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The Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Be A Complete Fighter

There are many types of martial arts out there and I have studied over 15 of them in my 35+ years of experience in martial arts, even earning black belts in five of them. Currently, I study Krav Maga, an Israeli Martial art taught to the Israeli military; Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a Philipino stick and knife fighting art; and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or BJJ), a Brazilian (obviously) grappling art very similar to Judo. I study these three very different arts because I want to be a complete fighter.


Krav Maga teaches me an effective way to use my hands and feet for self-defense with a proven method developed strictly for defense instead of sports fighting. I study stick and knife fighting because you can almost always find a stick or stick-like instrument anywhere that can be used for self-defense and you can either carry a knife legally, or, if you happen to be in your kitchen and someone breaks down your door, easily grab a kitchen knife and know how to use it effectively. But this article is actually about the third martial art I study– Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Even though I am quite effective in hand-to-hand stand-up fighting, I have found that once the fight is taken to the ground (which is where most fights end up whether you like it or not), I did not know what to do. I thought about taking a Judo class, which is very effective in getting someone on the ground and keeping them there, but instead chose to focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or “BJJ”). Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is even more effective than Judo once you go to the ground.

What Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most popular martial arts in the world and is composed of both offensive and defensive self-defense techniques. There are hundreds of techniques in BJJ and countless benefits associated with its practice, including helping you with both your physical and emotional development as well as helping you develop patience, relaxation, discipline, and self-confidence.

BJJ has proven to me and countless others how effective it is as a method of self-defense. You see, I served as a federal agent for over 18 years and in three military branches as a special agent, protective services officer (bodyguard), and counterintelligence agent.

I even worked in the protective services division at the Defense Intelligence Agency. I tell you all of this because based on real experience I know which martial arts work in a real fighting situation and which don’t. BJJ is one that works if done the right way.


Many martial artists around the world are using the techniques of BJJ. Most military and law enforcement agencies have incorporated some BJJ techniques and mixed martial arts has adopted most of its techniques from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The reason for this is because the techniques present in BJJ are realistic and effective when it comes to fighting.

Hone Your Body And Mind

You will certainly improve your physical fitness. I “roll” with multiple opponents half my age for ten-minute rounds and have done so since starting BJJ. There are both soft and hard techniques in BJJ. Hard techniques train and condition your body. Your physical condition is very important when it comes to fighting. You need to train your body to absorb the impacts of your opponent’s strikes and kicks.

Soft techniques, on the other hand, focus on your mind. Training your mind is very important because your mind is what sends the signals to your muscles that tell your body to fight. When your mind is perfectly conditioned you can perfectly execute the techniques that you have been practicing for so long.

Learn To Relax

Another benefit of the mind training is learning to relax. When I first started, being 6 feet 250 pounds, I tried to use my size to fight my way out of situations, especially when on my back. Big guys (anyone really, but especially big guys) hate to be on their backs. So, I would try with all my might to get people off me. Well, even smaller, less strong guys and women could hold me down.

All I succeeded in doing was wearing myself out with all the struggling. Had these been real fights I would have been exhausted and my attacker would easily beat me to a pulp. As my BJJ training progressed, I learned to relax when on the ground, save my energy, and either wait for or create the opportunities I needed to escape from, or “tap out,” my opponent.

Calm Your Mind

BJJ training also includes meditation. Meditation is a type of training that can help you program your mind. As you program your mind, you are increasing your chances of getting better results when it comes to the execution of techniques.


Additionally, meditation helps you calm your mind. Having a calm mind is essential for all martial artists. Make sure that your mind is at ease before going into the battle. In BJJ, you must also be disciplined to improve your fighting skills. All BJJ practitioners are taught to control their emotions and behaviors.

It’s Never Too Late To Start

So, in this article, I have shared the benefits I and many others have received as a direct result of practicing BJJ. If you think you are too old, you couldn’t be more wrong. I am 55 years old and have bad knees from many years of training, but I am still able to train in this great art three times per week.

It’s time for you to increase your ability to defend yourself by training in BJJ. Don’t worry about becoming a black belt; I have no desire for that. Just learn as much as you can. Even with six months to a year of regular BJJ training, you will change your body and your mind.

Gain the heart of a true warrior and practice the right techniques, but beware– you will only gain these benefits if you are willing to put forth the effort to push yourself during your BJJ training. It will be well worth it in the end.

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75 thoughts on “The Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu”

  1. Great article, and greater info.As well as being right. My experience tells me a well-rounded streetfighter and or survivor needs all three with a killer instinct that is well under control. without a mindset of being able to follow through with what you start will one day put you down.

