Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has revolutionized the world of martial arts, but it also has some issues that top fighters like UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev point out.
First, BJJ focuses too much on ground fighting and not enough on takedowns and wrestling. Many BJJ practitioners spend years practicing submissions from the guard position on the ground but neglect learning how to effectively take an opponent down in the first place. This makes them vulnerable when actually fighting someone who has good takedowns and top control.
Second, the guard position can be limiting. While the guard offers many submission opportunities, it also confines you to the bottom where you have less control and mobility.
Renzo Gracie famously said “the guard is like being handcuffed to your opponent. Top position is where you can inflict the most damage and control the fight, so being overly reliant on the guard can be problematic.
However, when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is integrated with wrestling and sambo takedowns like Islam Makhachev advocates, it becomes a much more complete and effective martial art. The submissions, chokes, and joint locks of BJJ combined with top control from wrestling is a powerful combination, as we see with fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam himself.
So in summary, while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has revolutionized grappling, integrating other aspects of fighting like wrestling, takedowns, and top control can make it even more effective – especially at the highest levels of MMA competition.
Islam explains his point of view here: