Jiu Jitsu 101: Is it Good for Street Fights?

Most martial art if not all don’t allow street fights. I am a firm believer that martial arts are a form of self discipline and respect to people. Thus, respecting others don’t include going to street fights. However, there are some situations where street or actual fights can’t be avoided. So is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu good for street fight?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is good for street fights. It is based on holding the enemy which can even be larger and stronger than you and immobilizing them. It is one of the only martial art designed to beat enemies that are stronger than you but there are factors that can affect its effectivity in street fights.

There is a catch. While Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is good for street fights, it has some limitation. Furthermore, on real life scenario, is it effective? Let’s find out more about the power of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu useful in a street fight?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is very useful in a street fight especially when facing stronger opponents, and for self-defense. This is because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is focused on immobilization making it harder for enemies to attack you. Furthermore, ground fights are rare in street fighting giving you an advantage.

So the next question is how effective is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in these fights?

Let us start discussing where Jiu Jitsu itself came from.

Actually, it is really interesting.

Truth is, Traditional Jiu Jitsu is one of the oldest martial art which some saying that the martial art itself is 1,000 years old.

Traditional Jiu Jitsu is where Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from. It is quite different in some way but the ground fights are identical. If you are interested in their history, here is a link where I discussed their differences: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Traditional Jiu Jitsu

But back on topic, it was actually made by monks.

These monks made this martial art to protect themselves against armed opponents.

They made it to lock their enemies and immobilize them rendering enemies useless in a fight. Plus, they do it without doing much harm.

Now I guess you can see why BJJ is focused on locking enemies till they give up.

Actually, Traditional Jiu Jitsu is so effective that early Samurai Warriors are trained using the martial art especially if they lost their sword in a fight.

That’s why on a real street fight, Traditional Jiu Jitsu is very very strong and if you ask me, way better than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on actual fighting scenario.

That is because it is really made for actual fights.

However, that doesn’t mean that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not good. In fact, it is really good because of how it is designed.

Remember that those monks are unarmed and they are even against armed opponents that time.

Even if Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a competition based martial art, it still has its fangs when on street fight.

Against a bigger or stronger enemies, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s techniques can win. And that’s why it is normal to see smaller people beating bigger opponents in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match.

So is it effective in street fights? Definitely. But it has some limitations.

Can you use BJJ in a street fight?

In this section, we are going to discuss Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s limitations in a street fight. But first, we have to answer if can you use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in street fights?

You can use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in street fights. It is very effective in ground attacks, which most people in street fight have no idea how to counter. This makes the fight yours and you can easily lock them making them immobilized, which makes the fight easy to win.

However, there are limitations in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One of them is number.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is very effective in fighting an enemy even stronger than you. But the catch is it can only be for one versus one situation.

Remember that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on locking the enemies in the ground making them immobilized. The problem is you are also in the ground vulnerable for attacks from other people.

The problem is most street fight is not a one versus one situation. Most of which is a group fight.

This makes it hard to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to shine because you are very vulnerable when holding enemies.

Another problem with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the lack of strikes.

If you are interested in reading my other article discussing strikes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you can read this article: Is Punching and Kicking Allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is focused on ground fights, which is why they lack strikes.

Some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools don’t teach strikes. This is their difference between Traditional Jiu Jitsu and why in my opinion, Traditional Jiu Jitsu is better in street fights.

Punching and Kicking is necessary in street fights. This makes you fight standing against multiple enemies.

However, some BJJ schools teach some sort of kicking and punching. If you are in one, then good for you since you can use some for street fights.

The lack of strikes is also one of the reason why top fighters who have a black belt in BJJ also know other martial arts that uses strikes.

Thus, You can use Jiu Jitsu in a street fight but it has limitations and the way be better is to study how to strike and fight while standing.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a Real Fight Scenario

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is really useful in a real fight scenario especially in immobilizing your enemies. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s moves are even meant to fight someone who is stronger and larger. Let alone fight them on equal footing. Thus a good martial art to use in case of real fighting scenario.

So we have discussed the limitations and history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is effective on real fight scenario especially on a 1 versus 1 kind of situation.

In fighting multiple enemies, striking is essential. So you need to pair up BJJ with other martial arts for it to be really effective in an actual fighting scenario.

The locks in BJJ is good for 1 on 1, but it makes you vulnerable in case there are 2 or more attackers.

Some people recommend adding another martial art with BJJ in order for you to be very powerful not just in the ring, but also in street fights.

That is because strikes are necessary for street fights.

If you want to know what martial arts are good to pair up with BJJ, here are my recommendations:

  • Boxing
  • Muay Thai
  • Krav Maga
  • Kick Boxing
  • Traditional Jiu Jitsu
  • Karate

These have a variety of strikes you can use

But remember that street fights are mostly not allowed in Martial Art schools including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Remember that, and always remember to stay away from fights when you can.

“Only the ones I love.”

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Welcome to my recommended list of Jiu-Jitsu gear.

In this section, you are going to see my recommended Jiu-Jitsu gears both for beginners and pros.

Grappling Shorts

When getting some grappling shorts, you first need to understand that the thing we are looking for in grappling shorts is the ones that will provide flexibility.

This means that we are not looking at designs but what we are looking for is how comfortable it is and if you can do a full range of motions while wearing the shorts.

If that’s the case, I recommend an IBJJF approved grappling short which has no pockets that can interfere with rolls, and most importantly, allows a full range of motion. This can help you in rolls since you need to have fluid motions to do some maneuvers.

Here is the link for the product: BJJ Shorts

Grappling Spats

Grappling spats are a great alternative to Grappling shorts and are sometimes used in conjunction with Grappling shorts.

The reason for using a Grappling spat is to prevent friction.

Remember that BJJ is focused on rolls, locks, and takedowns. This is prone to friction that can cause injuries such as burns and mat cuts.

In choosing a good pair of grappling spats, you need to take note that it is important that it is also flexible so you can easily do some full-range motions while rolling.

Furthermore, since you will be covering your whole legs with it, it is important for it to absorb some sweat while still being comfortable for the wearer.

If that’s the case, I recommend these Grappling Spats which are very stretchable making them good for fluid motion. Furthermore, it is well made to handle friction which prevents any unwanted injuries.

Lastly, its cloth is breathable which means that it is very comfortable for your skin.

Here is the link for the product: Grappling Spats


Think of a rash guard as the grappling spat for the upper body.

Rashguard helps in preventing friction that can cause injuries such as mat cuts and burns.

When finding one, it is important to find a comfortable rash guard which is breathable. Furthermore, have one that allows a full range of motion.

Thus, I recommend this rash guard which does all of the functions I’ve said: Rashguard

Knee and Elbow Pads

Personally, I am a victim of a knee injury. That’s why I always tell people to use knee and elbow pads when doing some physically intensive activities such as BJJ.

Because of my injuries, I can’t really last long with any sort of long physical activity.

So, while it is often neglected, I believe that Knee and Elbox pads are important.

Good Knee and Elbow pads are supposed to be comfortable while still providing maximum protection to both your elbows and knees.

Thus, I recommend these safety gears:

Ear Protectors

There are lots of cauliflower ear incidents with BJJ practitioners.

Even if this is quite an unpopular safety gear, it is important as we are preventing friction that can come from rolls.

In choosing an ear protector, you do not need to get something that protects you from strikes. Striking is usually not allowed.

So, what’s important is to find something that is very lightweight and protects you from friction.

If that’s the case, then you may opt for this which is really useful and won’t look weird on rolls: Ear Guards

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