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Is Jiu-Jitsu Good For Self-Defense?
Today’s world is a complete shit show. We have a world that is on the brink of chaos for many reasons, complete instability within the United States, and a country that cannot agree on anything. Unfortunately, the consequences of this have been an increase in crime rates, and it begs the question, could you protect yourself if something happened right now? There are many different forms of self-defense out there claiming to be the best for you in a real situation but none have truly been battle-tested like Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Using jiu-jitsu for self-defense has been proven time and time again to work effectively when de-escalating conflicts. In this article, we break down the art form and provide examples of how it is a superior self-defense technique.
Understanding What Jiu-Jitsu Is
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu had a meteoric rise due to the popularity growth of the UFC during the 2020 Pandemic. The explosion in interest and growth in the sport has many excited about what the sport has in store for society as a whole.
Jiu-jitsu is a popular martial art that originated in Japan. Eventually, the sport made its way into Brazil where it grew exponentially in popularity, which is why the martial art has been more commonly known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Sometime around the 90s many Brazilian Black Belts came to the States and started introducing the sport to the masses. The first UFC fight was won by one of the original users of the art form, Royce Gracie.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport that can be used as self-defense.
BJJ is based on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of taking an opponent to the ground, controlling one’s opponent, gaining a dominant position, and using several techniques to force them into submission.
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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu For Self-Defense
Many haters on the internet will come into our comments on Instagram or TikTok and say “JiU-JiTsU DOeSn’T wOrK!!” but to them we say none-sense.
There is no other martial art that gives you live looks with someone who is actively trying to submit you. When you put your body under this kind of stress on a day-to-day basis you are bound to learn how to react under stressful circumstances that may arise on the streets.
Now there is no way to replicate the adrenaline you experience within a practice setting completely, that is why it is essential to be competing. If you are looking for something to make you feel safer in your skin and something to teach you how to protect yourself, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the only martial art you should consider.
As we stated earlier, Jiu-jitsu is not the end-all-be-all for self-defense. It is a tool to have in your belt that will help if the situation arises. Carrying a weapon and learning how to strike properly are also effective ways to prevent you from being harmed in a dangerous situation.
Why is Jiu-Jitsu So Effective In Real Fighting?
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is effective in real fighting for a number of reasons. Effective martial arts all have one thing in common, they continuously train you to react in situations where someone is going full speed against you. There are not many martial arts that give you live looks against resisting opponents.
If you are not getting live sparring sessions regularly, how can you say what you are doing will be effective when you have a body full of adrenaline and have something on the line?
“Real fighting” comes in two forms in my eyes. Sport or real-life situations. Let’s examine both a little more closely to get an idea of how they prove how effective BJJ actually is.
Sport Fighting is Not The Same
The largest sport fighting organizations in the world are focused on a combination of martial arts. This combination is known as mixed martial arts (MMA) and was widely popularized by the UFC starting in the early 2000s.
The foundation of every martial artist at the highest level is Brazilian jiu-jitsu or some other form of grappling (like wrestling, sambo, or judo). When the best fighters in the world all have a grappling martial art as their baseline it is hard to make the argument that BJJ is not effective.
The skills that one needs to possess to be a high-level fighter that competes at these levels should not go unwarranted. When you are training like the way they are, you literally become a walking weapon, but what about that hobbyist that just trains when they have the free time to do so? Is Brazilian jiu-jitsu still effective?
Real-World Fights and Self-Defense Scenarios
Practitioners who would consider themselves a hobbyists need to understand one thing when it comes to violence, there is no such thing as a fair fight. While sport fighting does prove that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an effective (and almost mandatory) martial art for fighting we have a be a little more careful saying the same thing for real-life encounters.
We do not ever think it is a good idea to go fishing for trouble. Just because you train Brazilian jiu-jitsu does not mean that you can treat a real-world situation the same way you treat a training session.
You do have an advantage at the end of the day by knowing jiu-jitsu but you have to be very wise about the circumstance that you are in. It is imperative that you remain calm as a situation escalates and identify if another person has a weapon or not. Not making a calculated move here can cause serious harm.
In a defense situation where multiple attackers are in the picture, it is best to keep a fight standing so you can see where they are coming from. Your Brazilian jiu-jitsu training may not be as effective in this situation. We stress the importance of mastering the self-defense triangle, you should be well equipped in striking, grappling, and defending yourself with a weapon as last resort.
Train BJJ, do a bit of mixed martial arts and spend some time at the range. Ground fighting is a great way to feel safer but it is not going to always be the answer.
Why Jiu-Jitsu is a Superior Martial Art
The growth of combat sports has been well documented across the internet. Some of the biggest names in the world actively train the sport and believe that it is the superior martial art. Martial arts are meant to help a smaller person who knows the technique beat someone bigger who does not know the technique. Just practicing BJJ alone will make you a more confident individual and give you peace knowing that if a scary situation were to arise you would at least be able to de-escalate the situation or control it entirely.
Don’t take our word for it? Check out Joe Rogan (who is a BJJ Black Belt) talking with Lex Friedman about BJJ(who is also a BJJ Black Belt):
To put the icing on the cake, we recently discovered that Mark Zuckerburg trains BJJ!! Even Tech CEO’s who have no time on their hands and are worth millions take the time to take their health and personal defense seriously. My question to you is why haven’t you? Bury all excuses and join a local gym near you, I promise, you will not regret taking the leap.
Jiu-Jitsu Training Emphasizes Live Sparring
Street fights are not simulated and often times your adrenaline is running one million miles per hour. You need live sparring on a regular basis to come close to what this feeling is like. even in those sparring sessions, it may not be enough to completely match the feeling you may experience if you have to put your skills to the test.
If you do find yourself in one of those self-defense situations, your Brazilian jiu-jitsu will shine against someone who does not train.
What To Expect When Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu For Self-Defense
Understand that everything is situational. You can expect ground fighting and BJJ techniques to be very useful if you have to put your skills to the test in a self-defense situation but not all situations are made equal.
Being able to calmly access the situation is key. There are a million techniques that can be used to subdue an opponent that intrudes on your personal space or that is the aggressor in a situation.
Size And Strength Discrepancies Are Overcome By Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great martial art because it gives you the live sparring you need to understand what your body is capable of. It was built so a smaller (trained) person can take on defeat an opponent that is larger (untrained). We have seen this time and time again in our own personal training sessions and in the application of art in the real world.
We personally have known women who have successfully defended off attackers by using their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. while we hope that is never a situation you find yourself in, the reality is this world is getting crazier by the second.
Disadvantages Of Jiu-Jitsu In Street Fighting
The biggest disadvantage of BJJ for street fighting is that it does not teach you to strike or avoid punches. We firmly believe you need to be multifaceted. Training in other martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing, or kickboxing are great ways to supplement training jiu-jitsu. Other combat sports have a lot to offer to those that are just strictly training BJJ, street fights do not start on the ground so learn how to stand up opponents. If you have the ground fighting covered you only make yourself more of a silent weapon.
Is Jiu-jitsu good for self-defense? The answer to this is an astounding YES!!!
Using jiu-jitsu for self-defense purposes has changed our life for the better from a mental and physical standpoint. Women, men, and children should be training jiu-jitsu, it would make society as a whole a better place.