Weaknesses of BJJ

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by TheMightyMcClaw, May 8, 2007.

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  1. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    First of all, I'm starting this discussion in reaction to Flashlock's recent threads regarding BJJ as an "ultimate" martial art. While I love BJJ, I do not believe that is by any means a foolproof fighting system, and wish to discuss the problems inherent to it.
    Personally, I can think of three.

    The most obvious limitation, of course, is that it is a grappling-only system. The lack of any striking is a hindrance to a pure BJJ-ist. However, we all know that, and I do not think it's really an issue for discussion. Thus why we see so many people cross-training in BJJ and a striking art to round out there skills.

    Second, the absence of takedown training in many BJJ schools. I recently joined a new BJJ club for the summer (a private one associated with the U of M club), and was disappointed to learn that they started rolling from their knees instead of their feet. I've seen this at play in tournaments, where, as one of my assistant coaches put it: "there are only two takedowns in BJJ: you either shoot for a single leg if you're a wrestler, or you pull guard if you aren't." Obviously, this is an exaggeration, but the weakness of the takedown abilities of pure BJJists strikes me as a fairly glaring flaw. After all, if we want to finish a fight on the floor, don't we have to be able to get their first?
    This, too, seems to be addressed at least by competitive BJJers, by cross-training in either judo or wrestling. In my case, it's Judo.

    Third, for as submission oriented as we are, it seems that BJJ schools in general underestimate the role of leglocks. I recall the first time I fought someone who was skilled with leglocks... it was akin to the first time I fought a good grappler as a pure striker. I was simply unable to keep the fight where I wanted it.... I was used to traditional BJJ positioning, and this guy kept wrapping himself around my legs and tapping me out. While I understand that leglocks are generally riskier than armlocks, as they don't maintain as secure of a position, I feel like they deserve more respect than they get.

    Anyways, that's my initial take on the problems of BJJ as a martial art, and specifically it's problems as a grappling art. I'd like to hear every one else's opinion, especially those who have more experience with jiujitsu than I do.
  2. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Depends the school. My place isn't heavy on leglocks but some of the guys are, and you learn some tricks just spending hour after hour of open mat with them.

    I'd say the only legitimate complaint that encompasses the majority of schools would be the lack of striking training both offensively and defensively.
  3. Cosmo Kramer

    Cosmo Kramer Valued Member

  4. MonkeysUncle

    MonkeysUncle Shakin' like Bacon

    Cosmo, out of curiosity, why do you say that (not biased, genuinely curious)?

    Also, those points were the only big problems I saw with BJJ. Variation is also good to see what other grappling styles are out there so you don't stagnate even in your ground game.
  5. Cosmo Kramer

    Cosmo Kramer Valued Member

    because BJJ is a sport, Jjj is a martial art used for self defense, it is taught to people of law enforcment and the military. IMO SD MA are better than martial sports
  6. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Think your assesment was pretty spot on McClaw and it's extremely refreshing to see someone have a realistic view of their own martial art. I do BJJ too and I've noticed the same flaws you mentioned but still love the art and think what it does right vastly outweighs what it does wrong particularly when cross training is promoted.
  7. Oversoul

    Oversoul Valued Member

    While I tend to agree, the latter two things aren't necessarily weaknesses of BJJ as a whole. In judo, standups from the guard or escapes from backmount are perfectly legal, but most people do not train them because in those positions if you just hold on you'll be stood up anyway. So why bother with something you don't need? That's not to say every judoka has that same mindset. Some of us do attempt to develop a more complete arsenal. Similarly, in BJJ if you can just sit down and let your opponent bring himself to the ground, why bother training something you don't need? I think cases like these are more ones where it's individuals that are ignoring a component of grappling, not necessarily a flaw in judo or BJJ.

    With leglocks it's a bit different. You can't pull guard to avoid them. Not having a solid standing arsenal means your opponent is more able to initially dictate position that you are, but if your opponent is good at leglocks and you don't train them, it's a more serious weakness. Still, it comes down to the individuals that are training those techniques and the ones that aren't. The only other issue here might be allowing leglocks for lower ranks, but that's a potential safety issue I know almost nothing about.
  8. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    BJJ is taught to law enforcement personnel (it seems half the local PD trains where I do) and is the basis of the Modern Army Combative Program. It has been successfully used by soldiers for self defense and enemy neutralization, and I frequently hear accounts from the police I train with concerning successfully using their training. BJJ is both a combat sport and martial art and has successfully proven its utility countless times.

