The Not So Ugly truth About Jiu-Jitsu

In Jiu-Jitsu we learn a lot. We learn about the art and all of the many techniques it encompasses. We learn about all the great benefits it can offer us and how much better of a person it can make us. However we also learn some ugly truths about life from Jiu-Jitsu. We learn some things that many would rather not think about or acknowledge. We tend to live in a world where we like to focus on ideals and sometimes in Jiu-Jitsu things can’t be ideal. Here are the ugly truths we learn in Jiu-Jitsu

  1. It’s dam near impossible to get your black belt. If you look at the statistics, only a few percent of the people who begin training will ever reach black belt. On the surface this doesn’t seem so bad, but what if we compare this to other schooling? What if a universities dropout rate was 97%? This tends to really put into perspective what it takes to achieve that black belt.
  2. There will be blood, sweat, tears and injuries- All of the mentioned will occur and some will occur quite often. Most people would like to think the brutality is not necessary, but unfortunately this is the price for what we desire.
  3. You will be defeated by the small, un-athletic and by women- In Jiu-Jitsu technique concurs all and this will always be true. While large newbies may be able to survive a little longer, they are still easily dispatched by the veteran students, regardless of age, sex or athleticism.


  1. Complete horseshit.

    There are tons of black belts out there, most of which wouldn’t be able to defend themselves in a real street fight.

    All of this modern “jiu-jitsu” is watered down to a bullshit wrestling style and when you walk into a “school” the first thing they do is sit on top of you for 4 minutes and wonder why no one comes back.

    REAL Jiu-Jitsu, whether from Japan or Brazil, involves pure technique and skill. Not wrestling and playing with hands and feet all damned day.

    Jiu Jitsu isn’t about “blood, sweat, tears and injury”. It should be about self-defense and that’s it.

    I walked in as a white belt to a well known school recently. I’m trained in 3 other styles, always wanted to learn BJJ formally, but never had the chance. Two weeks ago, I took the plunge, threw on my old white belt and white gear, and headed off to the school for my free lesson.

    The first 10 minutes were great. Learned side control, mount escape and two submissions.

    After a brief rest the instructor teams me up with a blue belt. Very nice person, let me try out what I just learned, and even corrected me.

    Got to a white belt, and we basically rolled back and forth. Great.

    Now 45 minutes into it a couple of higher ranking belts, one purple, one black come to the front. The balck belt asks to roll with me which I was honored to do.

    Being from a martial arts background, I gave this guy the most respect that a beginner could, told him it would be an honor and I’m ready to learn whatever he was willing to show me, and that this was my first class.

    He smiled, told me to take the mount, and right when I was about to get his wrist he threw me to the right, slammed my head into the mat, and then laid on top of me while I was flat on my back.

    And continued to do this for 2 long minutes that felt like 10.

    I couldn’t breathe, I tried what I could, and realized I was useless. At one point I said to him, “I don’t know what to do.”

    His response, “I know. Just breathe.”

    Yeah, thanks teacher.

    The round ended and I thanked him and went right to instructor (brown belt) and asked what I did wrong.

    He says, “Nothing. Get used to learning how to breathe”.

    Now listen guys, I know how to fucking breathe. But when a guy sits on top of me and I can’t fucking punch him with my fist two inches from his face, or knee his ribs, it makes learning “Jiu-Jitsu” pretty useless.

    ESPECIALLY when I was not taught how to escape being sat on for 2 minutes.

    After class was over they asked how I liked it. I said not bad, but no one showed me how to escape that. Can someone show me now?

    “Sure, sign up for a month and you can come back tomorrow and we’ll show you how to get out”

    Yeah, right.

    This again was a well known school and respected in the lineage. What an unfortunate and disturbing experience into the world of BJJ. Especially from an academy holding the most prestigious name I could think of in the world of JJ, although none of the legends were actually there (Or their heirs).

    I’m a man. If I rolled with a woman, I’d have the respect to ease up if she asked, and turn it up if she felt comfortable.

    I hate some of the very stupid comments I’m reading here about “strength and size don’t matter blah blah blah” yeah ok buddy. Listen, if I sat on you and outweighed you by 50 pounds, you wouldn’t move me. If you sat on me and tried the same move, you’d get thrown off.

    Every time. JJ black belt or not.

    You modern BJJ guys need to check your egos at the door and respect those of us who have put in decades in other martial arts and never experienced grappling and are actually there to learn. You may be good on the mat when no punching, kicks or knees are allowed. But if I respect you for not allowing any strikes, you need to respect the fact that I’m new and will trust that you’ll teach me, not take advantage on my first (or even second or third) class.

    Don’t give BJJ a bad name. And don’t give me this superiority crap when I see guys and gals getting knocked out in the UFC constantly with kicks and punches with no chance of super BJJ moves.


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