Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Good for Self Defense? (Explained!)

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best martial arts for self-defense. It is capable of close combat effectiveness and teaches excellent fighting management principles.

However, a BJJ practitioner must invest time and effort to understand and effectively use this grappling discipline. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of jiu-jitsu for self-defense. Stay tuned!

Is BJJ a Self-Defense Activity?

Source: Armchair Violence

Self-defense (also known as self-defense or self-protection) is a defensive strategy that entails defending oneself, one’s property, or the well-being of another from harm.

The term “self-defense” refers to the idea that by using proper techniques against an aggressor, the defender protects themselves and indirectly safeguards others.

As a result, Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be excellent for self-defense scenarios. However, it is a sport combat discipline rather than a self-defense activity.

Nevertheless, BJJ can teach its practitioners excellent fighting skills, such as ground fighting and submissions.

So, it can be helpful for self-defense purposes. But it is not enough since it may not be the best choice against many attackers.

This is why many martial arts schools started teaching BJJ for self-defense. They teach people how to use grappling techniques for self-defense efficiently.

Pros and Cons of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense

jiu jitsu for self-defense

Brazilian jiu-jitsu concentrates on ground fighting and teaches its practitioners various fighting techniques such as distance management, body holds, submissions, etc.

So, it is a fantastic grappling martial art that can help you achieve many things due to its benefits. Therefore, many people started learning BJJ for self-defense purposes. But is jiu-jitsu a practical self-defense martial art?

First, let’s dive into some pros and cons of using Brazilian jiu-jitsu in self-defense.

Advantages of Jiu-Jitsu for Self Defense

  1. BJJ is effective in one-on-one combat, even against larger and heavier opponents, because of the effectiveness of chokes and other fundamental techniques.
  2. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners know how to manage distance, which is an important thing and one of the self-defense principles.
  3. BJJ is a practical martial art that teaches you how to control your opponent using excellent grips and holds, which are essential aspects of self-defense
  4. The effective use of wrestling and Judo in BJJ will help take down the attacker and control the fight on the ground.
  5. A jiu-jitsu fighter spends many hours drilling and honing his submission techniques on the mats. Then, as a result, he’ll use the appropriate submission at the proper time to end the fight.

Disadvantages of Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense

  1. Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes don’t teach you how to protect yourself in striking combat.
  2. A BJJ practitioner will have difficulty countering a weapon-wielding attacker.
  3. Jiu-Jitsu is ineffective when confronted with a large number of attackers. And it can be dangerous if misused.
  4. You need to be in good shape to do BJJ techniques properly.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Good for Self-Defense?

is bjj good for street fighting

Many practitioners believe that Brazilian jiu-jitsu can help protect themselves in self-defense situations. BJJ can be very effective for self-defense if appropriately used. You’re maybe wondering why?

BJJ is good for self-defense since it teaches impressive technical skills for self-defense.

Learning takedowns, chokes, joint locks, and other excellent grappling techniques make it easy for BJJ practitioners to protect themselves in unwanted situations.

Although, understanding and correctly using Brazilian jiu-jitsu require a lot of effort and time. Otherwise, it is more sport competitions oriented discipline than self-defense.

As a result, many martial artists disagree that BJJ is unsuitable for street combat and self-defense. This is because it is ineffective against several attackers, among other cons of BJJ for self-defense.

Related: Taekwondo can help you protect yourself in dangerous real-life situations! Learn the self-defense methods and tactics of this exciting martial art. Click here to learn more!

Best Jiu-Jitsu Moves for Self Defense

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When it comes to self-defense, jiu-jitsu is an excellent option since it offers a variety of moves, some of which are more effective than others.

Some of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu self-defense moves include arm drag and other takedowns, triangle chokes, and rear naked choke.

Consider taking a BJJ class or watching instructional videos online to learn more about Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques.

Source: Self Defense Tutorials


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may be the best martial art for self-defense scenarios. While learning all the methods may take some time, it is a versatile martial art used in various situations. 

Moreover, it employs leverage and body mechanics, making it ideal for smaller and average people to defend themselves against larger and stronger attackers, unlike other martial arts forms. 

Otherwise, it would help if you considered BJJ is not intended for self-defense and is more practical than other martial arts such as Taekwondo, Judo, etc.