  2. I do not know about the Brazilian Jiu – Jiysu. I was taught Jajanies JIu – Jiysu and that was back in the 1950’S. It consisted of basic Jiu – Jitsu then it got harder teaching us what we had learned with basic Jiu – Jitsu but addit a few extra moves that would leave the other person disabled or dead. Then they taught how to use a sword. We practice with wooden swords.

  3. I have learned Judo, Savate, and Self -defense and Close Combat in the military. Not US).
    Realized that Judo was best with Savate. Together, calm mind and spirit, has given me the opportunity to make the other person understand that I was not scared, was ready for them, with any weapon.
    My watch is a POUND of Steel, my pen is in my hand, my shoes are heavy, and if I have to get on, I am very quick still at my age. ( 68) (6’4″, same weight as when in the Army, 5 years)
    Most people realize it is better for them to walk away.

  4. I have studied Aikido several years ago under Sensei R. P Danza at the New Jersey Aikikai in Collingswood New Jersey. I Wrestled in Jr. High and High School, and my Father gave us the basics in boxing. It would be hard to decide, for stand up it would be one of these three. Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do or Wing Chun. For Ground either Jui Jitsu or Sambo. For weapons Kali, Escrima or Pentjak Silat. All of these styles may have Strikes, Locks, Counters and Ground fighting techniques as Aikido does. But to round out my Safety and Security, I would select a Combination of Martial Arts to Study. Wrestling and Boxing would be on that list also.

  5. Where can you find a Brazilizn jiu jitsu school. I was lucky. I was stationed in Japan. I trained in Judo, & Karate and Ninjitsu. Visited the Grand Master of Ninjitsu in Noda City & trained @ he KODOKAN in Tokyo. Also with Stephen K. Hayes t his dojo in Ohio.

  6. BJJ is a terrific art and extremely effective when done in a dojo. It loses something when done in reality which may mean grappling on macadam or concrete, or a glass strewn bar floor. Korean Hapkido works really well without going to the ground. Krav Maga also emphasizes letting your opponent go to the ground preferably with prejudice. An understanding of these two ” arts” can be preferable to BJJ. I always thought it was humorous when GM is referred to as an art. In reality, it is a destroying and killing system; nothing artful about it.

  7. Hi! My name is Dr. / Hanshi John E. Touchton Sr. and I am a 10th Degree Black Belt in both USA Goju Karate and Touchton Goju Karate. I was a student of O’Sensei Peter Urban for nearly 30 of the 50 or so years that I’ve taught and studied Martial arts. My Goju Hall Number is 340. I also study and teach Chi Yung Pai Gung Fu (under Sifu Ramon Nunez and Toyama Ryu Batto Jitsu (The Art of Drawing and Cutting with a Samurai Sword, Under Sensei Toshishiru Obatta in Los Angeles.. Those are my favorite three Martial Arts of all that I have studied over the years.

    I no longer teach Martial Arts because I have 100% Disability from the Veterans Administration for injuries received in the line of duty. I was a Captain, Airborne, Infantry, Sniper, in the U.S. A. R.

  8. Iv grabbled a bit, but never done jujitsu but I think it would be good to try it. All around skills are important because you don’t know what kind of situation you could end up in, and jujitsu kind of specializes in this. I tried aikido and learned how to reverse all types of grabs so I don’t have to think to much about what to do and how to get control, I still could use more training thoe. Thanks.

  9. Honest, intelligent & I mostly agree. But, I have to say, Jeet Kune Do is the only martial art that turns the human mind into a savage animal causing all your moves & strikes to snap from muscle memory.

  10. For standing systems I believe that Muay Thai gives you the strongest chance to maintain distance and inflict damage. I believe that wrestling is the best for being in control of where an altercation takes place. However the best defence of all is tactical awareness. Being cognizant of your surroundings with even a rudementary skill set can generally keep you out of the fight before it begins.

  11. My name is Malin Bey, I’m a Marine vet I teach muay Thai at a BJJ academy and at a Boxing gym in NYC. I am a student of Atienza Kali as well. I love the weapon skills of Kali combined with the stand up empty hand skills of muay Thai. My ground game is jiu jitsu based although the ground is’ not where I would want to be in a combat situation.

  12. I have been wanting to try learning some self – defence training for some time, I think I have the intangibles, I train a lot with my hands, by hitting the heavy bag and speed bag, shadow boxing, I took up karate when I was very young,I have always loved the discipline of the arts and wanted to pursue it in some form, then life happened.

  13. ..though I had taken up karate,practiced for a good no.of years; I am still sometimes in doubt whether my skill could sustain me enough in a real brutal steet fight..it_s been long since I heard the word krav mga,which fascinated my imagination as Israelis are known to be best in developing defensive science..already 60yrs but still as agile as cat..if I could find time,i’d train for the 3 arts of self-defense…tnxalot for these!!!..