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The Effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: In the Cage and On the Street

BJJ students working on sweeping their opponent to the the ground.
BJJ students working on sweeping their opponent to the the ground.
Ed LeMonnier, HenryBJJ

Long before the Internet and YouTube, the question in the Martial Arts Community had been: Who would win the fight between a striker and the grappler? This question was answered and the world of Martial Arts was forever changed on November 12, 1993 when The Ultimate Fighting Championship took place at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Royce Gracie answered that question by defeating Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock, and Gerard Gordeau all by submission. In addition, the viewing audience and those who read about it in martial arts magazines, wanted to learn more about Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

Not only did people learn about the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they also witnessed the ability of a smaller man fending off and defeating a larger opponent. BJJ Videos were selling like hot cakes, schools were experiencing record enrollment, and it only continued when Royce Gracie went on to win the Second Ultimate Fighting Championship.

From the Gi, No Gi, to the Street; the techniques learned on the mat can be implemented anywhere. A choke, an arm bar, escaping from an attacker who has mounted you – the training you received to execute the submissions as well as the described escape are examples as to why BJJ is the most effective martial art.

The ability to get back to your feet safely during an altercation is just as important as what to do when the fight goes to the ground. Creating distance between you and your attacker while you are on your back will allow you to not only keep them at bay, but give you the space and timing to stand back up. While most martial arts are teaching you how to punch, kick, and block, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches you what to do on the ground, how to stay on your feet or how to take the fight down to the ground on your terms, in addition to how to get up safely and how to break your fall.

To this day, the majority of the stand-up martial arts like Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu still do not address the issue: What Happens When The Fight Goes To The Ground? In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, while the majority of the class is spent covering techniques when you and your opponent are on the ground, they also cover the stand up game. The importance of keeping your distance, breaking the grips, and take-downs are not only vital for Sport Jiu Jitsu, they are keys to protecting yourself on the street.

There is no question about the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whether you are on your feet or when the fight goes to the ground. Regardless of your body type, gender, or age, what you learn while training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will be tools in your arsenal that will be beneficial. Should you find yourself in a situation where you would need to defend yourself from an attacker, you will be better off if you have trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.