How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu approaches self defense

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu follows a extensively tested self defense strategy that works very well for one on one physical contests and many self defense situations. It is such a successful strategy in fact that the original UFC was little more than a live infomercial for the Gracie family. The family actually started the event and entered one of their weaker, less experienced, family members, (Royce Gracie), in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the art. As a family, they didn’t just put Jiu Jitsu on the map, they put it on top of the martial arts hierarchy.

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 While our framework begins with self defense in mind we do not dwell on it long. Instead we revisit it at key intervals where you are most likely to integrate it with the strong technical base you will be building. Two concepts that make the strategy easier to understand are the positional hierarchy ladder and the idea of position before submission.


This is a categorization method used by Jiu Jitsu practitioners to qualify the general strength of their physical position relative to their partner. Each position has an opposite. The combination defines who is generally said to have the advantage. The primary objective of each position is to maximize safety and maintain the best base possible. Once that is obtained the goal is to methodically advance your position to a better position. The final objective is to finish your opponent.

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