    From what I've seen and read about other gyms, MMC seems to have gotten all I can think of. Both of my instructors have Sambo experience and the gym is mostly MMA-focused though so we work plenty of takedowns and leglocks, and all you have to do is walk to the other side of the gym or stay after BJJ practice for Muay Thai training. I'm not a fan of most leglocks against people similar to me in skill though... they, like most submissions, are a lot easier to defend than to use and have the added disadvantage of usually giving up position. Thinking about it, almost every time I've managed to get mount on a purple belt is when he went for a leglock and I rode it out. I guess that made an impression on me, but I still like the occasional kneebar or toehold.

    So yeah:
    Takedowns can be on the weak side
    Lack of training in leglocks/leglock defense
    Lack of exposure to striking

    solution: train MMA too ;)
  9. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    <personal attack removed - don't re-edit a post after it's been moderated>

    Just because something is a sport does make it less effective, that's just plain stupid.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2007
  10. Doublejab

    Doublejab formally Snoop

    Martial sports take the techniques and strategies of martial arts and test them to a greater or lesser extent. If you roll/spar in your jj(j?), which you should do, you are in effect doing the same thing. JJ was basically a combat sport when BJJ derived from it, it hadn't been a 'battlefield art' for a hundred years.

    And just because its taught to 'people of law enforcment' doesn't mean its the best thing to defend yourself with. Their priority is usually to restrain rather than attack and getting good at restraining isn't the highest priority skill for self defence.
  11. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Cosmo, here are some JJJ weaknesses.

    - Hardly any resistance
    - Limited groundfighting
    - Weak striking
    - Ridiculous standing locks

    And I don't want to turn this into a BJJ vs JJJ thread, but look at it. BJJ has proven itself time and time again. In the ring, and out of the ring. Practioners of the style have beaten Boxers, Kickboxers, Karateka, Hapkidoists, Kempoist, and others. So before you say, JJJ>BJJ, then you gotta step up, and prove it.
  12. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Ignore the silly JJJ>BJJ comments thats not what this thread is about and we all know its a load of rubbish.
  13. Sever

    Sever Valued Member

    All of which will depend entirely on the class and/ or the club's organisational body
    As for BJJ's weaknesses, I think it's been pretty much covered - takedowns and striking, but from what I've seen, quite a lot of BJJ clubs are smart enough to have classes with either guest instructors or cross-trained instructors to cover the striking or actively encourage their students to cross-train
  14. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Unless you're going to some great JJJ school that teaches resistance and a wide variety of groundfighting, I doubt it'll be there. Most likely it's a stripmall JJJ dojo where they are taught that they are "too deadly to fight BJJers"

    Though Mike Bisping (UFC fighter) started out with a JJJ style that has Kickboxing-like striking and ground grappling as well as standing.
  15. Sever

    Sever Valued Member

    Wow, I must be training in a great school. One of quite a few I've had the pleasure of visiting for seminars and so on. There are many JJJ schools that train properly, the "too deadly" crowd aren't the only people that take this art (though there are quite a few of them and they do in fact, train like ****)
  16. 1bad65

    1bad65 Valued Member

    Starting from the knees is ok, as long as its not 100% of the time. It is safer, and you really are there to learn the ground technique. Where I train we start from the knees alot, but if a tournament is approaching we start standing alot more and sometimes devote a full class to takedowns and throws.

    About leglocks, until recently they were not allowed in sport BJJ. So alot of old school guys are really not good at them unless they trained specifically for them later on. I still see tournaments with odd leglock rules. Like ankle locks and kneebars for only certain belts and above and no heel hooks at all. That kind of stuff. As much as I HATE rules meetings, I pay attention especially to the leglock part, it seems every tournament is different.
  17. Cosmo Kramer

    Cosmo Kramer Valued Member

    at what point did i say it was less effective? i just said IMO self defense martial arts are better. in other words for me SD martial arts are what i like to focus on. and i knew i was gonna get flamed for it because anytime someone on this board says a SD style fits them better than a sport style the MMA people get all ****y
  18. Cosmo Kramer

    Cosmo Kramer Valued Member

    I agree that JJJ does not have the striking that say Karate does, or some other styles, but it does use it effectivly. im not sure what you mean by hardly any resistance. limited groundfighting compared to what? it has groundfighting, maybe not as much as others but it has enough. i didnt want to turn it into a JJJ vs BJJ thread eaither
  19. Cosmo Kramer

    Cosmo Kramer Valued Member

  20. Doublejab

    Doublejab formally Snoop

    Well when you said...

    ...I kinda got that impression! If you been JJ is better for you than BJJ than fair enough, thats certainly not what you said though. I think if you say 'bjj<jj' you should expect a little flaming to be honest mate!
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