7 Best Jiu Jitsu Movies (A Deep Dive!)

Are you excited to witness the thrill of Jiu-Jitsu on the big screen? Jiu-Jitsu movies have captivated audiences for a long time by bringing this martial art’s exhilarating essence to life in cinema. These movies are known for their heart-pumping duels and authentic fight scenes. They have garnered a dedicated following among martial arts enthusiasts and movie lovers.

This article will explore a selection of must-watch Jiu-Jitsu movies that brilliantly capture the art’s intensity and finesse. Join us as we journey through the captivating realm of Jiu-Jitsu, and get ready to be enthralled!

Best Jiu-Jitsu Movies

Jiu-Jitsu has been present for hundreds of years. Its first appearance on the silver screen began in the 1900s. Early portrayals were generally combined with other martial arts, displaying the art’s prowess in actual fights.

As cinema advanced, the representation of martial arts changed, too. From the 1970s to the 1980s, there was an increase in martial arts films, with Jiu-Jitsu frequently being the primary focus.

These movies were entertaining and gave people knowledge about the long-standing background and strategies of the art. Here are some of the most famous Jiu-jitsu films:

Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Source: IGN

The 2020 martial arts movie “Jiu Jitsu” blends science fiction with the classic art of jiu-jitsu. It follows a group of jiu-jitsu practitioners who unite every six years to fight an extraterrestrial intruder.

Alain Moussi stars as the protagonist of the movie, struggling to remember his identity and learn the skills necessary to defend against an alien invasion.

The film is an impressive display of various martial arts styles, with jiu-jitsu taking a central role. The fight scenes are masterfully crafted to showcase the power of jiu-jitsu in battle, making it a must-see for martial arts enthusiasts.

You can rent or purchase the Jiu Jitsu movie from Amazon, Click here to learn more!

The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo (2009)

Source: cabriscanicus

This documentary investigates the Gracie family’s background and their profound influence on the realm of martial arts. The Gracies are closely linked to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and this movie outlines their experience, the difficulties they encountered, and their eventual success.

“The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo” offers an in-depth look into the Gracies’ impact on the spread of jiu-jitsu worldwide. Additionally, the movie explores the roots of Vale Tudo, the no-restrictions combat sport that has developed into the modern MMA.

Fans of jiu-jitsu and the Gracie family should check out this informative documentary.

Choke (1999)

“Choke” is a documentary that follows the life and accomplishments of the renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Rickson Gracie. This movie offers a personal glimpse into Rickson’s training for the 1995 Vale Tudo Japan tournament, one of the most influential martial arts competitions at the time.

Throughout the documentary, viewers get to experience Rickson’s training approach, his outlook on combat, and his strong association with the art of jiu-jitsu.

The movie also displays some of Rickson’s battles, exhibiting his unequaled abilities and strategies. “Choke” is not just a movie about fighting; it serves as a reminder of a true martial artist’s commitment, self-control, and courage.

These movies offer a mix of action, history, and the philosophy behind jiu-jitsu. Whether you’re a practitioner of the art or simply a fan of martial arts movies, these films provide a captivating look into the world of jiu-jitsu.

Red Belt (2008)

“Red Belt” is a martial arts movie that explores jiu-jitsu deeply. The story centers on Mike Terry, a jiu-jitsu teacher who does not participate in tournaments, feeling that martial arts should be about self-defense rather than sport.

Despite a series of unfortunate circumstances, he must enter the fighting arena to save his pride and his martial arts school.

“Red Belt” not only emphasizes the philosophy behind martial arts, but also the commercialization of the sport. It’s an exciting movie with a gripping narrative and intense fighting sequences that will please any jiu-jitsu fan.

Roll: Jiu-Jitsu in SoCal (2015)

“Roll: Jiu-Jitsu in SoCal” movie dives deep into the jiu-jitsu culture in Southern California, a place renowned for its martial arts traditions.

It delves into the lives of the participants, the exercises they carry out, and their enthusiasm for the discipline.

Otherwise, this jiu-jitsu film provides a distinctive outlook on the evolution and expansion of jiu-jitsu in one of its most influential centers.

Jiu Jitsu Vs. The World (2015)

“Jiu-Jitsu vs the World” is a full-length documentary that examines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s remarkable effect on individuals. The film features this martial art philosophy and its capability to alter lives.

A number of practitioners, coaches, and renowned figures from the sport are interviewed in the movie in order to present an overview of jiu-jitsu’s international scope and its capacity to make a difference.

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

“The Art of Self Defense” is a dark comedy that primarily focuses on a man who, following an attack, takes up karate. As he immerses himself in the martial arts world, he finds a sinister side to it.

The movie features a variety of martial arts, including jiu-jitsu, and satirically explores masculinity and the culture of martial arts.

Related: Discover the names of famous celebs’ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belts! Despite their hectic daily schedules and life’s distractions, these iconic faces have dedicated significant time, effort, and commitment to BJJ training. Click here to read more!

Why Jiu-Jitsu Movies Are Popular?

Movies that feature Jiu Jitsu have had a significant impact on audiences around the world, with many being enthralled by their true-to-life fight scenes, authentic martial arts moves, and gripping narratives.

