In 2007, George Kirby was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year. It was an honor long in coming because George Kirby has been teaching budoshin jujitsu since 1967, during which time he has written five well-regarded manuals on the "gentle art" for Black Belt Books. Based on the teachings of Jack Seki from a lineage tracing back to the 1600s, budoshin jujitsu emphasizes self-defense, efficiency and smooth movement coupled with the principles of honor, respect, self-control and nonviolence. In this exclusive video shot at Black Belt magazine, budoshin jujitsu master George Kirby demonstrates an effective set of jujitsu techniques for escaping a head lock — one of many attacks one might encounter on the street, in a bar or any kind of random violent situation.


JUJITSU TECHNIQUES VIDEO Budoshin Jujitsu Master George Kirby Shows You How to Escape a Head Lock

Budoshin Jujitsu Techniques Have Been Proved to Work "Experienced practitioners of budoshin jujitsu have the ability to subtly thwart an attack with minimal effort, create varying levels of pain to subdue and control an assailant with little or no injury, or severely injure and incapacitate a violent attacker, if necessary — all within a few seconds," George Kirby says. "If it wasn’t such an effective form of self-defense, it wouldn’t have survived through the ages."

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Appropriate Use of Budoshin Jujitsu Techniques "The severity of the attack will determine the severity of your response," George Kirby says. "If the other person is intent on causing bodily harm and begins by laying hands on you, you’ll obviously need to thwart his attacks — but before you can do that, you’ll need to break free of his hold." In an attack involving a head lock, the hold in question consists of a circle (the victim's head) and a triangle (the attacker's bent arm cranked around the head). "This creates three openings," George Kirby explains. "Once you realize that, [you see that] a head lock is not a good lock." If one is seemingly on the way to being "stuck" in a head lock, budoshin jujitsu techniques can provide a relatively easy path to release — both for the attacker and for the victim. "Jujitsu techniques enable you to do what’s necessary to repel the attacker and then take steps to prevent him from continuing, all while avoiding the use of excessive force," George Kirby says. How to Escape the Head Lock Using Budoshin Jujitsu Techniques The key to escaping a head lock is quite simple, according to George Kirby. "What I have to do, before he gets [the head lock] set," he says, "is bring my chin down and turn in. If I keep my head out and he gets under my chin, I am in trouble." Body mechanics and leverage come into play by simultaneously grabbing the attacking attacker's upper hand with the inside hand in a palm-up orientation while resting one's outside hand against the back of the attacker's elbow. The key is to push forward against the back of the bent elbow, hold the attacker's hand in place and pull one's head out of the lock. The triangular shape of the hole provides just enough wiggle room to allow the circular-shaped head to squeeze out, provided that the attacker has not gotten his bent arm fully under the victim's chin to immobilize the head.

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What Budoshin Jujitsu Techniques Can You Use After Escaping a Head Lock? Once the victim's head is free, the question becomes how to follow up and immobilize the attacker so as to diffuse the danger of the situation. In the video, George Kirby goes for an arm lock using his left (inside) arm with the palm facing down. "All [I] do is bring him around, down, forward to the ground," George Kirby says. "[Now we have him under our control] with a shoulder brace. We want him to turn his head [opposite of the shoulder lock]. He will think this makes him more comfortable. It is more comfortable for him in the short run, but it allows me to get his shoulder down to the ground and end up with a more effective submission." For more information about George Kirby and budoshin jujitsu, visit his website at budoshin.com. George Kirby's books about jujitsu techniques are also available in our online store!

Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

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