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When originally founded by Grand Masters Carlos and Helio Gracie in the early 1900’s, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu had only one purpose – effectiveness in real fights. Several decades later, when sportive competition was introduced and popularized throughout Brazil and the US, there was a distinct shift in training objectives at most BJJ schools, as more and more focus was placed on competing in point-based tournaments in order to win trophies/accolades for their school.  Unfortunately, this shift in training objectives caused them to neglect the original self-defense aspect of jiu-jitsu, such that students could train for many years without ever learning how their grappling skills would apply against an actual striking opponent (not to mention an opponent who may very well be substantially bigger, heavier and stronger) in a real fight.


Today, there continues to be much debate and confusion surrounding the issue of "street"/self defense jiu- jitsu vs. sport/point-based jiu-jitsu. So much so, that public discussion of such is critically necessary, and the very real differences between the two must be considered, before choosing which is right for you.

Below, are four such pertinent discussions.

In these discussions, Ryron and Rener Gracie - both of whom have spent several decades practicing, teaching, and competing in both street and sport jiu-jitsu - along with others from entirely different Jiu-Jitsu lineages and backgrounds - very candidly explain the fundamental differences between "street"/self defense jiu-jitsu and sport/point-based jiu-jitsu. In these discussions, they also demonstrate, quite clearly, the important differences between the two with regard to the principles of distance management, strike protection, energy consumption & conservation.

Without proficiency in each of these principles one stands little chance of defeating, let alone surviving, the aggressive onslaught of a larger/stronger opponent in a real fight. If, however, your objective is to score points competing in tournaments - it must be acknowledged that the implementation of weight classes, belt/experience levels, time limits, and perhaps most importantly, the prohibition of any and all striking (punches, kicks, knees, elbows, & head butts) along with the many other rules, regulations, and prohibited actions that do not apply in a street fight - do, in fact, allow for very different techniques and strategies to be deployed.

If You Are Considering Beginning The Study of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu® at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Athens, AL® or Any Other "Gracie" Jiu-Jitsu School, or Other Lineage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - I MPLORE YOU - To First Take The Time To Learn and Understand The CRITICAL DIFFERENCES Between "Street" and "Sport" Jiu-Jitsu -

Then Decide Which is Right For You!

And there is no better place to begin exploring this than with the four video discussions below. 


The discussions in these videos are by no means intended to disparage or discredit any jiu-jitsu schools or instructors. They simply serve to acknowledge and distinguish between the two very different thought processes and two very different training objectives, between 'street' and "sport' jiu-jitsu and the critical need to distinguish between the two


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