Why You Should Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Self-defence

by | Oct 18, 2020


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a technical form of self-defence that utilises joint locks and choke holds to subdue, control and defeat an opponent. It’s not about punching or kicking — it’s a mix of simple and complicated manoeuvres undertaken predominantly on the ground. And it really is a pure martial art. Small can defeat big. A small, trained exponent can immobilise and overcome an untrained, stronger person. 

Self-defence Principles 

Always try to keep it simple, stay balanced and acknowledge that the best self-defence moves are the least complicated ones. Don’t get fancy. Don’t be an easy target. Know your distance — where you’re safe and where you’re in danger. And never give up. Ultimately, the best street-fighting tools are the tongue and feet. Talk a situation down or run like the wind. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 

For the uninitiated, Jiu Jitsu can be a little confusing. There’s side control, Kimuras (a form of shoulder lock) and sweeps — to name but a few of the terms used to define the numerous moves in this ever-evolving and detailed self-defence sport. 

A good Jiu Jitsu fighter can not only choke you and dominate from a strong position — he or she can win from a seemingly inferior position such as finding yourself on your back and mounted. You think you’re in a strong position but a seasoned grappler can quickly turn the fight and leave you feeling helpless. Helpless is defined as when you’re unable to defend yourself — and that sums up the situation if you have no grappling experience and find yourself in a ground altercation with an experienced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu exponent. On the ground, Jiu Jitsu is king. You will be royally dominated. He or she can do many things from literally tying you in knots to expertly exert their body weight with such force as to restrict your breathing or ankle lock you. Take your pick. Whichever way, you’re going to be thoroughly outclassed and if he or she chooses you will suffer too. 


Grappling can be super technical and complicated. When the untrained find themselves on the ground they often freeze because grappling instincts are not natural. The untrained will commonly resort to a headlock, which a Jiu Jitsu fighter should easily counter. And that makes Jiu Jitsu so effective on the ground. You don’t get lucky with a guillotine choke or armbar. You either know it or you don’t. Unlike punching or kicking. You can get lucky with a kick or punch — whether you’ve been trained or not. 


What happens if the physical confrontation remains standing? In this situation, a ground specialist can struggle. To nullify a striker’s weapons whether it be punches, kicks, knees or elbows, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter should take the fight to his opponent. This means closing the distance between himself and the striker and initiate a takedown. The aim of the takedown is to take the altercation to the ground. And that’s where the grappler can do his or her thing — controlling, limiting opponents options and ultimately winning. 

Multiple Opponents 

Striking can take out multiple opponents quickly. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu cannot compete with a high velocity vanquishing of many others. It’s relatively slower form of chokeholds and joint locks tend to be methodical rather than a blitzkrieg attack. 

It can take time to immobilise an opponent — and whilst this is happening, other opponents can go to town on you and inflict major damage. And that’s obviously super bad. There’s no defence against multiple attackers on the ground. 


Violence can explode on the street anytime. And if the violence goes to the ground, as many physical confrontations do, it pays massive dividends to know Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or any form of grappling self-defence. If the fight, remains standing, however, Jiu Jitsu can be rendered ineffective. Hence, a combination of striking and grappling skills are recommended. That will give you an all round game to best manage the chaos. 

Train hard. Train smart.

Yours in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu,