his collarbone, probably from the powerful smash (which was a very good move by Silva). Of course the fight ended and Silva won.

Imagine if, at the start of the guillotine movement, Sakuraba started, as well as then continued to, jerk Silva’s neck/head. I don’t believe Silva would have been able to remain standing and then smash Sakuraba into the mat.

Sakuraba looked like he was going for the “home run” by squeezing very hard on Silva’s neck. Unfortunately (for Sakuraba) Silva’s balance was not broken.

Imagine if Sakuraba had, while very tightly squeezing Silva’s neck, started and then continued to jerk violently, like a wet dog shaking off water from a bath. Perhaps Silva’s neck may have even gotten sprained. Also Silva probably would have been flat on the mat as well.

DRILLING NOTES: Do NOT go crazy on your training partner. You can go violent on something like a rolled up rug. Not your partner’s neck! Of course (with care) you can build up the intensity. In practice keep to safe intensity levels.

After you both have (by practicing the move many times) gotten the mechanics down at some level, then you both might wish to take turns (carefully) resisting the hold. How to do this is beyond the purpose of this post.

Just remember you are NOT competing with your partner; you are training with him. Don’t RUSH through intensity levels. Remember, you are dealing with someone’s neck! Use CARE. You will get there; and you still will have functional necks!

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 Coaching Tips

March 3, 2009

If you are serious about taking control of your progress in learning Jujutsu 101, or any practical self-defense, you must invest time and effort learning some good solid coaching habits.

Below I have included a small section from my Jujutsu 101 site about drilling that YOU can apply today!  I urge you to take time and see how you and your friends can use these tips.  They have helped many in law enforcement, as well as men and women in other walks of life.

Notes on Drilling:  In ending, there is quite a bit of knowledge on drilling wisely – self drilling, as well as partner and group drilling. Below are just some Jujutsu 101 views of teaching self-defense, defensive tactics, hand to hand combat, etc.  Take some time and think them over.

  • The more intense the situation, the less you can actually do.
  • Start slow and careful before increasing to greater and more serious self-defense situations.  Use care.  Slowly you will improve.  Train with a sense of reality.  When you and your partner’s skills have improved, then you can increase the intensities.
  • A few simple moves against harder intensities are much better than practicing many moves against many weaker intensities of attack.
  • The human body moves in a limited number of general patterns.
  • Punches, kicks, throws and sophisticated joint locking are specialty skills.  Shoves, stomps, and wrappings of a limb into your torso type holds are generally easier to learn and apply in tough situations.
  • An expert martial artist does not automatically make an expert teacher.
  • It is very difficult to challenge your cherished beliefs.
  • To be a good practitioner become a good and caring coach.
  • It is the science of self-defense, not hero-worshiping.
  • You only have the person’s willingness and understanding to work with.
  • All drills are artificial; don’t be afraid to adjust the drill to the person’s level of skill.
  • You only have so many fights in you; don’t waste them on reckless training!

If you are interested in more information about learning useful coaching habits, go to and spend time really reading the information on my Jujutsu 101 site.

Take your time and really think over what I have written.  It can help put YOU in control of your progress in learning practical self-defense skills.

Take care and always train wise.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – Before You Invest A Lot Of Money And Time Into Learning Self-Defense …

February 24, 2009

Hi there.  I want to go over something I tell my potential students, as well as remind my current ones (and myself).

When fitting your self-defense training into your schedule you need to think about your current and future concerns, interests and responsibilities.

Some of you have families to support, some have school responsibilities, as well as others have simply other interests.  You have a limited amount of energy, time and funds to spread out over your various areas of your life.  You also are at a current level of fitness, including having perhaps some persistent old injuries.

You certainly need to be consistent when learning useful self-defense skills, but you also do not want to spend your valuable time trying to learn so many different moves that you: (a) have nothing deeply learned in a reasonable period of time, as well as (b) now start to find other parts of your life not moving forward.

Start by concerning yourself with one or two simple, yet realistic, self-defense situations (for your type of life) that you’d like to be better skilled at handling.  Perhaps someone first applying a bearhug and then throwing you to the ground and then kicking you.  That would be plenty to work on for a while.  You might break this down and just work on: (a) pushing the attacker (if you can) before he gets the full bearhug on you, then practice (b) if he has the bearhug on you to some degree, getting into a strong posture to be able to stomp his foot and/or elbow his groin or face or gut.  Of course this depends on body types and levels of intensity of the particular bearhug.

When you coach work towards your partner getting use to dealing with one level of a bearhug before you increase the intensity of the situation.  It is important to train realistically, as well as work towards the partner gaining wins by correct practice.

Note: I will be writing a lot more on coaching (yourself and others).  It is really a key in learning any practical skill.  The more you truly understand (and apply) wise coaching the more your destiny in learning (for example) self-defense will be under your control.

You need to decide on what small amount of moves to understand and practice in order to get good at in a reasonable amount of time.  These moves will need to help you to off-balance, control and then finish (end) the situation with the antagonist.

