“Why Is BJJ So Effective In Self Defense?”
The question comes up so often in regards to BJJ and self defense…
“Why is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so effective in a fight?”
BJJ can be very effective in a fight for many reasons including…
- Most people do not have basic competence in the grappling range of combat although most do have at least limited skills in throwing a punch.
- When deprived of the necessary distance to throw a longer range strike, most people have no idea what to do against someone who does have skill in the grappling range.
- It’s difficult for people to maintain distance against a grappler in a fight. This is because most have no idea that the person is about to close the distance in addition to the fact that it happens very quickly.
- On the flip side, if an attacker is trying to close the distance against a skilled grappler, they are putting themselves at high risk without knowing it. A good example would be a larger man attempting to control a woman.
- A skilled BJJ practitioner will have a huge advantage against an unskilled grappler even if the person is significantly bigger and stronger.
- Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will get you in shape so that you can defeat an opponent who will likely be slowing way down and gasping for air in a minute or so. Most people are exceptionally out of shape and not prepared physically for the demands of a fight.
- Taking this one step further if we’re talking about self defense, most people are FAR more likely to die of a heart attack than from an attacker. Training in BJJ helps reduce your risk of this by helping you get regular exercise and stress reduction (another risk for cardiovascular events) as well as helping motivate you to live a healthier lifestyle in general.
Addressing the standard self defense response,
“Yes grappling works one on one but what happens when you’re on the ground (destroying one opponent) and their biddies start kicking you, throwing chairs, firing rockets at you, or whatever.”
A couple of important points here…
- Any fight against multiple opponents is a very difficult fight. The odds are against you regardless of your fighting style.
- Striking is great, but as I mentioned above it is very, very difficult to maintain striking range against an opponent that wants to close the distance, let alone against multiple opponents that want to close the distance which is exactly what is going to happen.
- This means that you need skill in the grappling range in order to prevent an opponent(s) from taking you down. You also need skill on the ground in order to try to protect yourself once there.
- In riskier situations, there are ways to use grappling beyond just choking an opponent unconscious on the ground. As just mentioned, you can prevent a takedown from an opponent.
- Depending upon the BJJ skills a person developed, you can use takedowns to take an opponent out of the fight by slamming them to the ground as you remain standing. At my Jiu Jitsu school, we spend time developing skills in throws and takedowns.
- BJJ practitioners develop skills in stand up submissions that can quickly choke a person unconscious thereby ending that threat while remaining standing.
- On the ground, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artist might choose to use a position like knee on belly so that they can very quickly stand up as necessary.
Summarizing everything, grappling works because it’s a critically important range of fighting that is unfamiliar to most opponents. It also empowers the BJJ practitioner with all the things mentioned above, in addition to giving them confidence which so often alone will prevent an attack.