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How to hit harder in boxing

How to hit harder in boxing

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA: Comparing Grappling Techniques


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has established itself as one of the most effective martial arts worldwide, thanks to its proven effectiveness during the early days of mixed martial arts (MMA). Since then, MMA has evolved into a unique fighting style, with gyms springing up everywhere.

Many BJJ techniques and positions are still commonly used in MMA, but grappling in MMA has evolved as the inclusion of striking changes the dynamics of grappling positions. Although BJJ remains an excellent foundation for mixed martial arts, many techniques need to be modified to make them more effective inside a cage.

This article will explore the main similarities and differences between BJJ and MMA grappling to give you a better understanding of how striking affects grappling inside a cage.


Understanding the Similarities and Differences between BJJ and Grappling in MMA


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a modern martial art developed in the 20th century by Helio Gracie and his brothers, who modified traditional Jiu-Jitsu techniques to make them more suitable for ground fighting. It is a sport that also happens to be one of the most effective self-defense systems for hand-to-hand combat.

Mixed martial arts began as a set of rules used in professional wrestling tournaments. These rules were created to develop a sport that would allow martial artists from striking and grappling backgrounds to compete against each other to determine which style was best. Modern MMA has evolved into a martial art and self-defense system that includes aspects of wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Dutch kickboxing and BJJ.


Differences in Training


Let's look at some of the differences in how BJJ classes are taught compared to grappling classes in MMA.


1) Outfit


Most BJJ schools teach sport BJJ, which focuses on subduing opponents with chokes and joint locks. Strikes are not allowed in sports BJJ, so students do not have to worry about being hit while training. Sports BJJ is generally divided into two categories: with a gi and without a gi. The first involves wearing a traditional Jiu-Jitsu kimono, while no gi allows you to wear shorts and t-shirts.

Grappling in MMA generally dispenses with the gi as it is not allowed in modern mixed martial arts. Students are often allowed to train shirtless as they will be shirtless during competitions. This allows them to get used to the feeling of fighting someone without the benefit of clothing. Even something as simple as a t-shirt makes it significantly easier to monitor someone's body, especially if they're sweating.


2) Philosophy


Grappling in MMA involves simulating strikes and elbows to discourage fighters from becoming too comfortable in positions that are neutral in BJJ, but could put them at a disadvantage on the ground, such as the guard position.

Guard is the signature position of BJJ, and some would say the bottom player has the advantage there if their BJJ skills are sharp. More submissions can be executed from the lower guard position than from the upper guard position. There are also many sweeps and reverses that can be executed from there. The problem is that you don't get points for playing bottom guard in MMA and there is the danger of ground strikes.

Sports BJJ players have the luxury of playing guard without having to worry about getting punched in the face or losing rounds because they spent most of it on their backs. Combat BJJ, which allows for open hand strikes, attempts to address this unrealistic aspect of BJJ. However, it is not as popular as sports Jiu-Jitsu.


3) Takedowns


There is a much greater emphasis on takedown defense and takedowns in MMA grappling than in traditional BJJ. BJJ focuses strictly on ground fighting, so students are encouraged to begin sparring sessions on their knees. This ensures that the majority of your sparring time is spent working on ground techniques rather than fighting for takedowns.

Basic takedowns like the single-leg and double-leg takedown, along with some throws and sweeps, are taught in BJJ, but students don't spend as much time working on these aspects of fighting compared to other martial arts like Judo. or the Fight. Many BJJ students work primarily on their takedowns while preparing for competitions.

Grappling in MMA places more emphasis on takedowns as they score during fights and allow you to work on your ground game. All rounds in MMA start on the feet, so you will need to know how to take down fighters who have trained in takedown defense to use your ground game on them. MMA fighters often use striking to set up their takedowns, a luxury that BJJ fighters cannot enjoy.

MMA fighters also need to learn how to defend against takedowns to prevent opponents from imposing their game plans on them. A well-timed takedown is often enough to steal hotly contested rounds in MMA, so you want your opponents to work hard for every one they get. Good takedown defense also tires out opponents and discourages them from attempting more takedowns.


4) Submissions


Grappling in MMA involves dealing with strikes, poor control due to not wearing a gi, and a cage that can be used offensively and defensively. This changes the tactics used in MMA grappling. Mixed martial artists typically don't have the luxury of setting up advanced grappling sequences or fancy positions like the deep middle guard, which leaves you vulnerable to strikes.

Grapplers in MMA tend to stick to the basics and often set up their submissions with strikes. Skilled MMA grapplers often combine their ground striking with their transitions as well. It is a skill that traditional BJJ players do not practice.




Despite the many differences between MMA grappling and BJJ, there are more similarities than differences. The fundamentals of BJJ are still kept within a cage. Positions such as top mount, back mount, half guard and butterfly guard are just as commonly used in MMA grappling as they are in BJJ.

The most commonly used submissions in BJJ such as the armbar, rear choke, triangle, arm triangle, knee bar, ankle lock, and guillotine choke are equally effective in MMA. A well-trained BJJ player would be very successful in mixed martial arts, as long as they modify their grappling style for striking.

BJJ and MMA grappling are both effective for self-defense, but the slight advantage goes to MMA grappling as it mentally prepares you to deal with blows.


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