“Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu” Video: Your Thoughts?

So there’s a video that’s being shared around the Interwebs, and some are lauding it, some not so much, creating an example of why women should train jiu jitsu:

Other than admiring the fantastic quality of the video (cameras that can create that sort of high definition image are not cheap, my friends) I sort of took it for what it is: a funny, smart little commercial promoting women’s self defense- subdue someone without causing a scene, walk away with no mark on the woman or the overly-pushy guy.

Some people out there feel this is a travesty to the sport, stating that the video is an over reaction and women are suddenly going to be choking men left and right in bars after just one unwanted advance at a bar, and that women will attempt this after just one class….

Ok, guys? Relax.

Here’s the thing, I was actually a little hesitant initially to watch this video, because I thought it was going to show a much more realistic situation where self defense would be necessary: a brutal attack in a dark alley behind the bar. The video here is a much more tasteful portrayal of a situation that every woman will instantly recognize, even if they do not have personal experience with it: the pushy advances of a man, who just doesn’t want to take no for an answer. The fear here is being overpowered, and taken out of the bar to a place where help cannot reach you.

Also, for those who are saying that jiu jitsu is not appropriate for self defense….Um, that’s why jiu jitsu was started. The whole damn thing started as a self defense, martial arts system- the gogoplatas and the berimbolos are super fun and all, but some of the basic, beginning techniques of jiu jitsu are all about self defense: what to do if someone grabs you from behind, or tries to carry you away, etc. While I agree that women’s self defense weekend seminars are sort of that tricky situation, since you’re teaching them certain techniques that they won’t practice ever again, that’s not what this video is about. It’s not touting that after just one weekend seminar, or just one class you’ll be able to defend yourself- it’s explaining why women should train jiu jitsu, presumably on a consistent basis for an extended period of time. That’s what I took from it, at least.

What do you guys think about it- do you think it was a good video, or do you disagree with the message it’s trying to convey?

Let me know what you think!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to ““Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu” Video: Your Thoughts?

  1. Jaime

    Actually, cameras like GoPros could easily create that quality. Hell a movie was recently filmed (gorilla style) in Disneyland using an iPhone that looks really good.

    I’m surprised that anyone would read into the commercial such that they would say that a woman wouldn’t be able to perform this technique after one class. Do they believe that they could jump like Michael Jordan by wearing his shoes?

    I’m not sure what you mean by realistic situations? Most fights don’t happen in alleys. I think you’re either reading too many comic books or watching comic-book inspired movies. Most fights happen out in the open, usually in an area with a lot of people and usually when alcohol is involved. A woman getting hit on by a jerk in a bar is very common. I have several friends who are Philly cops and they can corroborate what I’m telling you.

    I think it’s an excellent advertisement for Jiu-Jitsu. As a Brand Manager I’m an expert in advertising and the ad works in that it sells jiu-jitsu. It presents a good story. A common situation, a woman in a bar, a man who is pushy, won’t take no for an answer, touches her and invades her personal space. Then, the woman reacts appropriately by exploiting his mistake, his unguarded neck, and does what she has trained to do, chokes him out. The copy explains what she is doing and shoes how anyone can do it as minimal strength is required; that’s the selling of jiu-jitsu. Well done.

    I hope more schools that invest in advertising go with something like this. As this could be easily transferable to the male gender (theme-wise, not necessarily in the visual) as well as children.

    • Katie

      I agree, cameras like those are getting better all the time, but I still stand by my statement I think there was a higher quality camera used for this clip. I’m mainly basing my opinion on the quality of the image, the manipulation of aperture in the film, and the fact that video was uploaded by “Garden State Productions”.

      I think a woman would be physically capable of performing the technique, but in a moment of stress or panic I would imagine the relatively new information would fly right out the window. It’s something that you see all the time with white belts: you know they have practiced a choke or submission a thousand times, but since it is still relatively new information in a somewhat stressful (yet safe) situation, and they forget a detail or panic and all that information goes right out the window. It’s through the regular attendance of class, the drilling and repetition that makes it a part of your muscle memory, and ensures a higher rate of success.

