#1 FAQ: IS Jiu Jitsu better than “traditional” Martial Arts like Karate/Taekwondo?

If you are looking to take your first step towards a journey in Jiu Jitsu but aren’t sure if it’s the right decision, we at Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu La Quinta hope to provide you with some information that helps.

Many people often ask us “What is better, Jiu Jitsu or Karate?”, and it’s a great question because to the average spectator, even the pajama outfits we wear look the same so we thought we’d make a post and share our ideas.

What not everyone knows about Jiu Jitsu is that it is a method of unarmed combat originally practiced by the samurai as early as the 1500s. Although much has changed since then, the same principles of fighting have remained.

Professionally, we do not recommend any form of defense that relies heavily on punching and kicking. The reason being that many people who wish to learn self defense, do not always have athletic backgrounds or the physical abilities to be effective. It is dangerous to propose to a housewife that going to a cardio-kickboxing class is going to help her defend against a large and powerful man. In order to do that she would have to one day spar with a large man and that may not be the best strategy. In fact, it’s a horrible one to put it bluntly.

In Jiu Jitsu, the most important part, is to have fun!

Being that strikes are not a taught as a chunk of everyday training, Jiu Jitsu places you at a lesser risk for legal damage versus a method of self defense where you can seriously damage someone with your fists. This simple fact can help you avoid dealing with the courts or school officials when you or your child were simply protecting themselves. The most important aspect of any self defense method is that it protects you, sometimes this goes beyond physical.

Here, a student executes a single leg takedown to put his training partner down. A common theme in the Jiu Jitsu curriculum.

If you take a glance towards the UFC you will quickly see that even the most dominant fighters who like to use boxing and Muay Thai or kickboxing, have to put their time in on the ground. The most dominant UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who just retired with a record of 29-0 is feared for being unstoppable when it comes to bringing the fight to the ground. Georges St. Pierre is another champion who became so skilled on the ground he was even able to take accomplished wrestlers. His original background was actually karate but it was his grappling that paved the way for his legacy.

One of the first things a student must learn is to survive and then escape pins such as the back mount demonstrated by Professor Steve.

When your goal is self defense, regardless of your size and your strength, the place that will always yield you the greatest advantage against an attacker is the ground. In Jiu Jitsu practitioners learn to take their opponent to the ground where they are much easier to control and pin. This reduces the opponent’s ability to cause serious damage with punches and kicks, it is also especially important if the attacker is bigger and stronger which is the case for most bullies and men who attack women.

As early as 3-7, children can begin to learn the importance of getting on top. Better to be pinned your friend than your enemy right?

Before the start of the UFC when the Gracie family began to spread their teachings of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they were known for hosting Gracie Challenges which invited teachers of any Martial Art to challenge their effectiveness against Gracie Jiu Jitsu. The raw effectiveness of being able to control an opponent on the ground removes any need for excessive force and violence. Once the fight hits the floor, the Jiu Jitsu practitioner quickly begins to mount his/her control and the fight will be over. It wouldn’t be called the gentle art if that were not the case.

It is known that men tend to attack other men with punches, tackles and kicks while men tend to attack women with grabs and throws to the ground. Because of the grappling nature of Jiu Jitsu this makes the practitioner much better at escaping the kinds of holds and grabs that would be employed to stop a woman from fleeing which is in most cases their best form of defense.

While it is important to know when you can be struck in a grappling setting and how to avoid it, most people can certainly avoid being punched or kicked daily especially as they age. Professional types can also appreciate not wanting to have obvious signs of bruising and swelling around their eyes or nose, something that is common when you practice hitting or kicking someone else daily.

Here, the student in white attempts to escape a pin attempt from to avoid the submission that will follow.

The most iconic Martial Artist in history, known for his devastating strikes was the first to recognize the power of grappling. Bruce Lee said this “A guy who’s been wrestling and boxing for a year can beat a martial artist who’s been training for 15 years.” While this was a very controversial statement that shocked much of the Martial Arts world, nowadays it is a generally accepted argument.

If you are not able to attend a Jiu Jitsu academy because of distance, cost or any of your standard conflicts. Seek out the closest thing to it, which may be Karate or Taekwondo! Beyond learning how to protect yourself is upholding the values that come with Martial Arts, the most important aspect whether you are a child or a man or a woman. This single idea accompanies the Japanese principle of Kaizen which is that every day we can do something to be better than the day before.