Is BJJ Effective in a Street Fight? Find out everything you need to know.

BJJ has some unique techniques which can prove to be effective. These can potentially be deadly but don’t have to. It has its limitations though which can prevent it from being effective in all street fights. However, putting together other techniques along with BJJ will be most effective for street fights.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very popular form of martial arts. In fact, it is one of the best martial arts in the world. It’s very effective when it comes to self-defense. It has a rich history where the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu in self-defense and MMA combats were proven and reaffirmed. However, is it effective for street fights? The answer would be yes to some extent. 

BJJ can be effective in street fights; there are some techniques that you can take advantage of. Though in some scenarios, BJJ won’t do you any good, which can be slightly problematic. In this article, we will further discuss the effectiveness of BJJ in a street fight from different perspectives. 

BJJ is a versatile combat sport that utilizes grappling, pressure points, submission holds, and chokes to defend against an opponent and put him to the ground. It allows a physically weak person to defend himself against a bigger and stronger opponent. So, regardless of strength and size, any person can learn BJJ

The effectiveness of BJJ in a street fight is mostly dependent on the opponent you are facing and the scenario. Let’s talk about particular scenarios where you will find BJJ useful and effective.

Bigger and Untrained Opponents 

BJJ works like magic when it comes to untrained opponents. Untrained opponents are not aware of any sort of fighting techniques. They don’t know when to strike, hence can’t take one down. If they are triggered, they are likely to go all offensive which you can capitalize and use their strength against them. You can either takedown or apply submission holds. In this case, takedowns will be the most effective. 

If the opponent is big or bulky, they might think that they have an upper hand because they are stronger. So, they will try to strike first which will allow you to use BJJ techniques. Even if the bigger opponent manages to take you down, it’s not the end. You can easily apply a submission to the attacker even if he is on the top. Techniques like triangle choke, kimura, and omoplata will be most effective in this situation. If you successfully manage to pull off a submission, your opponent will surrender in no time.

Increased Chance Against Strikers 

If your opponent starts to throw solid punches and fast kicks, there’s nothing to be worried about. You can perform almost any type of takedowns on them. You just need to be careful about the timing. If you can manage to pull off the perfect timing, your opponent will be down on the ground in no time. However, if your opponent still tries to fight after they are put to the ground, you can always try submissions and weaken them.

Effective BJJ Street Fighting Techniques 

BJJ has several techniques including striking and submission holds. If you want to learn BJJ, you will be needing to learn some of the essential techniques. The most effective techniques used in street fights are described below.

Double Leg Takedown

Double leg takedown is not necessarily a BJJ technique, but it’s essential for every BJJ student to learn during their training. Double leg takedown is very effective for street fights. The impact it causes is sufficient to put opponents of any size to the ground. Unlike a judo takedown, a Gi is not required. 

The Mount

After you have taken down your opponent, you can walk away. However, in a street fight, the opponent is less likely to stay down. They will try to fight again. In that case, you want to gain control over your opponent by being on top, because it gives you the best control and dominance over your opponent. If you maintain a higher mount, you will gain more control over your opponent and keep your knees with the armpit of your opponent. Use one arm to hold your opponent’s head or chest to the ground and use another arm to maintain balance with the ground. 

Getting Out of the Mount 

This is a very basic technique of BJJ. In case your opponent mounts, the first and the only thing you need to do is get out of the mount. By using this technique, you can easily get out of amount regardless of how big and heavy your opponent is. 

Rear Naked Choke

This is a very powerful submission move of BJJ. If you have taken down your opponent, you have the option to perform a submission technique to make your opponent surrender or put him to sleep. Using this technique, you just need to ensure that the choke is sufficient to make your opponent tap out. 


Limitations of BJJ in a Street Fight 

Though BJJ can be effective in street fights, there are several limitations for which BJJ may prove to be less effective.

Unlike a wrestling or boxing game, street fights have no rules and regulations. There are no time limitations and no one to stop. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that you will face a single opponent. You can be attacked by multiple opponents at once. 

In the case of more than one opponent, striking methods like kicking and punching are the most effective. However, jiu-jitsu practitioners lack the ability to throw a proper punch or kick because of lack of practice and Jiu-Jitsu not promoting it. 

However, a lot of martial arts enthusiasts also cross-train and learn other fighting styles. If you want to complement your BJJ self-defense techniques, even though most street fights end on the ground where you get the upper hand, why not look into adding some Muay Thai or other striking based styles?


To sum up, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be both effective and ineffective for street fights. It’s not recommended to rely solely on BJJ in street fights. It’s better to know other techniques as well as BJJ to encounter a street fight successfully.




I'm Timmy and I'm the chief-editor and co-founder of Jiu-Jitsu Street. You'll usually find me on the mats and also cross-training Muay Thai. Besides martial arts I'm also into functional fitness and all things health. Jiu-Jitsu Street was created to provide useful information for BJJ beginners and seasoned practitioners alike to help you on your journey and love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Oss!

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Jiu-Jitsu Street is a community of fun loving and hard rolling BJJ enthusiasts. Born out of our passion for the gentle art, we have decided to create this blog and help you on your journey. Let’s grow and learn together on this never-ending journey. Oss!

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