Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most popular martial arts on earth. The BJJ’s effectiveness has been proven many times, but there will still be many people suspecting the effectiveness of the BJJ as a street fighting martial art.
Now let’s go back to some historical facts and happenings. Roughly one century ago, Helio built the popularity of BJJ right on the street fights while picking bigger and stronger opponents, most of the time from other rival martial arts. And he was very successful with it. So I’ll turn this post into some kind of Grappling vs Stand up martial arts for street fighting.
There are a lot of proofs on youtube about the efficiency of BJJ against other martial arts and you can watch a lot of Gracie Challenges where you can see BJJ dominating all other martial arts.
So, why people still doubt BJJ in a street fight? The answer is simple. They simply don’t understand the power of it.
It’s just like the question: “why people watch box much more than BJJ?”. Because everyone understands when guy punch another guy in a face. And people hate watching something they don’t understand and even more they hate to learn what is it all about. So if you try to explain to some boxing fan what is BJJ and why is it more effective on the street than the box you’ll most likely be misunderstood so don’t even try.
OK! Now I’ll explain why BJJ is really the best martial art for real fights.
First things first. What if you get knocked out? Nothing, you’ll fall asleep, maybe get a few more punches and it’s ok. Not really ok, but you’ll probably survive. But what’s the percentage of you being knocked out just like that if you know BJJ? Chances are very, very small and that’s where the power of Jiu Jitsu really lies.
Most street fights end up on the ground. Even street fights where both participants are only fist fighting end up on the ground. And that’s exactly where BJJ practitioners will dominate anyone. People are born to walk and punch, but we’re not born for ground fighting. If you train Jiu Jitsu you can remember your first few BJJ classes and how stupid you felt on the ground. That’s exactly how boxers or any other stand up martial artists would feel once they hit the ground.
It’s all about taking your opponent down and doing to him whatever you want. Wrestling and Judo are a big part of BJJ so you shouldn’t really have problems throwing someone on the ground. If you’re training in a school that doesn’t teach takedowns then… change school.
If you think that it can be kind a problem to get to clinch or close the distance just remember how many times in boxing or kick boxing fights they clinch? How many times Floyd and McGregor Clinched? A LOT! Every one of those times Floyd would 100% end up on the ground. So, believe in what you do and do it properly. You have all advantages you can have against someone swinging his fists around. Keep the distance, close the distance and do what you have to do.
Although sport Jiu Jitsu these days is maybe too oriented on sport so you’ll need to make some modifications to your BJJ for street fight as you wouldn’t want to pull guard on concrete or keep your base with your head when in full mount or jump some flying submissions or do berimbolo and stuff like that. But even if you end up on the ground with your back on the floor you will know exactly what to do and it won’t be a huge problem. If you watch first UFCs with Royce Gracie he would end up on his back a lot of times but he always managed to win.
I can already hear people commenting “but what when there are more attackers?”. Is there any martial art that will help you against 5 attackers? No, there is not. Maybe you will have slightly better chances with boxing or stand up martial arts, but your chances are still very slim. I still believe that Usain Bolt has the best defense against more attackers. So if you want to fight against a lot of guys start training sprinting on 100m and it’s your best chance no matter how skilled you are in any martial art.
Next time when someone tell you “BJJ or grappling is not gonna help you in a 1v2 fight.” Just give him a simple answer. How can you consider beating 2 or more opponents with your stand up martial art when you can’t really beat one? You can’t beat one grappler and you’re saying you’re more powerful against more people? It doesn’t really make sense unless you’ll ask your attacker what is he training so you can decide whether you’ll fight him or not.
Point is. If you train BJJ or any grappling martial art you have a fair chance against anyone and that’s something we can’t say for standup martial artists.
I recently heard one good quote: “if you don’t know how to fight then don’t fight and if you know how to fight still don’t fight.” That means avoid street fights at all costs. You can be the best fighter in the world, but you still can’t fight against a gun, knife, teaser, few friends… and your martial art training is useless.
I guess there will be people to mentioning catch Wrestling, Luta Livre, Sambo and all other grappling sports that are very dominant in street fighting saying that they’re better than BJJ. Before you start to mention other sports I would ask you to tell me which part of these martial arts is not part of the BJJ itself?
Check Jocko Willink’s opinion on best martial art for self defense and the streets.