picture taken from old jiu jitsu technique book from japan

Jiu Jitsu’s Effectiveness for Self Defense

May 17, 2016 Ryu 0 Comments

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), a powerful martial art that originated from Japan is one of the most popular martial arts practiced today. Ever since the Gracies came to the mainstream consciousness with dominating wins in UFC, Jiu Jitsu has been adopted into the core disciplines of MMA circuit due to their extreme effectiveness in dealing with opponents on the ground.

Jiu Jitsu is all about grappling with emphasis on ground combat and when we talk about BJJ today, it’s more in the context of sports on the mat. However, is Jiu Jitsu an effective practice outside of the mats? Can this martial art be used as a self-defense to ward off potential aggressors?

First of all, the best self-defense is avoiding the potential harms that could arise by being fully aware of your situation and surroundings. It isn’t a joke when self-defense gurus tell the class in their first lesson that best self-defense is running.

But what about when there isn’t an option of running? If you practice Jiu Jitsu, can you actually defend yourself from your aggressor?

Most forms of Jiu Jit Su that is taught in dojos and schools around the globe is what’s called sports Jiu Jitsu. There are defined rules and boundaries in which you can practice and execute your moves.

In real life situation, all that gets thrown out.

Simply put, most Jiu Jitsu that are taught in dojos are not structured for self-defense. Most instructors will primarily focus on ground game, which is not realistic in real world scenarios.

However, that doesn’t mean Jiu Jitsu is completely useless as a self-defense methodology. Far from it. There are techniques that some schools and instructors do teach and drill into their students that can easily be adapted to self-defense situations.
Here are three such Jiu Jitsu techniques that are most suitable for self-defense situations:

1. Takedowns

Takedowns is something that is rarely taught in BJJ circles, at least not practiced heavily. Did you know that there are more than dozens of different takedowns that can be traced back to Judo and other ancient eastern martial arts? Techniques like single and double leg takedown can catch almost anyone off-guard when not expected. Once you have someone taken down with this maneuver, you can move on to submission techniques that BJJ is so proficient at to defend yourself from the attackers.

2. Guard Passes

It’s inevitable that some street fights end up on the ground. Although it wouldn’t be feasible against multiple assailants, guard pass technique can be effective form of self-defense once the attack transitions to the ground.

3. Slam

Slams are not typically acceptable in the sport of Jiu Jitsu in terms of competition. However, in self-defense situation that is about life and death, that rule can go out the window. Some BJJ instructors will also incorporate Judo moves into the equation and slamming your attacker into the ground is sure to knock the winds out of them quickly.

4. Submission

Of course, the ultimate submission moves. There may not be a chance to perform this maneuver ever in self-defense scenario, but in a rare case where your attack slips or falls, you can move on with you the submission to choke them out.

There are many Jiu Jitsu techniques that can be adapted for self-defense purposes. Although not regularly practiced in the sports BJJ circle, instructors well-rounded in other disciplines like Judo can impart you with knowledge that could be used to defend yourself.

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