Is BJJ Good For Self Defense? (Practical BJJ Breakdown)

With crime rates rising and more horrifying stories coming out about people getting attacked every day, it has become more and more relevant to learn some form of self-defense to feel safer in public.

This counts more so for people who are part of more vulnerable demographics or those who live in more dangerous areas. So what are the best forms of self-defense?

One of the most popular modern methods of defending oneself is BJJ, also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is one of the most effective methods of self-defense, especially in martial arts methods.

Is BJJ Good For Self Defense?

While you may have heard BJJ being recommended as an effective method of self-defense, you may be left wondering what particularly actually makes it a good martial art to try for this purpose.

This guide will go over some of the main points of why BJJ is one of the most popular martial arts for self-defense as well as give you some key information you should know about this sport.

If you want to know why BJJ is so popular for self-defense or want to just know more about this form of combat, keep reading!

BJJ Will Help You Against Opponents That Have A Size Advantage

One thing that will give people a natural disadvantage in combat and self-defense situations is having a smaller stature than the person that is attacking them.

There are a few forms of martial arts that will provide methods of overcoming this disadvantage and BJJ is one of them. Not knowing how to overcome a larger opponent is a quick way to lose a fight so BJJ is invaluable for how it helps with this.

BJJ was actually designed with the intention of equalizing combat between different body types.

The people who developed this fighting style were both smaller than average fighters so the techniques that are used in BJJ were specifically designed for beating larger opponents.

BJJ focuses on grappling systems that will give the fighter leverage no matter the body type. 

If you want proof of how capable BJJ is at equalizing combat between body types, there are plenty of impressive videos of smaller fighters being able to dominate combat using BJJ techniques.

BJJ Has A Focus On Escaping Dangerous Submission Holds

Due to the growing popularity of MMA due to growing exposure to the UFC, BJJ has begun to gain much more attention.

One thing that helps it stand out against many other MMA styles is its focus on escaping and subverting submission holds that could be potentially fatal in the wrong circumstances. 

A lot of BJJ classes, especially more casual ones that are primarily focused on self-defense will prioritize being able to easily and effectively escape submission holds that are so commonly used in street fights.

These moves can be incredibly dangerous when they show up in street fights so if you do not have the techniques to escape them you will be at a disadvantage.

BJJ Will Improve Your Ability To Remain Calm In High-Pressure Situations

One of the biggest factors that puts people in a disadvantageous position and at risk in street fights and self-defense scenarios is an inability to act under the pressure of actual combat.

This can cause you to freeze up even if you know the techniques that could hypothetically save you. Even a moment of hesitation in self-defense situations can be the difference between walking away safely or not.

This is why BJJ training, especially that which focuses on self-defense will aim to give you the peace of mind and confidence to act decisively in combat scenarios and not freeze under the pressure.

You should be trained on how to remain calm and react to a multitude of different scenarios so you know how to escape or counterattack depending on the situation.

There will be plenty of drills and sparring in BJJ that will put you regularly in the headspace of having to think on your feet.

This will get you accustomed to this and improve your reaction times which is not just good in combat but also in life overall as well.

BJJ Teaches You How To Properly Assess Your Opponent

A key foundation of BJJ is to under no circumstances underestimate your opponent as doing so will automatically put you at a disadvantage.

No matter who you are facing, there is likely something you do not know about them and potentially a secret skill or attribute they have that could make beating you easy.

This relates to the earlier point of being able to beat larger opponents as a smaller fighter, this is why this idea of not underestimating is so important to BJJ.

BJJ emphasized not just that you are able to beat anyone with the right techniques, but also that anyone could beat you and you should not assume that you have a natural advantage over anyone.

BJJ Gives You Control Over Combat Without Using Strikes

A lot of popular martial arts styles have a focus on using strikes to gain points or deal damage to an opponent. This also follows the cultural consensus many have on combat that dealing successful blows is the best way to beat an opponent.

However, many experienced martial artists know that strong strikes can actually end up hurting you more than the person you are attacking.

This is why BJJ places such a significant focus on grappling as it is a much less painful and forceful method of beating opponents and is often a more efficient method of putting an opponent into a submissive position. 

If you do not like the idea of strikes, BJJ is a great self-defense style to learn.


So hopefully now you understand why BJJ is such an effective method of self-defense due to its focus on being able to beat but also lose to any opponents as well as its focus on grapples for quick opponent submission.

Christopher Anderson
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