The importance of Self-Defense

The global spread of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu gave our sport thousands of practitioners, which is surely great for everyone. Unfortunately, what did not grow in the same way was the importance linked to the basics of the gentle art.

In the 40s, the Grand Master Carlos Gracie created many challenges to present to the public the jiu-jitsu developed by him and his brothers. During these events, the bjj’s father would emphasize the importance of the self-defense and how it could make a difference in people’s lives.

While the gentle art has developed much more on the grounds, the four Gracie brothers prioritized the teaching of the self-defense against knives, guns and other dangerous situations that ordinary people could experience in their everyday lives.


The years have passed and a lot has changed about the teaching and propagation of this fight style created by Carlos Gracie. In addition to the Gracie Barra schools, many teams of different strains have emerged around the world. Similarly, competitions have also increased. That was a way to maintain the continuous growth of the fight, but in the sports realm. Medals and trophies have then become the priority. The basics and the self-defense portion were put in a second and third plan, if not excluded, in the practitioners’ lives.

That’s why you can still be surprised by seeing someone who claims to have “20 years of jj” not applying a correct choke from the mount. There are a number of people who get the black belt and keep making mistakes like that, and do not even know the minimum about self-defense.


At Gracie Barra we know how much the basics can make a difference. We have a curriculum specially designed for beginners, the GB¹, but not only for them. After all, the most senior artists who feel the need for also attending this course can surely do it.

Remember that all current techniques somehow originated from the basics, from the concept of defending yourself against aggressors. Knowing and understanding the basics is like having real knowledge of the gentle art’s history, and it allows you to not make mistakes based on previous experiences.

Think about that.