As a result, it is critical to have realistic expectations when learning BJJ for self-defense. You will not become a martial arts expert overnight. Still, you can learn to defend yourself against an attacker with practice.

Tell us, do you think that BJJ is enough for self-defense?

Related: Martial arts may be an excellent tool for self-defense in any scenario. Click here to discover the most efficient martial arts techniques and training methods for keeping yourself safe and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Effective Is BJJ for Self-Defense?

BJJ self-defense classes teach its practitioners excellent fighting skills, such as ground fighting and submissions, to protect themselves.

So, Brazilian jiu-jitsu training can be helpful for self-defense purposes. But it is not enough since it may not be the best choice against many attackers.

Is Jiu-Jitsu Effective Against Multiple Attackers?

Due to chokes and other techniques, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is effective in one-on-one combat, even against larger and heavier opponents. However, it may not be effective against multiple attackers.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Alone Good for Self-Defense?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) alone may not be sufficient in self-defense. Here is why?

  1. It is insignificant when faced with multiple opponents.
  2. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, unlike weapons-based martial arts like Krav Maga, is insufficient to defend against knife and weapon attacks.
  3. Strike defense is not taught in BJJ.
  4. Using BJJ wrestling takedowns for self-defense and street fighting may result in injury.

Should I Learn BJJ or Krav Maga for Self-Defense?

Krav Maga is far superior to Brazilian jiu-jitsu in terms of self-defense.

Krav Maga’s primary purpose is to teach practitioners excellent self-defense techniques. It can be used against armed and unarmed opponents.

However, BJJ is not enough self-defense since it’s ineffective against multiple opponents and armed attackers.

Is Boxing or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Better for Self-Defense?

Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing are excellent choices for learning self-defense. Indeed, choosing one discipline over another depends on your preference.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu may be suitable for self-defense for many reasons. First, it teaches excellent fighting concepts from standing or ground positions, such as distance management, takedowns, body control, etc.

Aside from that, Boxing is more effective against standing opponents. It teaches excellent striking techniques as well as distance management. It’s pretty simple, and you’ll be reasonably good at it within a year or less.

Otherwise, Boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are great workouts to build endurance and strength, among other advantages.

Is Muay Thai Better Than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense?

Muay Thai and BJJ are excellent forms of self-defense martial arts, but they have limitations.

With its striking, pain-inflicting movements, Muay Thai will be more useful in self-defense and street fighting from standing. It is designed to keep you standing while your opponent falls.

Aside from that, with its great grappling techniques, BJJ is preferable for self-defense to counter even bigger and stronger opponents. Furthermore, it is one of the few martial arts that will protect you on the ground.

Which Is Better for Self-defense: Aikido or Jiu-Jitsu?

Aikido and Jiu Jitsu are two popular self-defense martial arts.

Aikido, on the other hand, is highly adaptable. It can be applied in various situations and does not rely on brute force. It is also a relatively simple martial art that can be effective even against larger attackers. But, It requires years of practice to become good at it.

However, some believe Aikido is not as effective as Jiu Jitsu for self-defense. In close-quarters combat, Jiu-Jitsu is more effective. It entails various grappling techniques, including chokes and takedowns, that can be applied in multiple situations.

Which Is Better for Self-defense: Karate or Jiu Jitsu?

Karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are useful martial arts for self-defense, but which is the best?

That is entirely dependent on your search criteria. Karate is your best bet if you’re looking for a striking base discipline.

However, Jiu-Jitsu is the way to go if you’re more interested in excellent grappling and self-defense techniques that will help you in a real-life situation.

Related: Discover the self-defense power of Karate! Learn how effectively you can use the discipline and expertise of this ancient martial art to defend yourself and your loved ones. Click here to learn more!

Which Is Better for Self-defense, Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is more effective than Judo for close-quarters combat self-defense in a real-life situation. It is a practical grappling and ground-fighting martial art.

Otherwise, Judo is a type of martial art that emphasizes throws and takedowns. Yet, it is not as effective in close-quarters combat as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Aside from that, both Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are great ways to get in shape and learn some basic self-defense moves.

Recommended: Empower yourself with Judo’s strength for self-defense! Learn how effectively you can use Judo to keep yourself safe in self-defense and street fighting scenarios. Click here to learn more!