Interview conducted by Luis Gutierrez December 2001

Lately you have answered much of the debate on BJJ’s part in the SBG curriculum, using the term’s vehicle and delivery system. Care to elaborate on them? The debates stemmed from you stating that BJJ was indeed the best existing platform from which to develop a complete ground game.

Sure,.  Basically, that whole conversation was a great example as to why our zero terminology rule at the SBG’s is an important guideline. People easily become hung up on words, and as Krishnamurti was fond of saying, “The word is not the thing!”

One person asks why a lot of JKD’rs are still not doing BJJ, which is a fantastic question that I feel gets to the heart of what’s wrong with JKD. Yet, the JKD people tend to have a knee jerk reaction and re-state the old clichés of “BJJ is just one of many arts that do groundwork. What about Silat, or Dumog? There is no superior art, etc.” The reality is that there is a superior delivery system but, because the word ‘style’ was used, people become confused.

Everyone who teaches functional ground fighting these days is incorporating the guard, mount, etc. They may call it Shooto, or submission wrestling, etc. But, it’s the delivery system of BJJ. Since the Brazilians brought that delivery system to prominence I feel it’s important to give them credit. But ultimately, the name of the style is not important. The reality that the delivery system is backed by principles of leverage and timing, and works against resisting opponents; The fact that it is by nature, “Alive”, is what is important. In other words if you are not familiar with the delivery system of positions, and submissions that is found in BJJ, i.e., the guard, mount, escapes from positions, fundamental submissions, etc., then you can’t fight on the ground. If you can’t fight on the ground,

you can’t fight. That is what is important.

Can you give me a better example of what you mean when you say “delivery system”?

Sure. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu could be called a ‘style’. Shooto could be called a ‘style’, but, if you took a close look at two of the top players, as an example I will say Rumino Sato of Shooto and Egan Inoue of BJJ, then you would see that they are using the same delivery system. They both train the same positions, guard, mount, cross sides, head and arm, etc. The same submissions, armbars, leg locks, chokes, etc. And the same types of drills, passing the guard, drilling leg locks, etc. So they, essentially, train in the same art on the ground, the same delivery system.

So the Shooto-BJJ name becomes moot at that point. Without that delivery system neither one would be as good of a fighter on the ground. That is just a fact. Imagine if Sato didn’t know what the guard was, or could never hold that position, or if Egan didn’t train his escapes from mount.

So a delivery system is just that, a system of body mechanics or movements. Then to clarify, by your definition what is a ‘style’?

Good question. A style is an individual’s personal method of application. The important point is that you cannot ever have a personal style if what you are doing is not Alive.

Here is an example:  both JJ Machado and Rigan Machado teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you asked them to teach you a kimura armlock from mount position I am sure they would both teach you the exact same method of delivery.

How to set your weight, hold position, crank the joint, etc. That is because there IS A BEST WAY TO DO THIS. That may not be the politically correct thing to say, but it is the truth.

Now as far as ‘style’ goes, both have a totally different style. Rigan is slow and crushing, and works an amazing top game that makes you feel like a crushed bug. JJ has a fast, machine gun like, attacking game from the guard. JJ puts the word active into his guard game in a whole new way! So they both have very different styles, but the same delivery system. See the distinction?

Absolutely.