Does Jiu-Jitsu Teach You How To Fight?

Jiu-Jitsu, just like many other forms of martials arts, is a sport that captivates millions of fighters and fans alike, and is exhilirating wjen opponets spar in compititions. But these sports and competitions are always bvound by rules, which makes you wonder how effective they could be in real-life situations. Hence the question, does Jiu-Jitsu teach you how to fight?

The main pillar of Jiu-Jitsu is self-defense. The techniques and sparring training in Jiu-Jitsu will teach someone how to fight and prepare them for real-life combat situations, with the ability to win a fight or subdue an aggressor without throwing any punches or kicks.

Let’s take a look at how Jiu-Jitsu can be used in real-life situations and how effective it can be in a fight or situation where you are required to defend yourself.

Does jiu-jitsu teach you how to fight?

On November 12, 1993, an event was held that would define the entire history of martial arts. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was the first event in which several martial arts were challenged and tested in a real situation, with 2 fighters and not many rules, held inside a cage called the Octagon.

That was also when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was presented to the world in an impressive way.

There were several styles mixed in this event, such as Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Kung Fu, Karate, Sumo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, among other styles.

For more on the different types of martial arts used in MMA, you can check out our article on “What is The Best Combination of Martial Arts for MMA?

I have always been passionate about martial arts from a young age but primarily influenced by the films I watched. I had Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Jean Claude Van Damme as idols of mine at the time.

Then I saw a 26-year-old boy weighing around 70 kg, facing fighters of all types, regardless of weight, many times facing opponents with up to 50 kg difference. This boy was called Royce Gracie, one of several champion children of the family that founded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Gracie family.

Royce Gracie changed the history of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and changed the lives of many people. He changed the perspective that many had about martial arts and most of all, changed my life. And that was when I realized that Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to fight for real.

Does Jiu-Jitsu work in real life?

In a real-life situation, there are several factors that have to taken into account when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu:

  • The environment (if it is conducive to a fight)
  • The number of aggressors
  • If the aggressor or any of the aggressors are carrying any type of weapon

Obviously, in situations like these, we do not have the time to think or analyze too much, and reactions must be immediate.

Some martial arts need plenty of space to deliver blows, such as kicks and punches, but Jiu-Jitsu is different and can be used in large or small spaces. Jiu-Jitsu, therefore, can be extremely effective in most real-life combat situations.

The main pillar of Jiu-Jitsu is self-defense and not an attack. However, Jiu-Jitsu becomes very efficient when the distance between the aggressor is reduced, and this is where the Jiu-Jitsu fighter can capitalize on several opportunities, such as:

  • You can control the aggressor, leaving him in an uncomfortable situation until you call for help.
  • The attacker can be knocked down with a fall technique, immobilizing him to the ground.
  • Applying some twisting of joints or chokehold, causing the aggressor to give up the attack.

Depending on the situation, the Jiu-Jitsu fighter can win a fight or subdue their opponent without throwing any punches or kicks, and end the fight in a way that is considered “clean”.

Is Jiu-Jitsu good for self Defense?

As mentioned earlier, the main pillar of Jiu-Jitsu is self-defense and is one of the first techniques that the student learns in his initial class. In Jiu-Jitsu, you will learn everything about self-defense, from the basic to the most advanced levels of defending yourself.

So Jiu-Jitsu by itself is already self-defense. The movements used in daily life, the techniques taught, and the sparring training will prepare you to deal with various real situations.

And the most important of all is that Jiu-Jitsu will keep you calm in any situation because in our own training or in competitions you will need to be calm to reverse any situation or uncomfortable position.

A Jiu-Jitsu fighter well prepared, both physically and mentally, can solve any adverse situation on a daily basis.

How useful is jiu-jitsu?

Jiu-jitsu can be very useful in daily life by adding, among others, the following aspect to your life:

  • self-control
  • confidence
  • improved your self-esteem
  • greater physically strength
  • better preparedness for any type of physical altercation

Jiu-Jitsu training prepares you for real-life, street-combat situations, and one of the oldest and most important training in self-defense is the famous “taparia”.

The “taparia” consists of training in which the aggressor uses slaps instead of punches, and the training partner uses Jiu-Jitsu to control and define the fight on the ground. Or both use slaps until someone manages to remain calm and control the distance, thereby acting very efficiently and taking control of the situation, which is the main objective of Jiu-Jitsu.

That is why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very useful in your daily life and will transmit many positive things for the rest of your life.

How dangerous is Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu encompasses several techniques, which, if used against a layperson or an aggressor, can cause serious damage/injuries.

Among these techniques are:

  • Projections/Falls (Takedowns), which are a mix of judo and wrestling, among other grappling styles used in real-life situations, can cause severe trauma, such as fractures or even paraplegia.
  • Immobilizations are used only to control an attacker on the ground, in a real-life situation.
  • Armbars, foot locks, kneebars, kimura locks, wristlock, heel hooks, among other techniques, can cause damage/trauma to joints, ligaments, muscles, and bones if applied in a real-life combat situation.
  • Strangulations (chokes), which consist of restricting breathing by blocking the entrance of air, can cause loss of consciousness, fractures, injuries in the cervical vertebra, or even the death of a possible aggressor.

Therefore, Jiu-Jitsu can be a dangerous and highly damaging martial art if applied in any real-life combat situation.

How to get started learning Jiu-Jitsu?

To start learning Jiu-Jitsu, you must first learn about it, be it YouTube videos, specific articles, websites, etc. Then, look for a certified academy or certified teacher that can train you.

Looking for a gym or training academy with a certified teacher is very important, as it can define your entire future in Jiu-Jitsu, either positively or negatively.

As a student, you will experience this in your first “experimental” or introductory class. It is the teacher’s duty to introduce you to the basics of Jiu-Jitsu, to show you around the gym or academy, and to make you feel at ease and excited to get started on your journey into the amazing world of Jiu-Jitsu.

With that, a student already starts their Jiu-Jitsu training and will learn according to their level of daily dedication to this martial art.

If you’re wondering whether you can learn Jiu-Jitsu at your age, or any age, check out our article on “Can You Start Jiu-Jitsu at Any Age?


Jiu-Jitsu will teach you how to fight both professionally and in any real-life combat situation.

Jiu-Jitsu will also teach you how to defend yourself, with self-defense techniques that are performed almost daily as part of your training.

Jiu-Jitsu will help you to have self-control and confidence, as you will need to reverse any uncomfortable position/situation during a fight or sparring.

There are several ways to adapt Jiu-Jitsu to extreme situations, like bladed weapons and firearms for example, and is part of the advanced training that is usually carried out by the armed forces and the police.

Jiu-Jitsu is also very useful on a phycological and almost spirutal level, and will transmit positive values ​​for the rest of your life.

“Jiu-jitsu: better to know it and never need it, than to need it not know it.”

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