The Problem With Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu Techniques

by Commander Nitro

I am often asked if Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are really superior to all other styles of martial arts. Of course, the people who ask this question usually have absolutely no real experience in the martial arts, and are only relying on what they see on TV and read on the internet. Unfortunately, the people who believe it to be true ALSO have no real experience in the martial arts.

The problem is that those who practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have bought the hype created by UFC promoters and other so-called Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions. These people actually believe that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques, which work in competition can be reliable in a real-life self defense situation. The fact is, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques rarely hold up outside the confines of the competitive format.

But you don't have to take my word for it. I want you to watch this video by Ryron and Rener Gracie or the Gracie Academy as they clearly explain that competitive jiu jitsu is completely different from street self defense.

Just take notice that no one in the UFC or other MMA competition claims to only practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Everyone has figured out that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are severely lacking when it comes to striking techniques. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has had to adapt in order to meet the evolution of mixed martial arts. And the lack of effective striking is only one of the many holes in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu system

[Side Note: Click on this link for more information on the history and evolution of Mixed Martial Arts.]

I am going to explain exactly why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques just won't cut it when it comes to the real test, and that is in a NO RULES street attack. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Brazilian jiu jitsu is bad. It's great for what it is and what it does. I can tell you from experience, when it comes time to defend yourself, any training is better than no training at all. I'm only asking you to look at it with a realistic and critical eye to be able to see exactly what Ryron and Rener are talking about in the above video.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques consist mainly of ground-fighting, not highly mobile standup fighting. Practice that does not include realistic scenarios does not improve one's fighting skills. And it has been proven time and time again that going to the ground in a real street attack can be a death trap! In a REAL fight, the ground is the last place you want to be.

There is no doubt that to have an effective martial art for self-defense, one MUST learn how to fight on the ground. But, ground-fighting should be a "last resort". You should never go to the ground on purpose!

If you think rolling around on the ground with someone who has a knife is a good idea, then you haven't got a clue about real-world self defense.

The Fatal Flaw in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques

No matter how good your ground game is, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques have a huge weakness in the street, and it comes from their greatest strength in the ring; the Guard. Heralded as the end all and be all of grappling techniques since Royce Gracie won the second UFC, the Guard is credited with changing the grappling world. In a sense this is true since under the rules of many grappling sports going to your back meant you lost. Also few no-holds-barred or street fighters would adopt this posture since you are too vulnerable to strikes and knees (especially to the groin). Also in the street it is the last place you want to be if your foe has a friend.

The Guard is a defensive position. You need never get beaten by the guard if you don't want to be. Then again, you can't win from the guard either. The second Shamrock - Gracie fight proved just that. By doing nothing (guarding), Shamrock was able to keep Gracie from doing, or even attempting anything. The fight degraded to a waiting match with Gracie unable, and Shamrock unwilling, to make a move.

If I had a new fighter and we wanted to go into a match and our only concern was to make the fight last or get a draw, I'd train him in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques. Almost any BJJ player can make you look bad, but I feel it lacks the ability to create mistakes, or to keep the pressure on an opponent. And if anyone has noticed recent UFC and other "MMA" fights, the one using the guard is getting his face pounded to a pulp, but he still maintains the guard. This is the most absurd thing I have ever seen!

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The "Street" Effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques

Outside the competitive format, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques just don't cut it. Why? Exposure! Virtually every takedown of BJJ requires going for the legs. Granted, a highly skilled BJJ player can do it quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, not everyone is as skilled as the professional fighters of the UFC, even though they think they are. Anytime you go for the opponent’s legs, you have no choice but to expose your head, neck and spine. Even the mildly experienced street punk knows how to counter-attack with devastating results when the opponents makes such a glaring mistake. But since UFC and other competitive formats don't allow striking to the back of the head or spine, BJJ players can get away with it.

Let's face it. When the rules of the competition are stacked in your favor, it is easy to win. Go ahead; check the rules for UFC. It lists 31 fouls. Sorry, but you can't call a foul in a street fight! However, people train for these competitions according to the rules of the game.

Unfortunately, most people forget about this when outside the ring. If required to use their skills to defend themselves, they tend to forget where they are and resort to what they have trained for. This is proof enough that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are not practical for street situations.

But again, I don't expect you to take my word for it. Just ask any reputable BJJ instructor how effective Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are on the street, and how effective are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques against multiple attackers. If they are truthful, as you heard in the video above, they will immediately let you know that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques used for competitive formats are NOT effective self-defense techniques.

A False Sense of Security

Brazilian jiu jitsu's popularity has lead to the springing up of thousands of schools run by those who don't know anything about grappling.

It now seems that every Karate, Judo, Jeet Kune Do and Kung Fu instructor is now also claiming to be an expert in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques, and saying it can be used for self defense. I see it painted in huge letters on their school windows, but most of those schools are entirely clueless about grappling, much less effective Japanese jiu jitsu. They have no idea what to do on the mat or how to employ their techniques against a live opponent.

There is no doubt that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is at the forefront of the martial arts community. The last 10 years the Brazilians have had amazing success on the mat in a variety of formats. Unfortunately, many have tried to exploit that success claiming that all the credit belongs to the Gracies and Brazilian ingenuity. This is simply not the case. When BJJ is pitted against strikers, brawlers and the unskilled; BJJ wins every time. But when faced with another good grappler with submission skills, BJJ is typically no better than any other style. It also bothers me that they cling to a false sense of superiority without giving due credit to the long grappling history of Japanese Judo and Jiu Jitsu that has helped shape their art.


Of course, BJJ players like Jean Machado, Walid Ismial and the Gracies are great players who are an immediate threat in the ring. But I feel it is their mat experience, athletic gifts and mental agility that make them great. Some claim that it is BJJ and BJJ alone; but that reasoning is simply flawed and is proven wrong time and time again as BJJ falls before fighters from different disciplines. This is not to put BJJ down; but it is silly to believe that it has all the answers when it comes to grappling, much less the most effective form of self-defense.

Years ago when Judo players hopped on the pro circuit with the shooters, wrestlers and boxers they faired no better then anyone else. The Brazilians did not invent grappling and do not have a special hold on the grappling world. They have a style, a good style that is cheapened when they claim it to be more than it is.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are neither Brazilian nor Jiu Jitsu. They are a stylize form of Japanese Judo, and they may be highly effective under the rules of a competitive format designed for it, but it is NOT a reliable form of self-defense in a street attack!

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques - Find out more about the development of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques and the evolution of Mixed Martial Arts with the rise in popularity of fighting competitions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Pride Fighting Championships.

Combat Jujitsu - Combat Jujitsu is used by US Military Special Operations Forces! It is the deadliest martial art known to man, and would certainly be considered among the Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts.

The Most Effective Martial Art - The Japanese Samurai developed the world's most effective martial art. Consider the popularity of jujutsu, judo, karate, and so forth, and you can appreciate the influence of ancient Japanese methods of combat.

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