Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

a good self-defense?

Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a good form of self-defence?

Just about any martial art can be great for self-defence.  At the same time, any can be poor for self-defence too.  To a large extent it depends on the type of club you go to, eg is it a self-defence orientated club or a sport and competition orientated club.  If you look up any of the old Helio Gracie BJJ videos, the original black and white ones, you’ll see a pretty small guy effectively defending himself against often much bigger people throwing all sorts of techniques at him.  That, was pretty good self-defence.  You also see many BJJ skills being used in MMA and UFC style competitions – but do you see people who only have BJJ skills and nothing else typically winning these competitions in the modern era.  Rarely.  Why?  The way BJJ is typically taught at the majority of clubs nowadays is as a sport.  Often many clubs will not allow students to progress from one belt to the next without successfully competing.  

Another consideration is, if you’re on the street, on concrete, do you want to be going to the ground?  If there are multiple attackers, do you want to be on the ground?  Whilst there’s that pretty famous quote, that 80% of fights end up on the ground, that’s not really true, especially where one of the people involved is a skilled striker (do 80% of UFC matches end in an arm-bar or choke… some yes… 80%… no).

You get good at what you train

Common sense would tell you, the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it.  As we just said, because most BJJ clubs focus on competition, the self-defence skills are either not taught at all or rarely taught.  Of course that’s not to say there is anything wrong with competitions or competition orientated clubs – there isn’t.  Some people want that and love that, and that’s perfect for them. BUT, if your goal is to learn practical self-defence, start by seeking out a club that teaches that – it just makes sense.  Also think about whether you want to be on the ground in a real world self-defence situation – to some extent, that’s a personal answer.  The same applies to day to day training – in a BJJ class, no matter whether for self-defence or competition, you’ll typically spend 95% of your time on the ground essentially wrestling with someone.  If that sounds like you, perfect!  Look for a self-defence orientated club and get into it (in case you’re wondering, we are a self-defence orientated club, but we do comps as well).


What are the alternatives for kids?

For children, we think Taekwondo is probably the best martial art.  Why?  It’s quick and simple to learn and get going with, and one of the safest martial arts to learn.  Joint based martial arts whether it be BJJ, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Hapkido, or Aikido, are very technical and as a result take a long time to learn.  Even basic BJJ techniques are often relatively slow to master.  Kids tend to like to be able to come home and show you what they learnt that day, and feel like they are progressing and getting somewhere, that why have found most kids prefer Taekwondo, especially the younger ones.   Click here to find out more about our children’s Taekwondo classes.


What are the alternatives for adults?

Taekwondo and Krav Maga are both great alternatives for adults.  Why?  Both are a great workout, and both will teach good all round self-defence skills.  Our Taekwondo classes tend to teach more striking (punches, elbows etc) and kicking, lots of general self-defence, with some ground self-defence basics.  Our Krav Maga classes tend to teach striking but also do quite a lot of ground wrestling as well as stand-up grappling and wrestling.  Click the links for more:  Taekwondo and Krav Maga 


Not sure which martial art is right for you?

That’s pretty common actually!  But that’s why we’re here.  As a club that teaches a range of different martial arts, we’re well placed to help you find the one that will be just the right fit for you, just give us a call or submit an enquiry and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.


Aside from state of the art facilities to enable learning in a safe and comfortable environment, BTC also has plenty of equipment for every student to use during a class. We take great pride in our team of dedicated and friendly instructors who love imparting their knowledge to students and who also go to great lengths to ensure that each student makes good progress. Gives us a call to book your place in one of our martial arts classes today!