What Should Your Focus be if You’re Training BJJ Purely for Self Defense

What Should Your Focus be if You’re Training BJJ Purely for Self Defense

One can never necessarily be completely “ready” for a real self defense situation, however, we can increase our odds of surviving against a violent attacker by targeting certain moves, and training various types of martial arts. In a street fight, you should try to run away, use an improvised object for protection, or grapple. Here are some tips if your training focus is purely for self defense:


Depending on your schedule, if you have three or four days free in the week for BJJ, replace one or two of those sessions with kickboxing, boxing, or MMA. You can also look for a more traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school that is much focused on self defense. If you are already practising MMA, because you want to blend the ranges, you’ll be striking while grappling, going from striking to grappling and even defending against strikes while you’re grappling. Of course,  you’ll be doing BJJ on top of all of that. If you have limited time in the week to be training that much, focus your game solely on BJJ along with some good takedowns.  Practice closing the distance against strikes, which are effective moves for empty-handed self defense. Since all street fights begin from a standing position, you must be skilled in basic striking. But you don’t want to take the boxing to an extreme. Take your time with these moves, and practice them over and over again with different circumstances and situations, to prepare yourself for different scenarios.


When dealing with a street fight, it’s vital to have your wits about you. Never turn your back on your attacker, even if you have them down. And, protect your head at all times.


When encountering a self defense situation, it’s important to maintain and manage your distance from the fight. A good rule is to maintain your attacker at two arms’ lengths away. A good way to keep that person out of your safe zone, is by using a push kick. To execute a push kick, bend your knee up and push your foot on the attacker, like a hard jab in boxing or Muay Thai. This move helps you buy yourself a little time, and potentially gives the attacker a choice of ending the fight. Either way, the push kick can go to the stomach, the waist, or the knee.


Another self-defense move favored among instructors is the double leg takedown. Maintain your distance, wait for the aggressor’s push or punch to come, change levels, get your upper body under that punch, grab the legs, and take your opponent down to the ground.

The arm drag is also effective in a self defence situation. If the attacker puts his hands on you, grab their tricep with your hand, step in and pull them to the ground.


In a situation where your attacker has you pushed up against a wall, bring your shoulder to your chin and use your leg on the same side to pivot. Turn your body to the side and use your hand to grab their wrist and push them off. From there, you can take your opponent’s back.

If someone begins to grab you by the shirt or jacket, one arm is going to come inside and grab right above the wrist. In the same way you would hold a baseball bat, turn and step across the person’s body. Drop a little weight, and remember to hold your posture. Keep your back straight, and apply pressure to their elbow.

Jiu-Jitsu Based Self Defense Solutions by Eli Knight. Learn how to use BJJ for its most powerful use, protecting yourself from an attacker on the street.

BJJ Black Belt Eli Knight shows how to use BJJ for self defense in 8 volumes of dedicated real world situations.

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