Jiu-Jitsu: End the Controversy: Sport Vs. Self Defense

Photo by: Daniel Ray

As time passes, things either evolve or become non-existent. This is especially true with any kind of sports in how it is played, rules, techniques, and the individuals that play the game. Jiu-jitsu has evolved and has become more popular than it has ever been, so why are there different teams of sport and self-defense jiu-jitsu? Everything changes as time goes on, but we often look at the negatives to change rather than the positives to it. Let’s explore this.

In anything, you always hear about the negatives rather than the good (ex. Any kind of news outlet). All I hear about with sport jiu-jitsu is that it isn’t applicable to real life self-defense situations, and I agree with all of that, but who in their right mind is going to butt scoot in a fight? NO ONE! If they do, it is their and the instructor’s fault for giving them false assumptions that it would work in a street fight. If you have a good instructor, or if you have any kind of common sense, you don’t have to worry about it. No matter if you do self-defense or sport jiu-jitsu you are going to be better equipped to defend yourself against the average individual.

Just take a look at all of the success stories on this site from kids not getting bullied since they do jiu-jitsu, individuals with disabilities, and the social networking that goes on in our community. Look at how many women are now competing and are able to defend themselves in bad situations. I have heard countless stories of individuals that have lost weight, got off medications, and improved their health since starting jiu-jitsu. Would this be true if jiu-jitsu didn’t evolve into more of a sport that everyone could do and be more inviting as an art?

In a business sense, you have to appeal to the masses, and if you don’t, you won’t have a business for much longer. This is what sport jiu-jitsu has done, but the aspect of sport jiu-jitsu wouldn’t be here without the self-defense piece of it. Most of us are on the mats for the same reason as we need a break from reality while getting lost in the sport we all love, so there is no need to argue back and forth on the situation. Besides, as the Gracie’s say, “we don’t just teach people how to fight, we give people the confidence so they never need to.”


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