Joe Rogan: ‘It’s Almost Disrespectful, In Some Ways, To Call A Jiu-Jitsu Match A Fight’

Joe Rogan — UFC color commentator and BJJ black belt — does not think that a jiu-jitsu match counts as a fight.

He said so in his latest interview with Tom Papa on The Joe Rogan Experience:

“Jiu-jitsu is not fighting because you’re not hitting each other,” he told Papa.

Rogan went on to say:

So, you’ve got a jiu-jitsu match, for sure. Not really a fight because you can’t get leg kicked, you can’t get elbowed in the face, you’re not going to get kneed into a coma, it’s a totally different experience than a fight, and it’s almost disrespectful, in some ways, to call a jiu-jitsu match a fight. But other people like to refer to it as a fight. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What do you think of Rogan’s opinions. Does competing in jiu-jitsu constitute fighting, is it simply a match, or does it really matter?


  1. I am not sure that I follow the logic here.

    Boxing is considered a fight but you can’t get choked out or thrown on your head. A clinch is kind of a safe space in boxing. In grappling it’s the worst place to be.

    Everything has it’s rules. In MMA you can’t get hit with a baseball bat or stabbed with edged weapons. It’s still a fight.

    From my point of view, if I have an opponent that is physically trying to make me do something that I don’t want to do, that’s a fight.

  2. Not to attack anyone but Cory you are absolutely wrong here. Football for instance, is a very physical will opposing game where 2 teams put on Armour and go out and absolulty attack one another is that a fight?Basketball, you back a man/woman down post up, spin move, real physical contact, is that a fight? BJJ and wrestling are along the same line of contact is that a fight? Boxing is a fight because the intent is to go out and hurt the other person, go out there take them out, KO, tko, judges decision. MMA is a fight for the reason Joe Rogan states. A MAN with a BJJ black belt should know what he’s talkin about when it comes to these things

  3. You wrote 5 sentences and a “quote” well six if you count your click bait title. Link to the podcast at the time when he starts talking about it. He doesn’t just mention bjj

  4. No problem Saxton, I appreciate the input.

    Football is an interesting analogy. Is it a fight? Not really. The goal isn’t to necessarily to attack the person as much as it is to score points by getting the ball across the line.

    Is wrestling a fight? I’d argue… yes. I am attacking the person with the hopes of physically subduing them. The necessity for a broken nose from strikes isn’t necessarily a qualifier for me.

    That’s cool though, everyone has their opinion and I respect it. No worries!

    • The difference I see in a fight is the ability to hurt someone into stopping the contest. You don’t do that in wrestling or bjj unless they just don’t care to tap. Trying to make someone do what they don’t want to happens in every sport match. Trying to hurt someone into not being able to continue is a fight.

      • But in BJJ you ARE trying to hurt someone into not being able to continue. If I break your arm, or choke you out, I win. You can’t continue (let’s not argue about the freaks who will keep going with a broken arm.) But you know what, we’ll make it easy on you. If you don’t want me to do that you can tap out and I’ll stop. And there IS a corollary in boxing. When your corner throws in the towel.

  5. The point Joe is trying to make is you’re not really trying to hurt your opponent so it doesn’t really count as a fight. Boxing is considered a fight cuz you’re trying to put hurt on your opponent knock him out. A wrestling match is also not really a fight if it’s just wrestling you’re just trying to win on points not actually hurt your opponent.
    That is simply the point he’s trying to make, the way I interpret it.

  6. And the damage that can be received in a striking match versus a grappling match isn’t even comparable.
    So I don’t see nothing wrong with his statement and why do people always need to find ways to disagree and philosophize over things even when it isn’t necessary?
    There are many things Joe says I disagree with but this one he does make a good point.

  7. You could make the argument that all sports any kind of competition between humans is fighting each other. Depends on how you want to define the meaning of the word…
    But what I’m trying to say is that I don’t see anything wrong with this particular statement of his.

  8. I kind of contradicted myself in that last comment for the sake of being specific and clear what I’m trying to say is I don’t see how this particular statement he made isn’t true.
    I’m on a long drive while typig this, and I’m bored.

  9. Interesting comments both from Rogan and all others. I kind of understand Rogans “consept” or thoughts, still I find it a bit odd. Ok, so if the thing is that you have to have the intention of hurting someone to call it a fight, then BJJ is AS much of a fight as boxing. Look at the techniques. Take a choke. The full extention of a choke is death. You kill the guy if you choke him and he does not tap out or the referee don’t stop you. An armbar is locking a joint, if not tapped out or stopped by the referee or you, the poor guys arm can break. When I fight I go into the fight with the “mindset” to hurt the guy. The rules do not allow me to strike or kick, so I have to hurt him with my grappling skills. When a special forces operator sneakes up behind an enemy and choke a guy to he dies to be undetected, it is not a fight (for life and death) just because he don’t strike? (I know the example is a bit extreme, but you catch my drift?) Rogan can mean what he wants, but this time I disagree a bit.

  10. What so it’s only a fight if you win by strikes? If I ko someone from a strike or choke them unconscious what’s the difference? Granted the ko from strikes looks more violent but the end result is the same.
    Also u am 100% trying to make my opponent uncomfortable and in pain when grappling so to me it’s a fight I just choose to win in a different way.

  11. I really don’t think it matters what you call it. Everyone knows what it is. It’s a contest that only deals with one aspect of fighting. Boxing and kickboxing are the same. Call it what you will.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here