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.