On your path towards Jiu-Jitsu mastery, your knowledge of the principles will serve you in two important ways. First, it will enable you to solve problems on your own by modifying techniques in accordance with the guidelines, and second, it will enable you to recognise the multitude of impure techniques that are being developed by instructors who do not know, or choose not to adhere to the founding principles of the art.
Principle 1. Street Applicability
Focus only on practicing techniques that are fully street applicable. Practicing techniques that are not “punch proof” will cause you to develop a false sense of security. By practicing techniques that keep you safe from strikes, you will develop the most important reflexes and avoid habits that could lead to injury in a real fight. If you modify a technique, you must verify that the new variation keeps you safe from all potentially dangerous strikes.
Principle 2: Energy Efficiency (No 'BigManJitsu')
Any technique that relies on speed and power rather than leverage and timing is not energy efficient. In a real fight there is no time limit, so you must learn to save your energy, use ecomomy of motion. The only reliable way for you to defeat a larger, more athletic opponent is to utilize techniques that cause your opponent to exhaust energy while simultaneously preserving your own. Before adding any technique to your arsenal, you must verify that it is more reliant on leverage and proper timing than on your athletic capabilities. Do not trust techniques based on strength or speed as they are unlikely to work against a larger, stronger attacker.
Principle 3: Natural Body Movements
Any technique that requires you to move your body unnaturally or stand in an artificial stance is likely to fail when you need it most, in combat. Natural body movement is the best foundation on which to build the instinctive reflexes needed in a real fight.
Principle 4: Lines of defence
Any technique that leaves you open to attack during it's execution through lack of control or lack of lines of defence should be avoided at all cost.
Defend - Control - Dominate - Finish!