This thread rekindles the discussion of classical jujutsu intersecting with modern combatives - something that has been my focus for many years.

At the risk of boring the old E-Budo hands reciting my resume, for newer readers (I hope…) my background is this: 25 years LE, almost 18 of which were on a tactical team. I left “the road” at the beginning of this year for a full time training position, in which I primarily teach patrol tactics - that is, addressing various elements of clearing buildings, stopping vehicles, high risk contacts, and de-escalating violent individuals, use of force applications, control tactics and officer survival subjects. I also lead a police grappling group in support of the control tactics curriculum. I have a shodan in Judo, a black belt in BJJ, and have studied koryu, mostly as a student of Ellis Amdur in his line of Araki-ryu. I have extensive training in modern police tactical applications with “coach” certification in Arrestling, and am one of only a few people Craig Douglas of Shivworks has certified in Extreme Close Quarters Concepts (ECQC). I have some direct personal experience with violence, including lethal threat situations.

In any discussion of this sort I think we need to be clear about the context being referenced; there is a big difference between “martial arts” for personal development, for personal protection, policing, and military application. Most schools blend these, or confuse them, in keeping with the fact that most martial training has largely been unmoored from “combat application” regardless of the “battlefield provenance” ascribed to the tradition by the tradition itself.

I look at a few things when evaluating the combative application of any martial method, in particular traditional/classical disciplines:

Is it independent of archaic weapons (sword, spear, etc. do offer lessons but they are not currently routinely carried/used weaponry)

Can it be applied independent of the ‘trappings’ of martial practice: in other words in boots, modern body armor, carrying modern weapons, in a variety of environments. This must be proven through actual training and application in the aforementioned ‘gear.’ If only ever practiced barefoot, in keikogi and/or hakama, with wooden tanto slid in an obi, and entirely indoors we just can’t know. Note: self defense is completely different than military/police use (there can be crossover) and street clothes and environments would be the proving ground there.

Is it pressure tested? That is, under training conditions in which opposing will is applied.

Is it pressure proven? That is, in actual application: a self defense use for that end, a resistive arrest for policing, and close combat application for military (and some police encounters).

Very few classical/traditional methods meet these standards, not because they can’t, but just because they aren’t trained that way.

I am lucky to have been able to train that way, and found a set of skills in our line of Araki-ryu that have applied in varied formats. Not everything, and of course haven’t had the articulation to use other stuff, but overall the platform has been proven solid to me so that if I needed to use the rest, it should be sound. It doesn’t quite look like what most people see as Araki-ryu on Youtube, you can tell its the same tradition but pressure testing and practical application changes things.

Hopefully the discussion is fruitful!