One of the reasons why many people start training in martial arts is to learn how to defend themselves. Nobody wants to be caught in a situation where they are physically helpless. However, there are a lot of martial arts which are ineffective in a street fight is BJJ one of them?
Will BJJ Help Me In A Street Fight?
BJJ will help you in a street fight as it will teach you how to control and submit an attacker. However, in a street fight, you should avoid going to the ground as this makes you vulnerable. It is best to use standing submissions and takedowns to defeat an attacker.
BJJ is an interesting martial art. The techniques obviously work as they are tested constantly in full contact sparring, competitions, and MMA. However, all these competitions have strict rules on what athletes are allowed to do which definitely makes BJJ seem more effective than it really is.
For example, in MMA the fight takes place 1V1 on a padded surface. Fighters are not allowed to bite, grab the genitals or attack the eyes. Also, fighters are tested for diseases. All of these rules and conditions make going to the ground and using BJJ techniques highly effective.
Street fights are another story. In a street fight, anything goes. You will be typically fighting on a hard surface such as concrete and there is no limit to what your attacker or his friends may do to you including using weapons or biting you. In this situation going to the ground with an attacker is not a wise move. As you are busy fighting one guy his buddy could very easily come up behind you and without you knowing punt you in the head leaving you unconscious.
Situational awareness and the ability to move are so important in a street fight. Going to the ground puts you at a severe disadvantage as you are unable to control your opponent, see other attackers or maneuver out of the situation.
If you were standing you would have a better chance of keeping an eye on multiple attackers and could more effectively disengage and escape by simply running away.
So if BJJ has so many disadvantages in a street fight why do I still think it is an effective martial art? There are ways to modify BJJ to make it highly effective in a street fight.
The best way to use BJJ in a street fight is to get behind your opponent and take their back in the standing position. To do this you can use an arm drag, snapdown, or bear hug and move around to the back. Once you are behind your attacker and are clinching them you then can apply a standing rear naked choke. If you know how to perform this move properly which any seasoned BJJ athlete should then you can quickly choke unconscious your attacker in seconds.
By taking an opponent’s back there is very little offense they can do and many will be totally in a panic. They can’t punch or kick you. This places you in a superior position to quickly defeat and neutralize them.
This sequence of techniques are all found in BJJ and are fundamental moves. The great thing about these techniques is that they are easy to learn and do not require strength or athleticism to perform. They are also not taxing on the body so you don’t need UFC level cardio to pull them off.
Another effective way to use BJJ in a street fight is to submit your attacker with a standing guillotine. A guillotine is essentially a headlock where you use the bone of your wrist and forearm to quickly choke someone unconscious. To get an attacker into this submission you need to break their posture and wrap your arm around their neck.
Fortunately, this is pretty simple to do on an untrained attacker. You can snap down your opponent and pull on the back of their head. Once their head is pulled down you can quickly wrap your arm around their exposed neck and start squeezing.
Another way to secure their head is to establish an underhook by putting your arm under their armpit. You then pull the attacker down or in a circle and with your free arm you pull on their head. Once their head is looking down you can wrap your arms around it. The rule is as long as you can see the top of your attacker’s head you can attack a guillotine.
By avoiding the ground but still using fundamental BJJ techniques you can be highly effective in a street fight and have enough skills to defeat an untrained attacker.