How To Answer Common Objections Against Jiu Jitsu


Today I want to talk about some common objections people bring up against Jiu-Jitsu that she might run into on the Internet.

Objection 01: Other Martial Artists Do Not Train In Jiu-Jitsu

Honestly I think, these are just excuses that other martial artists do not recommend training in Jiu-Jitsu. Part of the problem is that Jiu-Jitsu really works. And it’s a real scientific proving ground. When you get on the mat those mats don’t lie. You know what I mean. You get out there when the guy you start rolling around, he gets you an arm bar, you have to tap. There’s no doubt about who won. He just beat you. He could have just killed you with his body. You know what I mean. You have to admit that when you tap out.

So, Jiu-Jitsu takes a lot of humility and, in my personal opinion, a lot of other martial artists have worked their way up a long time. They’ve been working up to black belt in karate or black belt on this or whatever. So they have a lot of pride. Maybe they have a big following as a school and so for them to want to get out there on the mat and get against someone who’s been training six months in Jiu-Jitsu and get tapped out, it can easily happen. I think someone who’s been training in Jiu-Jitsu six months can tap out a black belt, can beat a black belt in another karate styles and stuff. And so that can happen.

For that reason, you know, a lot of those guys from other martial arts, they don’t want to train in Jiu-Jitsu because they don’t want to expose themselves to that. For this reason, I think, people come up with a lot of objections as to why you should not train Jiu-Jitsu. I just want to talk about these so you may contrast them what I’ve said – why Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art in the world for self-defense.

Objection 02: Jiu-Jitsu Is Not The Answer Against Multiple Opponents?

First one is; what about multiple opponents? Many guys, you’re going to get your Jiu-Jitsu out, and start grappling many guys, and when that doesn’t seem very practical, you’re going to roll around the ground with one guy, other guys in a cup and kick you in the head. What about that? And the answer here is that no martial art works well against multiple attackers. That’s just not, I think, the purpose of empty hand martial arts. Sure it can help a little bit but you can’t rely on empty hand fighting skills when it comes to multiple tactics. The only martial art that works against multiple opponents is run-foo, run away. You’ve got to get away.

I don’t care what style you train in; kickboxing, crowd manga, combative whatever you do the best thing to do against multiple attackers is to get away, run away and you just don’t want to stay and fight. And yeah I know that there are YouTube videos out there of guys knocking dudes out. You know, one guy is facing three guys and bam bam bam knocks out three guys. That’s the exception. That’s not what usually happens.  What usually happens is they pile on and you’re on the bottom. So, empty hand martial arts of whatever style, is not the best answer for multiple attackers.

In fact, I always recommend, one of my one of my self-defense commandments of my self-defense philosophy is to always always carry a weapon. I have weapon on me all the time, I got one right now. I got a little knife here in my pocket. There’s little thing, I always have a weapon. I sleep with this thing. I know it’s weird but that’s what I do. I always got a weapon, I got an eye for like this all the time, any time I can, obviously not through airport security and stuff like that.

I always have weapon on me as often as I can because that’s my self-defense philosophy. If you can’t run away and you gotta fight multiple attackers, you got to plot an equalizer. They have you had a huge disadvantage. You got to equalize those odds. There’s a very large disparity of force here when you face two three guys. So Jiu-Jitsu is not the answer. Running away or fighting with a weapon is the correct answer for facing multiple attackers. So, the fact that Jiu-Jitsu can’t hold up against multiple attackers that’s not really a strike against it.

Objection 03: Jiu-Jitsu Doesn’t Help  Against Attackers With Weapons?

Another common objection people have against Jiu-Jitsu is what about weapons? Some bad guy pulls out a knife or a gun. What about that? Is jujutsu good for that? You wanna take that guy to the ground.  Well listen, again the answer here is the same, is that weapons are tools to make killing people easier. So, if a bad guy has a weapon; ie; he’s got a knife, he’s got a gun, he has got you a huge disadvantage. I don’t care who you are, a martial arts master, whatever. If he’s got a knife, let’s say, you are at a huge disadvantage. We don’t live in the movies; you kick the knife out of the guy’s hand. That’s not going to happen. So he’s got you at a huge disadvantage. There’s no martial art that’s best at such situation either.

Quite frankly, Jiu-Jitsu has weapon defenses, we use weapon defenses, we have knife defenses, we have gun defenses and they are as good as any other martial art. In my opinion, they can just Jiu-Jitsu, weapon defenses, empty hand versus a weapon; they are as good if not better than any other martial art out there. So, you shouldn’t have to rely primarily on these kinds of things. My self-defense philosophy is to always carry a weapon. If somebody pulls a weapon on you, you better equalize it and you better have some kind of weapon of your own. If you don’t find you’ve got to use empty hand skills and Jiu-Jitsu is as good as anything else here.

Objection 04: Never Grapple A Knife

I know there’s this common saying people have when they say things like “Oh never grapple a knife“. You should never lock up the knife and rust around someone who’s got a knife.  I don’t know where that came from but it’s just simply not true. You should grapple a knife. That’s the first thing you should try to do. What I mean is that you have to mobilize that army you have to lock it up and hold it. And that is grappling; you lock this guy, you’ve got this guy locked up on his arm. So I don’t know where that came from. But it’s just simply not true.

As a matter of fact, I heard of a study once that where they got some guys together from different martial art styles and I don’t know who they got but they wanted to test different martial art styles against a guy with a knife. He had a rubber knife and they just tested. And the result of the study was that the best martial art against the knife was the wrestler. The Wrestler did better against the knife than the karate guy or whoever else they had. So, it’s just simply not true that you should never grapple a knife. But anyway, the Jiu-Jitsu weapon defenses are as good as any other martial art in my opinion.

Objection 05: Does That Mean That Striking Is No Good?

Since I’ve been talking so much about the importance of grappling and why it’s so effective for smaller people fight bigger people stuff, does that mean striking is no good? Do I think striking is worthless? No, of course not. Striking is very very effective. I’ve taught striking my whole life. I’ve been training and striking since I was a kid. I’ve been doing kickboxing. I mean, we do a lot of striking. So it’s not that I think striking is worthless.
I think striking, the effectiveness of striking, is very limited. It works best for people who are your size or smaller. That’s the kind of demographic of the person that you are going to use you’re striking against. I don’t recommend you go try to box someone who’s twice your size or kick someone who’s twice your size. It’s just not a very effective strategy. He only needs one blow to take you away.

So, striking can work, can be very effective. I’m not opposed to it. I just don’t want you to make it primarily in your self-defense training. Work on the grappling, the Jiu-Jitsu striking works on people your size or smaller, Jiu-Jitsu works on everybody. So that’s why we need to focus on Jiu-Jitsu. For these reasons, I think, striking is not the best way to go in terms of your foundation for self-defense. Rely on the Jiu-Jitsu; love it training. I think it’s really going to help you.

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.