Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, ranks as a highly effective martial art. The art’s success in mixed martial arts competition built its reputation. BJJ isn’t only a combat sport, though. The ground-based system also offers many self-defense applications. Women, in particular, find much value in BJJ’s self-defense techniques. The art might be the best for preventing sexual assault. Here’s why:

BJJ Pits You Against Resisting Opponents

An unfortunate problem with many self-defense courses centers on only training with compliant partners. Unless the student learns how to deal with resistance, he or she cannot develop any functional skill. Since many arts focus on striking, training against resisting opponents seems scary for new students. BJJ focuses on grappling, which isn’t as frightening. Newbies eventually grow to enjoy “rolling” and find the sparring fun.

BJJ Overcomes Size and Strength Advantages

Unlike wrestling, BJJ is not an art that relies on speed, power, and explosion. The art stresses leverage over other attributes. The effective use of leverage combined with ground mobility helps a practitioner deal with larger and stronger opponents. Matching strength against strength isn’t a good idea for a smaller, weaker person. Leverage, hip positioning, and strong postures replace a reliance on strength.

Offensive maneuvers also rely on leverage. Joint locks and chokes don’t require strength when applied correctly. Through leverage, body positions, and proper mechanics, joint locks and chokes reliably work against even a much bigger opponent. Of course,  sexual assault is much different than a sportive competition. With the right instruction, a woman can learn assault-specific applications of the moves.

Sexual Assault Naturally Sets Up BJJ Attacks

Sexual assaults commonly involve struggling and grappling with an attacker attempting to put a woman in a vulnerable position such as on her back. BJJ’s offensive and defensive positions often directly translate to the positions an assault victim may find herself. Familiarity with how to fight out of these positions could help if assaulted.

Don’t Become a Victim

Learning a martial art and studying how to avoid, address, and survive a violent assault prove empowering. For this reason and more, many women turn to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you’ve experienced sexual abuse, please seek help. This is one of the most traumatic experiences people endure. Talk to someone. Equally important is seeking justice.

BJJ classes also provide a communal learning experience that appeals to a wide range of students. You don’t need to be a “super athlete” to learn it.

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