What Are The Disadvantages Of BJJ?

BJJ proved it effectiveness in fighting in UFC 1 when Royce Gracie defeated fighters from all styles. BJJ continues to be used effectively in the UFC with 18% of fights ending via submission. The sport has been exploding in popularity with a sharp increase in participants and athletes now being able to earn respectable prizes at tournaments. However BJJ still has a number of disadvantages that we will explore.

What are the disadvantages of BJJ? The disadvantages of BJJ are that the sport is expensive ($120-$200 per month), has limited application in self defense (no striking, poor takedowns), its effectiveness in MMA is declining (wrestlers dominate BJJ based athletes). BJJ can lead to serious and chronic injuries particularly to the back and neck.

Is BJJ Worth It?

Is BJJ worth it? Yes, BJJ is worth it. Even though the sport is expensive and can set you back between $120-$200 per month, BJJ is a great hobby which can help you stay fit, teach you how to defend your self, give your life direction and can be a great place to meet people and make friends.

Obesity is a health crisis in America as 70% of adults are either obese or overweight. This extra weight puts you at risk of many health conditions and will shave years off your life expectancy. BJJ is a great way to lose weight. BJJ is an intensive anaerobic workout where you can expect to burn 500-700 calories per hour. BJJ is such great fun that it doesn’t even feel like you are working out. BJJ is also addictive so you won’t have a problem training multiple times a week. Combined with a healthy diet BJJ will put you on the fast track to shedding those excess pounds.

Many people are wading through aimlessly through life. They have found themselves on paths they aren’t particularly happy with but feel unsure how to change the course of their lives. BJJ can be catalyst that can help you steer your life onto a track you are proud. BJJ will help you develop confidence. It can be pretty intimidating turning up to your first BJJ class and then continuing to go even though you know you are going to struggle and get beat up.

BJJ will teach you to be more aggressive and chase the things you want. To excel in BJJ you need to be aggressive and impose your game on your opponent. You have to take action pass your opponent’s guard and get submissions.

BJJ will show you that through hard work and effort you can go from a novice to an expert. Many people are convinced they can’t get good at things and that people are either born talented or not. BJJ will show you that you can make giant progress with just effort and consistency.

It can be difficult to make new friends in modern society particularly as an adult. People are very busy with their careers and families. BJJ attracts a wide range of characters can be a great place to meet people you wouldn’t ordinarily cross paths with. At BJJ people are forced for 1-2 hours to put down their phones and interact with each other in a close contact and sometimes intimate setting. This provides a great environment to get know to people and forge new relationships.

How much would you pay to lose weight, learn how to fight and make some friends? I think for all those benefits BJJ is worth the high price.

Is BJJ Good For Self Defense?

Is BJJ good for self defense? BJJ is good for self defense as it teaches you how to control your opponent through grappling techniques. BJJ teaches you submissions which can be used to quickly end a fight. However BJJ does not teach takedowns to a high level and there is no striking in BJJ both of which are very important in a self defense scenario.

The Gracies have shown that BJJ is good for self defense in their challenge matches which they hosted over the years. For years the Gracies had an open challenge to anyone who thought they could defeat them. The Gracies would fight anyone who would come to their gym. They recorded many of these fights, please see the video below:

BJJ is good for self defense because it allows you to win a fight without hurting your opponent. This is very important in America where you could face jail time or a large civil suit if you hurt someone in a fight even if they started it. Other martial arts particularly striking sports do not allow you to win a fight without inflicting damage on your attacker. Many people have died from being punched and then falling and knocking their head against concrete. You do not want to ruin your life over a stupid bar fight.

BJJ is good for self defense because people do not how to defend against the common techniques used in BJJ. BJJ techniques have been designed to be effective against grappling experts. If BJJ techniques work against trained athletes then they become much more effective against untrained attackers. A drunk brawler will be entirely clueless how ended up going from throwing a wild punch to being choked unconscious within a few seconds.

Even though BJJ is good for self defense it has some pretty severe limitations. BJJ is not effective against multiple attackers. BJJ takes your entire focus to control and submit a single opponent. While you are engaged with one attacker other attackers can easily overwhelm you. BJJ is primarily a ground fighting martial art. You do not want to be on the ground when facing multiple opponents as they could come up behind you and start kicking you in the head. Boxing is superior to BJJ when it comes to defending yourself against multiple attackers as a boxer can quickly knock out or keep attackers at bay with quick rapid strikes.