Realistic Fight Sequences

Jiu Jitsu films stand out for the realism of their fight scenes. Unlike other action movies that feature over-the-top choreography and special effects, these movies focus on the genuine techniques of martial arts.

The fight scenes are made all the more engaging due to the use of actual Jiu-Jitsu moves, allowing viewers to appreciate the skill and accuracy of the performers. This attention to detail creates an immersive experience for audiences.

Use of Actual Techniques

The uniqueness of Jiu-Jitsu films lies in their use of astounding moves. It is possible to see a variety of holds, such as the armbar, triangle choke, or rear-naked choke, being depicted on the big screen.

This gives the films a sense of realism and allows those who watch to gain knowledge about Jiu-Jitsu moves, principles, and tactics.

Aspiring martial artists can benefit from watching these movies as they can learn from them.

Showcasing Martial Arts Skills

Movies about Jiu-Jitsu demonstrate the power of its techniques and highlight the broad variety of martial arts.

Characters in these films are often well-versed in other disciplines, such as karate, taekwondo, or Muay Thai, which provide more exciting and thrilling fight scenes for viewers.

Engaging Storylines

Though primarily renowned for their gripping fight sequences, Jiu-Jitsu movies also deliver enthralling stories that absorb viewers for the duration.

These films typically feature characters of various origins and objectives, forming a complex and multifaceted web of rivalries and connections.

Whether it’s a tale of absolution, retribution, or personal development, the narrative layers enhance the action, transforming these films into more than showcases of martial arts.

Impact of Jiu-Jitsu Movies on the Martial Arts Community

Jiu-Jitsu movies have had a significant impact on the martial arts community, inspiring practitioners, promoting the art of jiujitsu, contributing to the growth of Jiu-Jitsu schools, and increasing participation in competitions.

Inspiration for Practitioners

Viewing movies featuring Jiu-Jitsu has been a source of motivation for those hoping to become martial artists.

Seeing accomplished actors execute Jiu-Jitsu moves with exactness and artistry encourages individuals to try the activity, looking to replicate their movie idols.

This has resulted in an uptick in the number of individuals learning Jiu-Jitsu and dedicating themselves to the pursuit of martial arts.

Promotion of Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu films have been essential in publicizing the art to a broader crowd. Demonstrating Jiu Jitsu’s efficacy through realistic battle sequences, these movies have helped clear up beliefs and wrong notions about the art.

This extra visibility has caused a better comprehension and admiration of Jiu-Jitsu, bringing more people from varying backgrounds to delve into the art.

Growth of Jiu-Jitsu Schools

The growing number of Jiu-Jitsu films has triggered a massive increase in the number of martial arts academies dedicated to the practice.

Subsequently, the need for certified instructors and practice areas has been dramatically amplified.

Jiu Jitsu schools have opened to welcome newcomers and experienced practitioners, thus creating a lively and prosperous environment.

Increased Participation in Competitions

The intensity of Jiu-Jitsu movies has motivated viewers to get out and compete. Consequently, the number of people entering Jiu-Jitsu tournaments has risen significantly, with competitors keen to demonstrate their talents and commitment to the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

Critiques and Controversies Surrounding Jiu-Jitsu Movies

Despite enjoying widespread recognition, Jiu-Jitsu films have encountered criticism and disputes. These span from incorrect portrayals of skills to categorizing martial artists, gratuitous aggression, and not enough female involvement.

Misrepresentation of Techniques

A frequent criticism of Jiu-Jitsu films is that they may inaccurately depict certain techniques.

While filmmakers try to be as authentic as possible, there may be times when the portrayal of certain moves or applications does not accurately resemble the real thing.

This can create confusion or misunderstandings among viewers, particularly those just starting with this martial art.

Stereotyping Martial Artists

Many martial arts films, such as those of Jiu Jitsu, can create generalizations about martial artists and the cultures from which they come.

These stereotypes often involve unrealistic physical abilities, supernatural elements, or simplified personas.

It is essential to remember that these depictions do not necessarily reflect the multifaceted and intricate reality of martial arts and the people who practice it.

Excessive Violence

Several Jiu-Jitsu movies have been blasted for their extremely violent content. While a certain level of violence can be expected in these films, there is a fragile line between presenting realistic fight scenes and being overly graphic.

Movies that focus too heavily on violent imagery may detract from the beauty and proficiency of Jiu-Jitsu, potentially creating a distorted outlook of the art.

Lack of Female Representation

Movies featuring Jiu Jitsu have typically starred male leads, leaving female characters in a secondary part. This lack of female representation is a valid issue, as it perpetuates the idea that Jiu-Jitsu is mainly a sport for men.

In order to tackle this, increased visibility for female characters and stories that emphasize their skills and efforts in Jiu-Jitsu films are being included.


Since its emergence in Japan and its spread to Brazil, Jiu-Jitsu has had an undeniable influence on the martial arts world and popular culture alike.

Many attribute the success of Jiu-Jitsu movies to their realistic fight sequences, accurate martial arts tactics, and gripping storylines. Even though some of these movies have caused controversy, they have evolved and left a permanent mark on the martial arts film genre.

While we take pleasure in the action and excitement of Jiu-Jitsu movies, we should also commend the artistry, skill, and hard work that go into making them.

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