BJJ Doesn’t Work in Street Fights ("Never Go to The Ground!")

BJJ Doesn’t Work in Street Fights ("Never Go to The Ground!")
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“BJJ shouldn’t be used in a street fight”, “BJJ Doesn’t work in street fights.” I see this kind of stuff in comments and online all the time. I’m sure if you’re a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner you see it all the time too.

In the video I just wanted to share a few ideas to Chew on when talking about BJJ, grappling and street fights.

I also respond to a comment I got recently where someone said, “you never want to go to the ground in a street fight.”

And after watching the video, feel free to share your own opinion, experience or ideas about BJJ in a fight situation.

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About the Author: Chewjitsu


  1. So the defence for BJJ as a martial art is that people voicing critique are not fit enough? My grandfather was a Greco-Roman wrestler. You never see BJJ fighters as fit as classical wrestlers. And he was a bit troubled when he was young and used to fight a lot. He was training with several time olympian champ Ivar Johansson. And in his old age he had massive regrets about an extremely well trained guy that he almost killed because the fight ended up in a ditch and the guy that was underneath him ended up under water. My grand dad got out of his rage fit and managed to pull him up the very last second. Grand dad could have ended up in prison for life. He never fought anyone after that.

    There are several reasons martial arts chose pragmatic rules like "never end up on your back". Environment – like in the example above – is one. Classic Wrestling has its roots in warrior traditions. A police, a guard, a soldier always have a partner for a reason. If someone wrestles your partner to the ground someone will step in and end it all. That's why you do not want to be on your back when your life is threatened. It's simply pragmatics that starts with people trying to kill each other. On a street chances are the guy you pull down to a "guard" will have a friend with a knife. And then you have no more options, no where to go. You have locked yourself into your own death.

    If you stay on top on the groud – if the fight ends there – you still have the options. You are the person in control and BBJ try to sell the idea that being on your back is "in control". It is not. 2 persons on the ground means the top guy is able to get away and the guy on his back can't. Classical Wrestlers know this. Because its roots is in Martial Arts and not sports (MMA shows). Being on your back in classical wrestling is a loss. In BJJ it is called a guard even though you are completely unguarded but comes with a series of skillsets of how to turn the fight in this unguarded position.

  2. I've been in about a dozen street fights in my life and almost every single one of them went to the ground. Nobody knew BJJ or judo, but a few knew wrestling and it wasn't me. Guess who got dumped on their back? It stinks trying to use karate or boxing when a wrestler is on top of you Lol

  3. Agree, I do Judo, Randori every class without fail, 30mins at the end against 4-5 different opponents.
    Without thinking about it or trying too hard you would be surprised how accustomed you get to someone coming at you with 2 hands trying with their full might to floor you.
    That alone is worth a lot if you can fight them off.
    Personally Id be running away in the 1st case but if someone grabs me then I can't run so I have options with Judo / BJJ.
    ie floor them and back to plan 1 – running plan.. -:)

  4. Training stress is generally no where near the adrenaline dump you'll get when you're up against an attacker in a street fight where no rules exist. In that situation you better hit so fast, hard and accurate to a place that hurts your attacker or you could end up in the hospital or worse. I would never compare playing around in a gym to a street fight against a sociopath possibly wanting to take your life because there is no comparison.

    When I took BJJ I laughed because it's a joke compared to what I've faced in real fights.
    No way do I ever want to go the ground in the street because with the type of people crazy enough to try that most likely whoever they take to the ground has already been severely injured. I've known guy who landed one punch on another guy and broken his facial bones.

    Your gym training isn't replicating that scenario no matter how much you pressure test. Fights in my experience don't generally happen with both parties squaring off either. Usually fights happen when one guy decides to throw a punch when the other guy isn't expecting it or does something else messed up such as pushing someone down some stairs.

  5. In a street fight I am just a football lineman, not a practicioner anymore. I have experience as both. I could grapple, but it takes less energy to just block them violently.

