The More Things Change . . .

In the last several years, the sporting aspect of Brazilian jiu-jitsu has seen many innovations in terms of positions and techniques that utilize the lapel and different gi grips. Several new guards “Worm guard” and “Mantis” guard were introduced in competitions. Moves colorfully named “Kiss of The Dragon” have become well-known.

In the no-gi rules competitions the leg lock masters have been very successful at winning the professional prize money, and jiu-jitsu will no doubt evolve further in that direction as well.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same when it comes to BJJ used in a real fight against untrained opponents.

When the Gracie family put out the “Gracies In Action” videos depicting challenge matches between Gracie jiu-jitsu and other martial arts, it revealed to the world that there was a predictable sequence of events in the majority of fights. Quickly the fights would end up on the ground. The BJJ fighter would take a mount, drop some strikes causing the untrained person to give their back and get choked with the rear naked choke.

It is a well-defined and predictable pattern that BJJ students can study drill and prepare for. Despite all of the innovations in the other branches of the BJJ tree, this pattern remains the same.

I was reminded of this by watching another one of the those “BJJ guy vs Street Fighter” YouTube videos where the “street fighter” comes out swinging wildly and is soon tapping to a rear naked choke. We have witnessed this outcome in a fight between a BJJ practitioner and an untrained “street fighter” enough times to predict that this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Here is a great example of the type of fight we are talking about. There is some striking in the fight, but the conclusion is right out of those old black and white, Gracies in Action videos.

Want to be prepared for a real fight? The formula is straightforward: clinch to takedown, control the mount, and sink the rear naked choke when the opponent gives their back.

Read also: The Top 4 Bjj Self Defence Techniques You Should Know


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