Do you feel confident that you’re able to effectively defend yourself with BJJ? Does training Jiu-Jitsu mean that you can use it for self-defense in a violent, real-life altercation? The art certainly provides the means and methods to do so. As complex as it is BJJ can be simple enough to provide one with decent self-defense capabilities in a short time. It is the method of training and the school’s philosophy that dictate the students’ ability to successfully defend themselves, should the need arise. In that sense, is sports training enough for a BJJ self-defense scenario?
For starters, it is beyond doubt that BJJ posses the techniques to defend yourself and your loved ones in a violent scenario. Actually, the arts very roots are in self-defense. In the old days, the Gracies challenged everyone and anyone to Vale Tudo fight. The point was to prove that BJJ reigns supreme over all other martial arts. So, if Jiu-Jitsu tops every martial art than it should be easy to use it against untrained opponents. Well, things are not quite that easy.
BJJ Self Defense Training
First and foremost, let’s tackle the elephant in the room – BJJ works! BJJ self-defense is very applicable in the real world for every category of people. The only trick is to train specifically for it. The sports aspect of the art has taken over it so much, that self-defense is often put in the background. It is not that most of the techniques that are regularly practiced do not work. It is the mindset that needs to be trained. Although the techniques are the same, the BJJ sports and BJJ self-defense mindsets are very different.
BJJ has a unique opportunity to allow people to train live. By that, I mean that sparring is done in a controlled fashion that is as close to a real fight as possible, Now, technically, whether it is a BJJ or MMA fight or a real one, the technical aspect remains the same. However, in a real fight, there are no points, no tapping, and no referee to protect you. That said, the techniques you know will work – it is your mind that needs to be in sync with the situation. This is why self-defense training has to be a part of every academy’s curriculum.
On a different not, BJJ is highly reliable in a self-defense scenario thanks to the nature of the art. While striking is often an uncertain endeavor, despite experience and knowledge, joint locks and chokes are better. They offer a high percentage of success while minimizing the risk thanks to distance management. According to John Machado “The majority of the self-defense moves involving pain compliance function by crushing a muscle or extending a joint in an uncomfortable direction”. You just need to be sure you know what you want to do and to what extent.
How Efficient Is BJJ In The Modern World?
Japanese Jiu-Jitsu was designed to help the Samurai defeat armored adversaries in hand to hand combat. Manipulation of joints and grappling moves proved much more effective than striking. That aspect of the original Jiu-Jitsu successfully transferred to BJJ as well. Even today, traditional Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are mandatory for Japanese law enforcement personnel. There is no reason why such professions would take up an ineffective system.
For the everyday person that is not a law enforcement professional, BJJ offers a high degree of reliability and confidence. For one, most of the unknown are removed due to distance management. Clinching and takedowns are a big part of the art and present excellent means of staying safe and in control. They also provide a route to the ground, where even greater control awaits. This is precisely the one aspect of BJJ self-defense that gives it supremacy over other arts. The ability to control someone on the ground, where most fights end up anyway, is paramount in the outcome of an altercation.
From a legal standpoint, controlling someone until the subdue or authorities arrive is the safest manner to end a fight. Even in extreme cases, a choke is way more reliable than a one-punch-knock-out. And it won’t get you in legal trouble as well since you can completely neutralize an opponent without any visible injuries. Should you choose to inflict an injury, though, devastating joint locks are always there for the taking.
Navy SEAL veteran Willink recommends BJJ as the best self-defense alternative next to having a gun on you. Renowned black belt coach Firas Zahabi did an experiment regarding the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu. Here is the outcome:
Confidence For The Finer Half
A very important aspect of BJJ is its applicability for women. In terms of staying safe, there is nothing better for the finer half than BJJ. BJJ self-defense offers women the opportunity to effectively deal with bigger, stronger opponents from disadvantageous positions.
The first very important aspect is the mechanical advantage that BJJ gives the smaller person. In the case of male on female attacks, this is often the case. In such scenarios, BJJ is the best way to equalize the odds. Actually, with the correct training approach, it shifts the odds into the women’s favor most of the time. Movement and leverage are emphasized in BJJ over strength, which is exactly the advantage that women need in an emergency scenario.
Secondly, BJJ revolves around the opportunities to attack from the back. The BJJ guard is a position-specific only to BJJ. Being able to not only defend, but a counter-attack from the back is an unexpected variable for attackers. BJJ is so effective off the back, that it can help even against trained assailants. Since a lot of the attacks on women often end up with them on their backs, BJJ is by far the one best option to provide the finer half with means to successfully get out of an attack unharmed.
Last but not least, constant live training and rolling give women the sense of a real-world scenario. It is one thing to drill moves in a controlled environment and another to be able to use them under stress. Rolling in BJJ is as close to real as it gets, teaching women to be comfortable in close proximity and uncomfortable positions with men. The constant repetition of such exercises results in a calmness of mind that is essential in real-world scenarios.
Speaking of those closest to us, having a child capable of defense is as important to parents as it is for the children themselves. In reality, children rarely find themselves in situations where they need to defend against full grown adults. Even so, if such an occasion arises, the advantage they have from BJJ tops any other means of self-defense available.
However, in the modern world, children are more often the target of other kids their age or slightly older. Bullying is a major occurrence in today’s society and can have devastating effects on children that are on the receiving end. BJJ self-defense offers kids both verbal and physical options to prevent bullying and diffuse difficult situations. There’s nothing more important than the safety and well being of children and BJJ can help both them and their parents sleep better at night.