Note: In self-defense, a “finish” could be as simple as escaping, or injuring the attacker while holding him (or just holding him successfully) so you can dial 911 (police) on your cell phone.

Keep It Simple But Useful
It is much easier for most men and women to learn pushes, stomps, as well as elbow and palm strikes rather than punching with a fist and doing roundhouse kicks (including using your unconditioned shins to kick with).

It is easier to execute an off-balancing push or stomp than trying to set up and execute certain types of throws that require precision timing.

It is also easier to control another by wrapping tightly a limb into your torso and violently twisting or shaking, than trying to disrupt him by mostly using your hands to grab his wrist and elbow.

Note: Wrapping limbs, stomping, pushing, etc. do require understanding the mechanics, as well as practice to get to some reasonable level of skill.

Many Levels Of Bearhugs, Headlocks, Etc.
The truth is there will ALWAYS be levels of intensity of bearhugs, headlocks, chokes, tackles, etc. that will be above you, me and even the world’s greatest  fighters.   Bodies have limitations.  You and your training partners CAN improve by learning good coaching habits.

Note: This is a good reason to carry mace or a loud whistle or perhaps a short stick.  Of course don’t carry (as a self-defense weapon) something against the law in your neck of the woods.  I strongly suggest you always carry a cell phone.

Maintaining Your Skills
Also remember that after your power and timing and coordination are pretty good on a move, you need to ensure you have a way to maintain and (if you have the time and interest) to improve it as well.

You will be able to get up to a useful skill level with such moves as pushes and stomps faster than by trying to learn more technical (and popular) moves.

In ending, keep to simpler moves that you can first learn to some useful level in a reasonable period of time, then practice to maintain them within YOUR lifestyle.

Train wise and keep your life balanced.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – Distance Drilling

February 16, 2009

Jujutsu 101 is all about YOU being in CONTROL of your self-defense improvement.  It is deeply about improving your skills in applying the science of leverage for self-defense purposes.  It is also about improving your coaching skills.  Whether you work out by yourself or with others it is vital to personally learn excellent coaching skills.

In this video we will be looking at how to work a bit on your distancing skills, which is very important in self-defense.  We are taking a punch as the situation.  Of course you could use another self-defense situation.  Take your time and do all the drills.

There really is a lot of potential gain here, so take your time and start slow before you try going jet fast.  There is no use going crazy fast when you are off-balance and open to a lot of attacks from the opponent.

Think of juggling.  Let’s say your goal was to be pretty good at juggling 3 balls.  You would not start out by juggling as fast as you can.  You would just end up dropping all the balls.  Instead, start slow and build up your control.  Work on improving gradually your balance and timing.  After you felt your control was pretty good at the current slow speed with (for example) 2 balls, then you would do the drill with 3 balls.  Eventually you would be working up to pretty impressive speeds.  In other words you PROGRESSIVELY develop this skill.

As your control improves then increase the drill intensity.  If you get over your head (too much) then cut back the intensity a bit until that lower level of intensity is under YOUR control.  Then, at that point, increase the intensity.

Anyway, take your time and work at this video.  You will be glad you did.  You CAN do it.

Thanks for your time and remember to always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – Weapons Info

February 10, 2009

Jujutsu 101 is all about YOU being in CONTROL of your self-defense
improvement.  Whether or not you belong to a dojo or you are doing it on your own with perhaps a few friends, I strongly suggest you always find ways to improve your skills in staying in the driver’s seat when it comes to working at developing your self-defense skills.

There is actually a lot you can do yourself to help your own progress in learning good jujutsu skills for self-defense purposes.  Learning to
be a good coach (to yourself and others) is certainly a key skill to always work on.

I will write about that in a future blog or two.

Today please spent time studying over this Jujutsu 101 video.  It goes over a bit about WHY you should carry a self-defense weapon of some type.  Of course always follow the laws in your area regarding weapons.

In this video I am using a stick.  Besides what I show in this video, you will notice as well that I actually have a (very loud) whistle attached so I can blow it in an attacker’s ears.

Note: You need to use judgement on self-defense moves, especially if you decide to use a weapon for your protection.

Anyway, study the video and practice with great care.  Thanks for your time and remember to always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – Limb Control Kneeling Tips

February 7, 2009

Hello again.  Welcome to another Jujutsu 101 post.  For those who are working on improving their self-defense on their own (and hopefully with a friend or two) here is a video that has information I highly recommend you spend time on.

Take your time on this.  There is much more here than meets the eyes (meaning if you just watch the video and don’t DO the exercises/drills you will NOT earn bettered skills).

Kneeling is a very basic posture in jujutsu.  The past warriors of Japan were not wasting their time when they slaved to master kneeling.  Remember, they had weapons, as well as other factors in the environment to worry about that sport jujutsu doesn’t have to concern themselves with.

There is a lot of depth to learn about kneeling, as well as the facedown capturing position.  To learn more please go to my site at and read up on this subject.  Also I invite you to go to YouTube and do a search for – Jujutsu 101 – where you will find over 50 videos to study and practice.  Ok, here is the video.  Enjoy!

