is an important member of the French Jiu-Jitsu community. He and his
twin brother Jean Claude are both BJJ Black belts under Francisco Nonato
and run Arte Suave Jiu-Jitsu academy in
Montpellier, France. He has been training BJJ for 15 years and has
spent years training in Brazil. Luccioni also teaches Jiu-Jitsu and self
defense to the French Police.
There are many posts on internet forums and advertisements of BJJ
academy websites, which present our martial art/sport as an effective
martial art for self defense and against a street aggression, even as
the “most effective martial art” .
On the other hand, many other experts Self Defense see taking the fight to the ground as a big mistake in a street fight…
As an experienced Jiu-Jitsu instructor, I would be expected to
practise the first theory, in order, perhaps, to see my number of
students increase. Or maybe, I might look at reality without defending
So, is Jiu-Jitsu truly an effective martial art in an urban context? Is it even the most effective, as some claim??
My first reaction when I read people who defend the theory of
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu being an interesting martial art for street fighting
is always the same … Has that person ever been in this situation? If
so, in what context?
On the other hand, others argue that “Old School” Jiu-Jitsu is more
effective in a street fight than “New School” Jiu-Jitsu ” that is
closer to the sporing aspect.
As a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and instructor, former competitor,
Jiu-Jitsu instructor to the French Police and having worked in the
security industry in various situations (music festivals, bars,
nightclubs, commercial centers) I have acquired a personal opinion on
this subject that I will share with you and, perhaps, will not fail to
surprise most of you.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is absolutely not suitable for street fighting …
I will use several personal examples to support my point.
To begin with, let’s look at the difference between modern Jiu-Jitsu and the more traditional schools.
Indeed, the traditional school of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was more suited to
street fighting than the current school, not only because it was taught
as a valuable method of self-defense, coming from Japanese Ju-Jitsu,
but also because the study of throws/takedowns was more present.
Helio Gracie, to quote him, saw Jiu-Jitsu as an art of self-defense,
rather than as a sport, unlike the vast majority of current
All those who have seen the recent video of the training of Budo Jake
with Rickson Gracie could see the difference between these two visions
of the same discipline.
Indeed, Rickson, demonstrates in this video, a very interesting part of
his knowledge that is not shared by the vast majority of current black
belts in Jiu-Jitsu, including me: the mastery of Self Defense aspect of
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu .
Indeed, in the vast majority of current Jiu-Jitsu clubs in addition
to the almost systematic neglect of the study of Self Defense, the
teaching of takedowns and throws is often extremely minimalist.
The main reason is the development of competitions which make practitioners focus on the essence of our sport, ground fighting.
This is a mistake, even for Jiu-Jitsu competition and overall study of a discipline, but it can be understood.
On the other hand, the development of modern techniques for competitions
actually greatly enriched our martial art on a technical level, but
somewhat away from a more a pragmatic look.
Some point out that if we succeeded, for example, to sweep a BJJ brown
belt using the Worm Guard, you can probably submit an assailant in a
street fight …
Obviously, I highly agree with this idea … but … if you never work on
takedowns, and in competition and training, you are always pulling
guard, then how do you expect to bring a heavier and more aggressive
person to the ground in a street fight?
Indeed, here we see the difference in perspective between two schools of Jiu-Jitsu.
The second reason which led to the same sport to have great
differences of view is a perverse effect of the professionalization of
Indeed, before the modern era of MMA, the sport at the time was called
Vale Tudo or NHB and was a way to prove the effectiveness of one martial
art face over another.
In this context, the effectiveness, the superiority even, of Jiu-Jitsu
was demonstrated, and it was mandatory for “Jiu-Jiteiros” to bring the
fight to the ground with a takedown.
It was then that the era of Cross Training appeared …
But the perverse effect for Jiu-Jitsu was that only when training for an
MMA fight, would a BJJ fighter work on their takedowns. The majority of
BJJ practitioners have as a result, decreased even deleted, the study
of takedowns, when focusing on sport Jiu-Jitsu
The sum of these factors has made the modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a formidable combat sport … on the ground …
So we come to the first argument.
Indeed, it appears, from my point of view, that the traditional school of Jiu-Jitsu was more suited to actual combat.
However, we will discuss here the foundation of the problem.
Can we rely on the victories of Royce Gracie in the UFC or other
multiple wins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to make Jiuy-Jitsu an
effective art, in combat?
I think so.