Make contact, keep it. That’s a basic philosophy of our system or ketsugo jujutsu. When someone throws a punch or a kick, or moves in to grapple – they are giving us a gift by presenting us a set of targets for attack.

It’s a good idea not to box a boxer, or wrestle a wrestler, or out-kick a Muay Thai kickboxer. So, what should you do if faced with someone with greater skill, or speed?

One thing that neutralizes a great deal of speed and skill is proximity. Move in as close as you can. In our practice I tell students to try to wear your opponent like a suit. This takes a little bit of courage as beginners usually like to create greater distance. As a beginner distance is probably your friend, it does take some skill to move in on an attacking person.

The thing about boxers, kickers, even grapplers is that they are all most effective in the range their tools are designed for. We like to be even closer than grappling range.

What? Isn’t grappling range as close as possible? Not really. Yes grappling frequently involves body to body contact, but you can neutralize most takedowns and throws by eliminating space even farther and melding your bodyweight onto your opponents. I’ve done it with judo players, MMA guys, and wrestlers.

Once you’re inside this range, you should have an arsenal of very close combat tools – flesh tearing, joint locking,eye poking, etc. Knees and elbows become tools of choice.

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