What Do I Want From Jiu-Jitsu, Sport vs Street?

I read John Will’s Tactical  BJJ Grappling For Life eBook this week and I’ve been thinking a lot about sport BJJ vs street BJJ.  I started training in BJJ because I wanted exercise (I sit at a office all day) and because I wanted to be able to defend myself and family in this increasingly violent world.  After reading John’s eBook I began to think to much of my training is sport.  This fulfills my exercise requirement but falls short on my defense.  If I were in a street fight I think I would still win because I am considering before hand what my game plan would be.  For instance,  I will only want to go for submissions that choke out or destroy limbs and joints.  What good is a bicep cutter in a street fight?  I also should take into consideration that just because I destroy his arm in a arm bar doesn’t mean the fight is over.  What about fighting more then one person at a time?  John gives some ideas.  I think I would consider a tactical retreat if I was by myself.  I am beginning to think that a little Muay Thai would help with what I know about striking martial arts.  Jim from Jim’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Journal said that one of the factors that made him quit Jiu-Jitsu was "what I was learning was more how to counter my classmates than how to fight".  I think that I get out of Jiu-Jitsu what I want from it.  If I want more street practical training then that should be my focus.  I’ll never give up BJJ.  I’m too addicted.  I just think its time for some tuning of my focus.

5 Replies to “What Do I Want From Jiu-Jitsu, Sport vs Street?”

  1. I quit traditional jiu-jitsu because I was not satisfied with the sparring content of the style (there was very little, if any grappling sparring). BJJ satisfies my need to spar. I don’t think of it as a martial art or self defence, but I guess I do have ten years of traditional JJ as back-up in case I ever needed to defend my family for real. Who knows if it would be useful. I hope I never find out.
    John Will’s ebook sounds interesting, I might check it out. Thanks for the post.

  2. Although a lot of BJJ is for sport it can be applied for self defense as well. The fact that we spar live every day makes it unique from anything else. Also more than anything else it teaches you how to control someone, and in a street fight control is everything. What I don’t like about traditional martial arts is it never puts you in a bad position. BJJ you get in bad positions all the time, and with training if needed you know you can get out. As far as multiple people at the same time? well common sense comes into play, but I often ask myself what would Chuck Norris do?

    1. Points well made! Control is very important. I also agree that being stuck between a rock and a hard palace really does help prepare you for a fight.

  3. I think one of the only things missing from the type of jiu jitsu we train is closing the distance. The positioning alone that we learn is more than enough against most untrained opponents.

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