Is BJJ good for Self-Defense?
The truth of the matter is that no matter what you might see in the movies, if you get jumped by a gang with weapons or held up by thugs with guns, you’re best to comply and try to talk your way out of the situation if possible. No Bruce Lee style assault is going to go well for you in that kind of environment. Situational awareness is always the most important aspect of self-defense.
The best martial art for self-defense will always be track. They can’t hurt you if they can’t catch you!
Does that mean that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is useless for self-defense? No.
The key is understanding the situation. For one on one combat, armed or unarmed, the techniques that you learn to use in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are extremely effective for self-defense. When my daughter was headed away to college I made sure she spent extra time training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
(I recommend training in BJJ for any woman, especially girls heading to college. Jiu-Jitsu techniques are extremely effective for rape prevention when dealing with a bigger, stronger attacker.)
Just don’t believe everything you see in the movies and magazines – there is no uber secret technique that will get you out of every situation, no magic martial art that will make you invincible. And there is no home study course or 3 week video series that is going to prepare you to fight off attackers.
If you want to learn how to prevail in a physical confrontation you need to train and develop your skills with good training partners and a competent instructor. And it takes time. (You’d never expect to learn gymnastics by watching a home video, and fighting is no different.)
If you’re interested in self-defense, there is no better martial art than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to prepare you to prevail in a violent confrontation. But no matter how good of a fighter you are, you should still avoid doing stupid shit in stupid places with stupid people if you want to stay in one piece for long.