BJJ is a grappling art but takedowns are not emphasized. This reduces the effectiveness of BJJ in a street fight as most BJJ techniques take place on the ground and if you can’t get your opponent to the ground you can’t use your BJJ skills to win. BJJ enthusiasts admit that wrestlers are far better at takedowns than BJJ athletes but they argue that you do not need a high level of takedown expertise to throw an attacker to the ground. This may be true but crazy things can happen in a fight and if you are BJJ athlete you want to be confident that you could easily takedown any person in an altercation no matter what the circumstances.

BJJ has no striking. In most fights striking will occur. BJJ athletes are not prepared to face an attacker who is throwing strikes. Strikes result in many BJJ techniques being ineffective and dangerous. Strikes also change the range that a fight takes place. Many BJJ athletes will accidentally stand within striking range putting them at of getting knocked out. If you don’t training with strikes you can not be expected to react well when you face an attacker who is trying to knock you out.

Does BJJ Work In MMA?

Does BJJ work in MMA? BJJ does work in MMA however its effectiveness is declining as MMA athletes have developed strategies to neutralize BJJ. Strikes in MMA also make it harder for BJJ athletes to use their submission skills. MMA rules also reduce the effectiveness of BJJ as fighters are stood up and judges score the fighter on top favorably. 

A large portion of Royce Gracie’s success was based on the fact that the other fighters had no idea what submissions were and how they worked. In BJJ it is much easier to defend than attack. This is why MMA athletes have been so successful in developing strategies which have reduced BJJ’s effectiveness in MMA.

MMA fighters have developed excellent takedown defense. If they are facing a BJJ expert they will simply not takedown their opponent and defend against any takedown attempts. This will render BJJ useless as it relies on taking the fight to the ground to be implemented.

MMA fighters will also refuse to pass guard. They will sit in an opponent’s half guard and just punch and elbow their opponent. This makes it very difficult to use BJJ from this position. There are very strikes and sweeps which can be effectively used against an athlete with a strong base punching you in the face while they squash your half guard.

Strikes make it much harder to use BJJ. There is a famous saying, you punch a black belt he becomes a brown belt you punch him again he becomes a purple belt. It is difficult to execute BJJ techniques when you are getting concussed. Many BJJ techniques are not effective when strikes involved because they expose you to getting knocked out. You do not want to be sweeping from deep half in an MMA fight if you want to remember your birthday and value your brain cells.

MMA rules have been designed to reduce the effectiveness of BJJ and promote the effectiveness of striking. Fighters will be forced to stand up if there is not sufficient action on the ground. It can take a long time to successfully takedown an opponent and then begin setting up submissions. BJJ athletes do not have a lot of time to work work on performing their techniques before a referee will force them to stand up.

An athlete in MMA is not forced to engage with a downed opponent. If a BJJ athlete pulls guard and their opponent disengages the BJJ athlete will be forced to stand up.

MMA rounds make it harder for BJJ fighters. Many athletes are in trouble on the ground, can’t get up, trapped in mount or in back control are minutes or seconds away from a submission only to be saved by the bell. After the round ends the fight commences with both athletes standing and the athlete who was trapped on the ground is rewarded with a free escape.

BJJ is still effective in MMA with 18% of UFC fights ending in submission and all top MMA fighters training in the martial art. However MMA fighters have developed effective strategies aided by the rules of MMA to reduce the the effectiveness of BJJ.

Why Does Wrestling Beat BJJ?

Why does wrestling beat BJJ? Wrestling beats BJJ because wrestlers can decide where the fight takes place, either standing or on the ground. Wrestlers have developed an effective strategy of pinning BJJ fighters in half guard and raining down punches. Wrestlers have learned how to avoid being caught in submissions, it is very hard to submit a high level wrestler with an intermediate knowledge of BJJ.

Is BJJ Worth The Injuries?

Is BJJ worth the injuries? Yes, BJJ is worth the injuries. 85% of people who have trained BJJ for at least 1 year have suffered an injury. However do not worry over 90% of those injuries were minor and did not require medical treatment. BJJ has a very low injury rate of 9.2 per 1000 exposures. BJJ is 3 times safer than Judo which has an injury rate of 25.2 per 1000 exposures.


BJJ is a great sport but there are quite a few disadvantages. BJJ is much more expensive than a regular gym membership or even your local wrestling, boxing and Judo gym. BJJ has some severe limitations when it comes to its effectiveness for self defense (poor takedowns, no striking). In BJJ injuries are common and many athletes suffer from chronic neck and back injuries which can have a significant impact on your life’s quality

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