Is BJJ Effective In A Street Fight?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best grappling martial arts in the world. You can win professional fights with just this one skill but in a street fight, there are no rules. There are dozens of variables that you have to account for.

Let’s now look whether BJJ is a good choice for a street fight. There are four possibilities. You can fight on the ground, in the clinch, against a striker, or versus multiple attackers.

Fighting Off Your Back

BJJ is very effective against larger (untrained) opponents.

There are no weight classes in the street. Most street fights devolve into a grappling match at some point. A larger opponent might think they have the upper hand by taking you down but…

You remember Royce Gracie, who squared off against Dan Severn, and forced him to tap out at UFC 4? If you do, then you know BJJ fighters love being on their back.

So, the bully took you down. You can attempt and finish Omoplata, triangle choke, armbar, Kimura, or even perform a submission switch. It is outstanding, as your attacker will be shocked when he starts crying in the top position.

This is a big plus for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu–when somebody throws you on the ground, canvas, or even concrete, the fight is not over, you can escape, or even pull a submission off!

Calm, Cool and Collected

Bullies will mostly try to scare you off with pushing, yelling and general aggressive behavior, but because you’re used to sparring (rolling) multiple times per week with full strength, you’ve learned to be calm and collected during a confrontation.

This is helpful when attempting diffuse the situation or recognizing when the situation is heading for an inevitable physical conflict.

Good Chance Against Strikers

Martial artists rarely fight in the street. People who attack you usually know how to throw wild hay-makers and not much else. This gives you an easy advantage in using a basic take down so you bring the fight to your arena.

If a good puncher or kicker is taken down, he is on your home court. This significantly changes the situation, allowing you to work from full or side mount, north-south position, side control, etc.

You can restrain a person with limited physical harm from a lot of positions on the ground, and at worst you can safely put them to sleep if restraining them is not working.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is generally good against strikers as long as you don’t allow them to hurt you off the distance.

Multiple Attackers–The Weak Side Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an outstanding martial art, but when you square off against many thugs, this changes the game.

You have a much higher chance of taking out multiple attackers with a striking art like boxing or muay thai, but it is still a massive disadvantage.

The basic rule in such situations is to basically get the hell out of there. Even if you finish one opponent on the ground, the other can soccer kick you.

Now an advantage you will have is when you get taken down and you notice a group running up on you or crowding you, your ability to escape off the ground and not be held down is an invaluable asset in helping you to get up and run from the situation.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters are not masters of striking, so this lovely martial art is not good against multiple attackers.

The Bottom Line

Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu is highly effective in a one on one situation, especially if your opponent is untrained.

Many aspects of training BJJ – like the stamina and calm cool collected demeanor you gain from regularly sparring at full strength are super valuable in tense situations.

And of course, against multiple attackers, you should always opt to run away. BJJ is helpful in that you can’t be held to the ground if you’re caught by one person so you have a higher chance of escaping in certain situations.