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Crucifix -- MMA

Last night after Karate training, my third son, Cael, "rolled" with me a little. On Monday and Wednesday evenings, after our Karate class, he then goes to Ju Jitsu training. He goes on Friday nights too. He is very active in Ju Jitsu and I am extremely glad that he has found an excellent teacher and school.

Anyway, he had shown me the "crucifix" before. Last night, as before, once I was in the crucifix (he basically ties up one of my arms with his legs and the other with one of his arms, leaving me pretty helpless and immobilized), I could not do anything except squeal like a pig and ask him to let me go. I should mention that with his free hand, he playfully (and very softly) punched me in the face, neck, chest... basically wherever he wanted.

Cael said that it is possible to escape from the crucifix by certain movements (bucking hard, for example), but I am pretty sure that I would have dislocated my shoulders in the process.

Now I am not saying that the "crucifix" is a good self-defense technique. But I certainly could not escape from it, once it was applied fully.

During our "rolling", Cael also playfully choked me out and arm barred me, among many other interesting techniques.

So, here is my point. I really respect Ju Jitsu and MMA. And I have to say that the reason I respect it so much is because of my son Cael. Watching these arts on the television or pay per view is very inspiring... but it is so distant. Seeing two highly trained athletes go at each other is one thing. It is quite another to feel it firsthand... particularly from someone as close to you as a son.

I practiced Judo in Japan as a child. Of course, I was only learning the child curriculum. However, I would best describe what my son is learning as Judo on steroids!

I should add that Cael is taller than me, has a longer reach, and is many times stronger than me. He does not outweigh me by that much (about 10 pounds), but when I "roll" with him it is like training with a tree trunk. Even if I can think about a lock or arm bar to apply, it is like going up to a big tree and trying to pull a big branch or root. It simply is not going to happen.

I also want to add something I found to be pretty interesting. To me, my son is extremely strong. When I ask him about the MMA and Ju Jitsu people we see on the television, he always says that they are great and would "kill" him. That is one thing he is never cocky about. He never says, "I could take him!", even when speaking about the losers in a particular fight. He respects that these people are highly trained athletes and great fighters. Even a fighter who is dominated in a particular fight could easily destroy an average person.

So I want to say that I respect Ju Jitsu and MMA and the reason I do so is because of my third son Cael. I hope that he goes on in his training to become a Ju Jitsu instructor one day. That would make me very happy as a father and Karate instructor. To me, all martial arts are good if the instructor is good. I enjoyed all the martial arts I practiced. I simply could not do many martial arts well. Practicing only Karate, I have a chance to become somewhat proficient.

Now, which art do I think is better, Karate or Ju Jitsu? That is not a good question because the arts have different objectives. My son is not learning Ju Jitsu as a form of self defense -- he is learning a competitive sport. That does not mean that he is not learning valuable self defense techniques, and he realizes that certain holds or moves that might work well in competition might not work on the street where an attacker could be armed or have friends. If I had a friend with a brick, the crucifix might not be the best technique to use. In a submission match however, it would probably be effective, especially against a grandfather like me.

In class, I often say that you do not want to wrestle a wrestler or box a boxer. And there are a lot of things you would not want to do with a Ju Jitsu or MMA expert.


Charles C. Goodin