  6. Wouldnt it be better to know how to swim if you’re going to be around the water? You may say you’re not going to fall in, but if you somehow end up in the water, wouldnt it be nice to know what to do to get out? Just sayin…

  7. It's the best in a street fight what dummy would say that it's the only art that let's you control your opponents body better than that can control their own body. No art is made for multiple appointments. But njj would still be the best for more than one person u can use the person as a shield I would easily beat 2 or 3 people at once using bjj people that don't know anything saying it. I wanna be on the ground

  8. Anyone that thinks a fight won't go to the ground doesn't know anything about fights. I mostly studied martial arts on my feet, but that's because I have years of wrestling and am already comfortable on the ground.

  9. So true. Simply having a big gas tank and BJJ conditioning can win you a street fight against an average untrained person who’s just gonna throw hands willy-nilly and gas themselves out after 30 seconds.

  10. Facts. This is what many black belts say. They don't wanna F around. Got space, good, now I'm gone.

  11. I think Sambo is better for the street. I trained Greco Roman Wrestling, Sambo Tangsoodo & Systema. Actually on the street i mix in Systema & Sambo. God bless 🙏🥋

  12. I wrestled over 1/2 my life, state titles and all that. I remember getting my ass whooped in a fight at school. Once it was broke up, and we were in the principals office, they seperated us, and my reading teacher, mr Logan pulls me a side and says, got your ass kicked huh? Why did you stand toe to toe? Your a wrestler not a boxer. If you would of just got hand control he wouldn't of been able to hit you. Keep your calm next time, and treat them like a match. Never lost a fight after that. And i had quite a few.

  13. Finally someone has said this on a video. I've been saying it in comments for years and getting ignored. Fact is, most people who make videos and comment on videos have never been in a street fight and probably never will. You cannot wrestle around on the floor in a street fight, you need to be on your feet and moving at all times.

  14. I was trained to use this technique. "Almost all of this fight stuff is nonsense if I get attacked first thing I'll try is sticking my finger in their eye. Once they are blind you have the upper hand. If they close and don't have both my arms held they will lose one or two eyes. After that 5-50 kicks or stomps to the head. If you find you are getting tired then just drop your knee to their skull 5-10 times. If they have stopped breathing for 10 minutes or more then you stop or if the blood splatter covers 15 or more square feet and is an estimated 5-8 liters you are good. Then dial 911. If they are unconscious then you find an object and crush both their kneecaps and elbows and by crush I mean the bottom of the leg and arm is no longer attached to the top. What this does is help the next victim defend themselves, since most people in wheel chairs without arms pose little threat. Especially when they are also blind. But always remember to call 911 you don't want to be accused of not helping. "

  15. I once saw a speech from one of the Gracies explaining why BJJ is the best martial art for street self defense. He said that 95% of fights end up on the ground. This is a very obvious statement, and still it struck me a lot. I had never thought about it, but it's true. Unless you're able to knock-out the other guy, the fight is going to move onto the ground. And so, if you know BJJ, the master martial art when it comes to ground fighting, you are the king, you're safe.

  16. Nonsense, my older brothers and friends used to get into fights with other groups of guys and EVERY one of them ended up on the ground.

  17. I think you nailed it. You don't want to go to the ground, but if you can't grapple then what's keeping you from going there? Better to be trained in case it does go there or how to defend it. I've trained and competed in wrestling, BJJ, and muay thai. I'm currently developing my own fighting system designed for street fighting. Basics from all three styles that will prep you to hit high percentage simple techniques in striking and grappling from all positions while accounting for the reality of concrete, weapons, and multiple attackers. Train more than one style and learn that de-escalation is your friend.

  18. Bjj no doubt of being superior than any other martial arts on the ground. I find judo being very effective in a street fight self-defense situations. If someone is wearing a jacket, the fight is pretty much over with a good throw on concrete. Sadly to say judo didn't evolve like bjj in mma world, but in my opinion, Judo is better for self-defense .

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