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Jim Hughes & Gracie Brazilian Jiu JItsu...

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Connecticut MMA and Gracie Jiu Jitsu Student Viciously Attacked at University of Connecticut Storrs by 3 Thugs: Survives Using Basic Self Defense and Will to Fight

Self Defense is a very real concern these days. People like to think that they live in a civilized society where they can enjoy basic rights to life, freedom, and happiness. Violence seems to happen far away. It would be hard to feel comfortable believing violence can occur close to home or to any of one's friends. Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Connecticut MMA is here to say that the willingness to fight may very well be the thing that preserves peace.

West Hartford, CT, September 13, 2008 --( Ok, put the pitch forks down. Don't get all riled up and go out there looking for a fight or to find the criminals that attacked a friend. Thats what makes people no better than the criminals they hate. Instead, look for peace in one's daily life. . . and. . . be ready to fight. Looking for peace will have a better chance of attracting the conditions that create peace.

In the meanwhile, there are basic things one can do for self defense:

1. Be awake and alert.

2. Have a positive attitude.

3. Maintain a good posture.

4. Walk with a purpose.

5. Travel with friends so you have safety in numbers.

6. Avoid alcohol and other non-prescribed drugs.

7. Train in Gracie Jiu Jitsu regularly.

8. Look for peace.

9. tune into and for tips.

Connecituct MMA and Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor, Jim Hughes, once told a story that is instructional: "I was teaching at the UMASS Stress Reduction Clinic, I met a man who was fresh off the boat from Thailand. He lived there for 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War. He was a helicopter pilot. At the end of the war he was not feeling too good about what he had done. He went to Thailand and entered a monastery. He sat down on the meditation cushion and it was years before he got back up."

Mr. Hughes continues: "The monastery was deep in a remote area. When the monks would go out in the jungle to do walking meditation, they had a special mantra they would recite to protect themselves from tigers. A mantra is a phrase that is spoken either out loud or internally in ones mind that helps them to focus, and therefore, provides protection. Mantra means 'to protect the mind.'

Considering the fear that the UCONN attack brings up for people, a mantra would be handy. Well maybe not that exact jungle one, (unless there is a tiger in one's neighborhood). What is really need is a mantra that is just right for each person, in each situation they are in.

"What is my mantra?" is a question the reader might ask.

When posed the question: Mr. Hughes, Black Belt under the legendary Royce Gracie, father of MMA, said: "The other day some guy speeds past me and flips me off. It seemed like an interesting version of a "random act of kindness." He sped around the corner over a construction zone and spewed rocks up on all the nearby cars. As it turned, out we ended up at the same place but by different routes. You should have seen his jaw drop when he recognized I was the guy in that big black truck."

Taking the long way to make the point. Mr. Hughes continues his story: "I just looked at him. There was a long pause. . . He apologized immediately. I said to him 'is it worth shedding blood over?' He said "no I don't want to take it to that level." Then we had a reasonable conversation and we were both on our way."

"Is it worth shedding blood over" your mantra?, asks the interviewer of Mr. Hughes. He replies "sometimes it can be a good one, but, the most powerful mantra is a kind of living mantra that does not rely on thought or words. It is simply the feeling of the breath coming in the body and the feeling of the breath leaving the body. Especially the out breath. That's where practioners have the physical opportunity to let everything go. Its one thing to say to oneself "let it go" its another thing to actually do it. Let go on the out breath.

"That's my mantra," says Mr. Hughes

Attending to breathing has physiological benefits that have been well studied. Herbert Benson from Harvard was the first to scientifically study meditation and to articulate something he called the "relaxation response." The relaxation response is the triggering of the parasympathetic nervous system that results in greater ease and a return to balance or homeostasis.

The Gracie Jiu Jitsu student was attacked by 3 people. He was pushed over a bench, his foot became stuck in the bench, he ended up upside down and all three started to kick him in the head. He was not able to free his foot, consequently, he was at an extreme disadvantage. He suffered serious injuries including a broken bone in his face. He did his best to keep his hands up, elbows in, and his chin tucked and fight from the bad position he was in.

Jim Hughes saw him in class a few weeks before. apparently, they had been working on basic boxing skills which are reportedly essential in staying covered and closing the distance with an opponent.

Mr. Hughes comments: "Of course defending oneself is hard when the 'opponent' is 3 people and you're hanging upside down."

The student is doing as well as can be expected. Fights never happen in real life the way they do in a Jackie Chan movie. The victim of the crime used some basic Gracie Jiu Jitsu self defense skill plus a very tough attitude from years of playing sports like LaCrosse and competitive skiing.

Mr Hughes was asked "what about multiple attackers?" he explains: "It seems that every style of martial art has some brilliant strategy for defending and beating multiple attackers. Its funny that the most proven self defense strategy in the world, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and the more generic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as some like to call it, has no claim on the multiple attacker situation."

It is hard enough to fight one person let alone 2 or even 3. No theory will help with this. There are too many unpredictable variables to have a standard fight plan that can be trained over and over. Consequently, people have to do the best with what they've got. The more people train Gracie Jiu Jitsu self defense, the more they will be able to see openings and therefore have an increased ability to escape and keep oneself as safe as possible.

The bottom line on the topic is this: anyone willing, with all their mind and heart, to fight for their safety, and to fight for the lives of their friends, loved ones, and the helpless; and anyone, who with this devout determination who actually steps up and does it when there is no other choice, is always a winner in my book, regardless of the outcome.

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Judy Mulkern

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