The practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can be split into two distinct camps: sport and self-defense. It is important to understand the distinction and connectivity between the two. There is a profound history of BJJ and a newer definition of what BJJ has evolved into. BJJ has gained massive popularity over the last two decades and there are good reasons for that. In general, BJJ can certainly enhance self-defense skills that are accessible for a variety of people. The thing with self-defense is that you don’t know you need self-defense until you absolutely need it. In this article, we’ll delve into what BJJ is, the principles of BJJ are and how BJJ is one of the best forms of self-defense out there.
What is BJJ?
BJJ is a grappling-based martial art that is founded upon the skill of controlling an opponent in a way that forces a submission. The word “jiu-jitsu” derives from the Japanese “Ju” meaning “gentle” and “Jutsu” meaning art – essentially translating to “gentle art”. BJJ utilizes leverage, angles, pressure, timing, and knowledge of the human anatomy to achieve a non-violent submission. Many other martial art forms focus on strikes or kicks, while BJJ focuses on grappling holds and techniques along with joint manipulation. The BJJ style resulted from the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu foundation that traveled to South America in the early 1900s. Now, BJJ is considered one of the most popular martial art forms around.
How the Principles of BJJ Prepare You for Self-Defense
The physical and mental benefits of BJJ are significant and well-documented. As a martial art form, it uses a combination of dynamic and explosive movements along with pressure-based pushing, pulling, and holding. To make BJJ even cooler, it can be done by anyone. BJJ was designed and developed so that a smaller person could defend and defeat a larger and stronger opponent, making it one of the most accessible martial arts. Here, we’ll explore some of the principles behind BJJ and how they lend themselves well to self-defense.
Size Doesn’t Matter
BJJ is anyone’s game. You could quite literally be the smallest and weakest person in class but still thrive on the mat. BJJ is specifically designed to give smaller people a chance to defeat larger and stronger opponents by preventing threats and forcing opponents into submission. This principle of BJJ creates awareness, a humble nature, and begins the learning of how to stay calm during tough situations. A learning that is as good for off the mat as on the mat.
Technique Trumps Strength
No matter the size or the strength of your opponent, just remember – technique over everything. It is crucial to grasp technique during training, and this is a key focus of the BJJ practice. Correct technique, especially in split decisions, makes all the difference in competition or in dangerous times. Bruce Lee famously said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”. BJJ is all about learning and perfecting your techniques and understands how and when to apply them successfully.
Build A Solid Grip
BJJ focuses on creating a solid grip. Creating the grip strength to execute proper techniques more effectively creates more control. There are many ways BJJ practitioners build up grip strength and learn how to use it to their advantage – either on the mat or in an unfortunate situation that calls for self-defense. With weak grip strength, it is going to be extremely difficult to get yourself out of a dangerous scenario.