Master Carlos Gracie Jr.'s Philosophy on Jiu-jitsu Self Defense

“Nowadays, words on the streets and internet, everyone wants sometimes to emphasize something and say that there are 2 types of jiu-jitsu. The self defense jiu-jitsu and the sport jiu-jitsu.

I think this is a little bit of fantasy from people wanting to divide jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is only one thing. When someone walks into an academy, and they didn’t know jiu-jitsu, they will learn a jiu-jitsu style that teaches how to defend themselves from an aggressor on the streets. What would be the most common attacks that could happen on the streets and in everyday life.

This would be the self defense side, the name people give to this, to give some more significance. They name it self defense, jiu-jitsu self defense.

At the beginning, you start learning all the basic positions, the most basic positions inside jiu-jitsu. Then you start to develop your jiu-jitsu knowledge and you start to practice jiu-jitsu with other partners that also know jiu-jitsu and are not beginners anymore.

So jiu-jitsu training starts between these two,  with other different partners, then for that they call sport jiu-jitsu.

From my point of view, everything is the sport jiu-jitsu, everything is the self defense jiu-jitsu. Because you will already be in a second level, you already learned jiu-jitsu, and now you are learning how to practice your self defense jiu-jitsu with someone who knows jiu-jitsu as well.

Then you deepen your understanding of jiu-jitsu. How are you going to mount on a jiu-jitsu practitioner that knows the defenses, that has a good guard, that won’t let you mount on him? You will have to create technical resources to overcome his defense, to go for the mount on this individual.

In the case of jiu-jitsu that people call self defense, when you learn in class, you learn how to mount on an ordinary person. You learn how to mount on a layman and this person won’t know how to defend from the mount. But a technical jiu-jitsu practitioner, graduated, he knows the defenses and won’t let you mount because he will know all the  defenses. Then you will have to find a way to circumvent all of this. You will have to create positions, to go for the mount on that person.

This jiu-jitsu is a self defense jiu-jitsu in a higher level because if it happens on the streets, this person from self defense (that you learned in those very first classes) also be a guy that learned jiu-jitsu before and won’t let you mount. You have created enough techniques to rip off the defense and mount.

So for me, ALL the jiu-jitsu is just one thing. There’s no separation!”

Here is a look at a fundamental jiu-jitsu technique that works well both for street situations and sport competition.
Bloqueio dhe e Soco e Cinturada Tradicional

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Self Defense

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