Jiu Jitsu 101: is Punching and Kicking Allowed?

When you hear about martial arts, people always imagine people striking each other such as punching or kicking. Because Jiu Jitsu has been becoming famous, there are always questions if these strikes such as punching and kicking are allowed in this Martial Art.

As a general rule, striking such as punching and kicking are not allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, some schools of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teach some strikes such as punches and kicks. In most Jiu Jitsu matches, striking can lead to disqualification.

However, there are more questions to answer such as slapping. Since slapping is a form of strike, there are some instances where it is allowed. Another is if you can strike the ground or what martial arts are good if you want the ones that allow strike. If you are interested in these, keep reading.

Can you Kick in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Kicking is not allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In fact, kicks can be a ground for disqualification in a match. Jiu Jitsu is focused on ground fighting such as joint locks and hold. However, there are some schools that teach and allow some form of kicking.

Most schools of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu don’t allow kicking. In sparring matches, if you start striking your opponent such as kicking, you might get a warning from your partner.

If it continues, the match stops.

This leads to disqualification of a match, making the other side the winner, and much worse, the person striking can be kicked out of the gym.

It will also leave a bad reputation on the person itself and in the Jiu Jitsu world, the world is not that big.

Can you Punch in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Punching is not allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is a ground for disqualification in a match and may even kick the person out in their school. This is because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a ground fighting focused martial art and not based on strikes.

It is the same with kicking, punching is a form of striking which is not allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The can lead to disqualification in the match making the other side automatically the winner.

Also, this makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu different.

It is based on skills on how you can hold your enemy in the ground immobilizing them.

This is the point in using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and striking is not what it is made for.

However, if you start doing MMA, you may start learning striking together with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a good martial art in ground fighting.

And fighting in a standing position is different.

Most fighters who are really good and in the top have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu combined with a really good standing up martial arts such as Muay Thai and Boxing.

Can you Slap in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

While kicking and punching are not allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, slapping is a different story.

A slap can be used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a form of training when they are simulating street fights. This is because striking is not allowed in BJJ. Another moment when slapping is possible is when a match starts and they do it as a means of mutual respect.

This is because striking is a means for disqualification in Jiu Jitsu and to simulate street or real world fighting scenarios, people who are in sparring will usually simulate striking with slapping.

Take note that the slapping should not be strong. It is just a means to hit and let the person know that he or she has been hit.

Slapping is the acceptable form of striking in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world. Actually it is not just done in practice situation.

Some people use it as a form of mutual respect.

While some martial arts such as Judo bow with each other before a match, or boxers bump their fists before a match, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a lot of means for mutual respect.

This mutual respect implies that they let their partner know that they want to keep the match a fair play, to watch out for each other and the fight is not personal in any way.

The mode of respect varies from different Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Classes. Some actually bump fist like in boxing, some shake hands which is what most people in Brazil do.

Some schools prefer to slap each other’s hands.

While the history behind it is quite unknown, it is known that some prefer to slap each other’s hands as a means of respect.

Therefore, there are two ways slapping is done in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One is for practice because they simulate striking like what they might experience in a real fight scenario.

Two is that it can be done as a form of mutual respect before a match.

So slapping is allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, very strong slaps in a match is still prohibited and can be classified as a strike.

Recommended Martial Art if you want a Martial Art that Uses Striking

I don’t blame you if you don’t like this. Most Martial art has some sort of striking and Jiu Jitsu is not one of them.

But do not worry because here are good martial arts recommendation for you if you want a martial art that has strikes.

  1. Muay Thai
  2. Boxing
  3. Mixed Martial Arts
  4. Kick Boxing
  5. Karate
  6. Traditional Jiu Jitsu

Traditional Jiu Jitsu is where Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from. It has some striking and is also famous today. You may check out the article explaining their difference: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Traditional Jiu Jitsu

The cool thing is that you will also learn ground fighting in Traditional Jiu Jitsu like in Brazilian. In short, you get the whole version.

Is Punching the Ground or Any Inanimate Object Legal in Jiu Jitsu

Punching the ground or any Inanimate object is a sign of poor self-discipline and is not allowed in Jiu Jitsu. This can lead to disqualification because it shows disrespect to the person you are against and the sport itself.

Remember that Jiu Jitsu is still a martial art that is strict in imposing self discipline and respect with everyone.

In fact, most schools are against street fights and prefer respect above everything else.

Showing any sign of disrespect to anyone in the sport can lead to serious offense, and one of them is showing a tantrum-like behavior.

Jiu Jitsu is a good sport in showing respect to others. Going in the other way is bad and destroys your own reputation. Also, the Jiu Jitsu world is actually small and wrongdoings can spread so easily especially if the person gets kicked out of a school.

“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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