Take care and always train safe.

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101

Jujutsu 101 – How To Push To Make Space

January 29, 2009

Hello again.  Welcome to another Jujutsu 101 post.  Today I’d like to go over the importance of knowing how to use proper mechanics when you need to make some space between you and the opponent.

Before you watch the YouTube video below, I want to bring up something about language. I bring this up as that is what we use between each other (whether talking or reading a blog like this one).

When someone says to “push” usually we think of perhaps PUSH-UPS or PUSHING a stalled car off the road or maybe doing a BENCH PRESS.  So when someone then says to “push” the opponent away a student may believe he or she just sort of shoves against the opponent.

Though this is part of it, there is really more going on.  Carefully watch and listen to this video. You will notice the practical use of LEANING the opponent before the actual PUSHING OUTWARD.  There is a sequence involved here.

Also, when needing to make space it really doesn’t matter how much the opponent moves versus how much you move during the “push”.  Perhaps, after making some space, you may be able to use a weapon or just escape.

Sure, you’d like to off-balance the opponent but you may have a very heavy and stable type opponent.  At least perhaps you can “push” off him to get yourself moved away.  In other words, there are times when you will not only “push” the opponent off-balance some, you will also be pushing off him as well.

Enjoy and I am here if you have any feedback.

Take care and always train safe.

Fred Crivello

Jujutsu 101 – Kneeling & Rear Choke Tips

January 22, 2009

Hello again.  I hope you have had an opportunity to look over some of the many YouTube Jujutsu 101 videos and, hopefully, practiced some of the exercises and drills with a friend or two.

I thought it would be of use to show this particular Jujutsu 101 video here today which makes a few points about the value of kneeling while ground fighting.

Look it over and don’t forget when you practice with your friend to go slow at first.

After you start to get a consistent feel for the proper postures, as well as maintaining balance in your movements, then you can slowly up the pressures used.

Always be aware of your responsibility for the other’s limbs, etc.  You only have so many realistic fights in you; don’t waste them on reckless training!

Train safe!

Fred Crivello
Jujutsu 101 Founder

Jujutsu 101 is about you taking control of your self-defense progress.

January 15, 2009

Whether you pay thousands to learn some practical self-defense skills or you are learning by working out with some friends you have to know what is realistic and important for you to learn and how to learn it.

Even if you do belong to a martial art school and have great instructors and fellow students your best guarantee in the long run for steadily improving your particular skills is to learn how to take personal control of your own progress. You do this by attaining competence in coaching skills in relation to your activity.

The more you take responsibility in learning and applying solid coaching wisdom to yourself and fellow students, as well as to what your instructors tell you (or what you hear from other experts) the more control you will have in ensuring that you personally attain realistic and useful self-defense skill levels.

Of course when dealing with your instructors and fellow students, be polite, but at some time you will need to judge things with your own mind. You may find in time you have a very individualistic view, different from many others. That isn’t necessarily good or bad, but it may be useful to your progress in the long run.

Some may be saying, “Yeah but that is why I pay a lot of money to the school, so they will show me everything I need to know and then I just have to follow their directions.” Unfortunately for some that can be the road to failure. There are schools that the instructors do train the students as coaches as they progress along learning useful skills, but there are quite a few that do not.

The point is, if you really wish to ensure you learn and continue to learn useful skills, whether in self-defense or other practical activities, you need to take personal responsibility by learning what are realistic and useful skills for you to learn at the level you are at now, then how to learn them in a safe, fun, practical and progressive way; all the while keeping your other life activities in good balance, such as family, school and work.

It is quite sane to doubt and challenge important beliefs and perceptions to ensure they are factual for you, and at what level they are factual. Of course you do this with proper care and a bit of wisdom. For instance you don’t have to get the crap beat out of you every week to know what it is like to be in a fight. There are wiser coaching methods available to one and all. Coaching has a lot to do with being scientific in your behavior.

You want to be competent, not just FEEL confident. You can feel like crap, but if you know how to change a tire you will not be walking for hours back home and getting very sore feet. You might feel FANTASTIC and POWERFUL but if you don’t know how to boil an egg you are going to be very hungry.

There is nothing wrong of course with having high hopes and being very positive, but you don’t want to cross the line to manic-delusions, especially when it comes to finding and learning practical survival skills.

Some believe that if they just visualize fighting situations and always win in them then they will always improve. I strongly suggest to those individuals to FIRST learn in the REAL WORLD some attainable proper moves, against some level of real pressures and intensities; THEN with some degree of REAL experience under their belts, go off and practice their visual games.

The point is you want to not just FEEL powerful; you want to ensure you are learning and improving PRACTICAL skills for you at your level. If you wish to have your head in the clouds then do ensure you have your feet very stably on the ground!

Jujutsu 101 is about you taking control of your self-defense progress. Check out my site at I am here if you wish to share your views on this subject.

Take care and train safe.

Fred Crivello


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