BJJ and Street Fights: Why Most UFC Champions are Not Black Belts
If you go down the list of UFC titleholders and contenders, the majority of them are not Jiu-Jitsu specialists. There are more wrestlers, kickboxers, all around fighters than there are Jiu-Jitsu fighters and for those of us who remember the early to mid 90s when BJJ reigned supreme, we can ask ourselves: did Jiu-Jitsu stop working? The answer in plain and simple terms: NO! Check out one of our other articles "Is BJJ The Most Effective Martial Art For Self-Defense?"
So what happened? The answer now is very clear: Jiu-Jitsu is more prevalent than ever. Every high level fighter knows it to some degree. The early UFCs established that a submission grappler will beat someone with zero grappling experience virtually every time. However, when a guy gets to a certain level – say purple belt or 5 years of experience, he knows how to stay out of a lot of submissions and is hard to catch by surprise. So even if he were to fight a world champion in Jiu-Jitsu as a purple belt he would almost always lose in a Grappling or Jiu-Jitsu match – and would probably get tapped. But… If that purple belt is also an NCAA All American wrestler or an elite kickboxer, he may beat the world champion in Jiu-Jitsu in MMA because he know how to stay out of submissions and will be able to get the fight back to where he feels more comfortable. In Jiu-Jitsu or MMA, the guy who wins is the guy who can force his opponent to compete where he is strong. As a bonus for reading check out this arm bar from arguably the best Jiu Jitsu fighter in MMA ever, Demien Maia!
Examples of BJJ working in the Streets
So back to the original question: does BJJ still work in the street? For sure. If you have reached the level or blue or purple belt in BJJ and are wondering how a street fight would go, rather than getting yourself arrested: look up “Early UFC” on Youtube and like the street you’ll see Royce and Rickson Gracie fighting guys who were athletic but had no idea of what Jiu-Jitsu even was. It was a slaughter. John Danaher, the mad genius instructor at Renzo Gracie in NYC, trainer to many UFC stars including Chris weidmann and a former bouncer himself has called winning streetfights “embarrassingly easy.” If you do want to make sure you are equipped to handle a street fight, be sure to train some takedowns and maybe have some of the white belts put on some 16 oz. boxing gloves – it will sharpen your reflexes for sure and you won’t get hurt.
If you are curious about Self Defense for BJJ: Check Out Chad Lyman’s course here: Chad is a BJJ Black Belt, SWAT Team Member and Self Defense Trainer.His DVD is one of our top selling products here at BJJ Fanatics.
Just make sure you don’t pull guard and buttscoot after an opponent in a street confrontation – that sort of thing is frowned upon…
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