Horizontal vs Vertical, Part IV

     When I think of circular motion based martial arts systems, I think of Wushu and Kung Fu.  I’m always mesmerized by masters such as Jet Li.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, to me, appears to be a circular motion based martial art system.  Circular motion based martial art systems use the opponent’s own movements against them. The practitioners take a movement and redirect it.  They circle around an extremity to gain control of its direction and / or position.  The bodies natural movements are harnessed or exploited.  Smaller fighters are able to counter bigger, stronger fighters with very little energy expenditure.  Circular motion based martial arts rely more on physics than brute strength.

     Unfortunately, I’ve had very little exposure to circular motion based arts.  However, I was taught a technique called “Sticky Hands”.  Sticky Hands uses circular movements to prevent or break grips, redirect hand movements, and throw someone off-balance.  This was the only training I had that I could use on day one of BJJ.  I was able to prevent people from getting grips on me and break them when they did.  If you watch a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, you can see them use circular movements to move their opponents extremities into compromising positions.  When they sweep someone, it’s often in a circular arch.  This is the extent of my knowledge of circular movement based martial arts systems and their relationship to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  There are some others out there, I believe who have experience in both.  I believe they are Slideyfoot and Savagekitsune

     My next and last installment on Horizontal vs Vertical will cover the mental training of the striking arts and how that relates to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  In the mean time.  Please remember that these are my own personal thoughts.   So, don’t be a dummy, always see a trained professional for any questions or training.

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3 Responses to Horizontal vs Vertical, Part IV

  1. slideyfoot says:

    Well, I used to train in something called Zhuan Shu Kuan, which is supposed to be kung fu. However, it always felt like kickboxing to me (which from my perspective was a good thing), rather than anything more esoteric, as there was plenty of sparring (and I from the updated site that since I stopped training at that club, they’ve been calling it ‘Chinese kickboxing’, rather than kung fu).

    The reason I stopped doing it a few years back was because they started emphasising the esoteric stuff: I’ve got no interest in learning kata/forms. Still, thanks to all the sparring, you can develop some decent striking in ZSK. Not to mention I had a good time doing it at uni (and incidentally met my girlfriend through the club, who is still my gf 10 years later) so I don’t regret the seven years I spent on it. 😉

    • Slidey you are fast! I didn’t expect a reply so soon. Thanks for your input about ZSK. People are always asking me how other martial arts have influenced my BJJ. I find it to be a very difficult question to answer. There are so many nuances and factors to consider…

  2. Pingback: Horizontal vs Vertical, Part V | Combat Sports Review Blog

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