Self Defense

This is a beginner program for adults. Each lesson covers anywhere from one to three techniques to avoid information overload. We have built review and repetition into each class to ensure you remember and understand what you have learned from previous lessons.

You may begin at any point in the curriculum. It is a continuously running class in which we track your progress.

Our students' safety is our number one concern. In this course we provide a fun, engaging, non-competitive, and safe environment to practice the techniques and ask questions.

The scope of this curriculum is to teach you how to recognize and deal with the most common ways people are likely to attack you in a self-defense situation.

If there is a fear of injury, embarrassment, or just general uncertainty and unease then this is the class for you.

Self Defense is offered at Tutaj Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Saturdays at 3PM.  Class size is limited.  Reserve your spot today.

Monthly payments plans with debit or credit card are available at the gym.

Self Defense in Your Home

By Nick Arestopoulos

Most advocates for the Second Amendment use the argument of self defense in their own home. However, a firearm is more of a hindrance than a help in a home defense situation for people who are inadequately trained, which is everybody who is non-military and non-law enforcement.

For self-defense situations and any other potentially violent encounters, the person who can escalate the situation first and bring it to a conclusion in their favor wins. Oftentimes, a gun causes hesitation which runs counter to being able to escalate first. The reason for that is that the results are permanent and most people hesitate when the outcome can be gruesome.

Let's take a scenario. You're in your upstairs bedroom and you hear rattling on the first floor. You grab your gun, make sure it's loaded, and you go downstairs. It's not well lit. You cannot clearly make out who's there, now it’s decision time. Do you fire? Or did you yell, “Who's there?!”

Let's assume you will be wrong in every scenario about who it is. You have your gun, you yell “Who's there?!” and it's an armed intruder. Now you have a potential gunfight in your own home. Hopefully you win or fend off the intrusion. Worst case scenario is that bullets go flying through walls and you, your family, and even neighbors who are not involved are also struck and injured or killed by the gunfire. And it may be your bullets that struck them. You don't know.

Next scenario. You have your gun, you do not yell, you fire your gun, and it ends up being your elderly parent or grandparent who had a bad night. Chances are that they do not survive.

Neither scenario is acceptable.

In high-stress situations it is scientifically proven that your executive decision-making abilities are severely hindered. So what can you do to account for it and give yourself a greater margin for error and make these decisions easier?

Instead of a gun, there are other tools better equipped for these situations. The first is a taser and the second is night vision goggles.

The advantage of the taser is that you can reliably escalate the situation without a lethal end. If it ends up being your grandmother on a bad night, at least your grandmother will probably live to have other bad nights. Also, if it ends up being an intruder there is no need to yell who's there and alert them to your presence. You can just fire and end the situation right there.

The second tool that is night vision goggles. It is a severe tactical advantage for you to see clearly when others can't. If you can make out who it is, it makes the decision to open fire or not straightforward. If there is doubt still as to who it is, you can still fire with confidence that mostly likely you will not kill.

Now, I am not saying a firearm like a shotgun doesn't have its place. However, the place for that is when the bubble bursts. Think the LA riots after the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King in the early 90s. In that scenario, very clearly, a taser is not enough.

Now, before you purchase a firearm please consider the reasons why. If it is for home defense, chances are a taser and night vision goggles are more effective options for these purposes.

If you do buy a firearm, please be prepared for the possible consequences of ownership. Do you have children? Are there people around who might burglarize your home for the gun? Can you secure the weapon and make sure it doesn't end up where it shouldn't?

Thank you for reading. I wish you and your loved ones safety and security.

Carjackings and What You Can Do

By Nick Arestopoulos

I live in North East Oak Park and there have been quite a few burglaries and carjackings lately. This may have to do with the mild weather, the difficulty in stealing already parked and secured cars, or just young people who are misguided doing stupid things for the thrill of it.

Either way, being in the situation is very scary and potentially life-threatening. Often weapons are used to intimidate and scare victims to give up their belongings. The purpose of this article is not to encourage you to fight back, it is to help you avoid the situation altogether.

Rather than giving you tips I'm going to outline a methodology on how to avoid bad situations in general.

First, you need to start thinking like a criminal a little bit. Think about what a criminal needs to successfully pull off a crime and then do your best to take away what they need. That is to minimize the time that you are vulnerable in that scenario.

For a carjacking, one of the first things a criminal needs is to be able to approach you and your car without you noticing them and without you being able to get away. They need your car to be stopped and the keys nearby.

The easiest way to stop them is at the very beginning. That could be to just drive around your block a couple of times and survey your home and surrounding area to see if someone or something does not belong. If you see something suspicious or out of place you can drive away and come back with help, neighbor or police officer.

If someone is already approaching your car, again what they are trying to do is separate you and your car and the keys. Even if they have a weapon, your best option is to drive away. Not all criminals are benevolent, they may think they can get away if they remove you as a witness.

Although there are no guarantees and no one is 100% secure, what you need to do is minimize the time that you are vulnerable.

The time that you are vulnerable is when the keys are out of the ignition but you are near the car and not quite in your home yet. Chances are you will not be able to fend off someone younger, stronger, more athletic, and armed. At that point you are better off just giving them the car keys and making sure you and your loved ones are not harmed.

Now it becomes very clear that one of your most vulnerable times is when you've gone grocery shopping and you are making trips in and out of the house. This would be a good time to have multiple people helping you with this task to deter would-be criminals.

This is pretty much the best you can do to avoid the situation altogether. I hope this helps and get you thinking about how you and your family could be safer.

Thank you for reading and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.