      Ha, maybe I have watched too many comic book movies, but my point was situations like these are typically set in places to portray that no one is around to help- which you are right, is frequently not the case, but then someone then has to make the statement “well that’s not realistic, someone would step in and say something”, and then we have to get into the dark business of talking about the bystander effect.

      I also hope that other schools invest in smart advertising like this: I think it’s a smart move and I hope that others will follow suit.

      • Jaime

        Katie,

        Are you sure people would help if you called out? Have you heard of Cheryl Araujo? In 1983 she was raped in a bar and no one did anything. Or one of my Jiu-Jitsu friends who was tackled at a bar and driven through the main room out into the street. He was fortunate to put the guy in a triangle and choke him out. The bouncers showed up after my friend let go of the triangle and stood up. Where were the bouncers as my friend was being tackled?

        Bottom line: don’t assume someone’s going to help. That’s a subtle message in the advertisement: Jiu-Jitsu makes you competent to defend yourself, you don’t need a man to save you.

        Why are you assuming she’s new to BJJ? What if she’s been training for a couple of years? I see a lot of people on a lot of other blogs. I don’t get where people are coming from. She could be a black belt for all you know. And regardless, it’s not the point. The point is that you will learn to defend yourself.

        That’s the point of training, isn’t it?

      • Katie

        I think you and I are saying the same thing, just in different ways. I referred to the bystander effect, which is when a group of people will attribute responsibility for helping a victim to other people in the group, which then no one will help the victim. So yes, there is no guarantee that no one will help you, and you should properly defend yourself.

        Maybe I read your previous comment wrong, but this is what you wrote: “I’m surprised that anyone would read into the commercial such that they would say that a woman wouldn’t be able to perform this technique after one class.” To me, the commercial is promoting women regularly attending class, which I wholly endorse. Again, maybe I was mistaken in reading your comment, but it sounded like you meant that we could or should believe that this woman would be able to defend herself in this fashion after just one class, to which I do not agree. I would prefer to believe and interpret this commercial as a woman who has at least several months, if not years of experience in jiu jitsu. A black belt? Even better. And if that’s what you mean as well, awesome! Glad we’re on the same page.

  2. Pingback: Jiu Jiu's BJJ Blog – BJJ Women: “Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu” messages

  3. I did like this video because it does depict the more typical form of assault women experience. Another example in New York City is the guy rubbing up against you on a crowded subway and then “pretending” it was just because the subway was crowded when you call them out on it. Many women are just too shocked or embarrassed in the moment.
    Children could benefit from themed videos as well.

    My son benefited from a technique he learned when someone grabs your hair from the front. Instead of reacting by pulling back, you move forward towards the person putting your hand on top of the hand that is grabbing your hair and do a foot sweep. A girl who was much bigger and older than him (and had done other things like steal and smash the phone of the camp counselor) grabbed his hair calling my son a midget. His training kicked in and immediately dropped her. She foolishly tried it again – and again he dropped her.

    Now, the unfortunate part is that my son had to rub it in by crouching down, pulling his tee shirt over his knees and hopping in that position taunting “I’m a midget, I’m a midget, guess you’re not going to mess with midgets anymore”. He was about 8 at the time so while explaining that wasn’t the smoothest move to taunt a bully — I did empathize with his response to her. Clearly, a parent would want a video that shows a kid showing more grace after the event quietly walking away rather than rubbing it in.

  4. I thought it was a good video: stylish and concise. In considerable contrast to gi company marketing that involves women, this also felt like advertising that was from a woman’s perspective directed at other women. That’s as opposed to the pervy crap we’ve seen from companies like Manto, FightSoap, BreakPoint, Tukano Kimonos etc, where the woman is there as eye candy rather than a BJJ practitioner.

    I preferred the choice of setting as well, especially the way it presented the woman as strong and in control the entire time, thanks to her jiu jitsu technique. You could argue it was 100% realistic, but I think there was enough realism that the technique worked well in context.

  5. Jaime

    Kate,

    Yes, that’s what I meant. The woman has probably trained for a while. I don’t know how long, but she didn’t go to the bar after her first class.

    To me the point of the ad is that BJJ will help you defend yourself when it comes to this type of situation. It doesn’t promise that you’ll be able to do this after one class.

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