Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. Made famous by the Gracie family out of Brazil over the last century, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most common form of martial arts on the ground. It promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.
Perfect for those who want to get in shape and learn to protect themselves without the pain and bruising that comes with other martial arts that involve striking. We welcome you into any of our daily classes at Factum with our professional instructors who will teach you everything you need to know about submission wrestling.
First off, let me clear the air, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ for short, is not a striking self-defense, it’s a grappling self-defense. It’s not fighting, so you most certainly will not be “beaten up” on the first day. Any good jiu jitsu school, will open with a warm-up and then go into some technique. Jiu Jitsu is a sport that puts a high emphasis on what to do if you’ve taken your oppenent down, or he has taken you down, and how to defeat your opponent without throwing strikes through joint locks/chokes.
I have been doing MMA for about 25 years, and I don’t think I have a friend in this world that hasn't either choked me, or I haven’t choked. The great thing about Jiu Jitsu, is the moment you start feeling any pain, you simply tap your opponent on the body, and he stops. Any decent MMA gym will put a huge focus on the respect of your opponent, and what I've found, is that people who go to MMA gyms want to get better at fighting, and want to get you better.
At the gym we own, Factum CrossFit and Mixed Martial Arts in Salt Lake City, we have beginners in just about every class and every discipline. So, typically, we put beginners with beginners and advanced with advanced. That being said, if you are a beginner and you go with an advanced submission grappler, you will learn LIGHTING QUICK.
BJJ is also one aspect of a complete fighter, to be a complete martial artist you need other forms as well.
If I had to pick only one self-defense for a woman to learn, I would have to say jiu-jitsu. Now, let me be clear, I don’t believe jiu-jitsu is an all-encompassing martial art, but jiu-jitsu focuses mainly on how a smaller opponent can defeat a larger assailant through joint-locks, control and chokes.
In other words, let’s paint an ugly picture: Rapist-demon-spawn attacks you. He’s bigger than you, so his chances of getting you to the ground are a lot greater than you can probably imagine. Maybe you can get away, but a open hand shot to the throat, raking the eyes, and a groin shot SIMPLY DON’T CUT IT. Don’t be fooled into thinking pepper spray will do the trick either, it doesn’t, if a larger man wants to get you to the ground these techniques don’t work. However, any decent Jiu-Jitsu school will teach you (as a 100 pound girl) to kill a 300 lbs rapist. So, jerk-mcgoo goes to take your paints off, well, if you’ve learned some jiu jitsu, you’d know that he’s left himself awfully vulnerable for a triangle-choke, omaplata, or arm-bar.
But jiu jitsu is NOT all encompassing, for that, I put a pretty heavy emphasis on using the Martial Arts that have proven effective in the UFC. In my opinion, all martial arts have a place in the world, but because I fight professionally, I feel I need to be versed in the hand-to-hand combat that has proven most effective amongst professionals. These are any combination of Muay Thai (de facto striking style of the UFC), Wrestling (art of controlling one's opponent) and submission grappling (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).
Reason #1: He’s on drugs!
This is probably the best reason to use jiu-jitsu. If your assailant is high on PCP or methamphetamine's, than your chances of beating this guy with a pain compliance or a head-kick is rendered null. Countless police reports indicate that people on these drugs seem to be able to take multiple bullets in the chest and can still function.
Their heart’s are going a mile-a-minute, and thus they need oxygen to their brain. Cut off the supply of air to the lungs, or the blood streams to the brain, and you’ve bought yourself enough time to walk away (or kill him if you feel it’s necessary). They will be strong on this level on drug, but stay calm and STAY TECHNICAL and you might just find yourself alive in a situation where a kickboxer would probably find himself dead.
Reason #2: There is a chance he’ll take you down and you’ll need your jiu-jitsu
Every era has their go-to tough guy hero. In the 1960’s, every western cowboy wanted to emulate their favorite John Wayne, so the idiots of the era went outside bars going toe-to-toe trading haymakers until someone went down. Kicks, body shots or anything else was considered girly or unfair.
Then the Karate Kid hit the scene, and everyone was suddenly kicking like a girl was the hottest thing since “sliced bread”. But taking someone down and putting them in mount was considered uncouth, and not to be down. Then came the rise of the UFC.
The Gracie’s with their goofy triangle chokes, armbars and guardwork were introducing the world to brazilian jiu-jitsu. Idiots who had no idea what they were doing decided that this was the de facto way to beat someone up, and we have stayed in that era until now. Tough guys are looking for that single-leg, and if he wrestled in high school, there’s a chance he might actually do it, and if he didn’t, he’ll be putting himself in piss-poor position, and you can simply take his back as he’ll be clueless when you administer the muay thai clinch.
Reason #3: He has the size!
Maybe you want to bang with this guy, and that’s okay if you are far more skilled on your feet than him. But what if you’re not? What if this guy possesses way more size, and has taken a wrestling class, or a boxing class. Than chances are, you want to get the fight to the ground.
Does size matter in Jiu Jitsu? Of course, anyone who’s taken a Factum Jiu Jitsu class knows that, but it matters considerably less than it does in other facets of a fight (i.e. Standing). If the guy is clueless on the ground, than an arm-bar or triangle-choke is going to be a piece of cake whether the guy is massive or not. Be sure you know these techniques however before just assuming they will work against that behemoth.
Reason #4: You Might Need to Control Him, Not Beat Him Up
Let’s say you’re fighting a friend, or worse, your in-laws. Beating the poor bastard up isn’t your best option. Getting him to the ground and making your uncle say “Uncle!” might be your best scenario. Kicking him with your muay thai roundhouse kick and shredding him with a Muay Thai clinch is probably the worst thing you can do at this point to win points at the family reunion.
Getting his head to the ground and choking him out, however unpleasant, is the way for your uncle to realize he’s put himself in an inferior position, lost his dignity, but not his orbital bone. Take it easy on the guy!
Reason #5: You’re getting beat on your feet
So what if you have been coming to Factum Jiu Jitsu classes, but for some reason have skipped our boxing, kickboxing or muay thai classes? Then there’s a chance you're getting hit in the face more than you’d like to be. An underhook might be in your cards, or even a double-leg takedown.
Now, don’t forget the takedowns we’ve taught you in here, otherwise, taking some damage might also be in the cards for you.