Jiu-jitsu beautifully demonstrates how a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and technique; most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds. Training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi), mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, or self defense. Sparring and live drilling play a major role in training.
The essence of Jiu-jitsu is the ability to move or flow from one technique to another in order to defend oneself efficiently and effectively. A Jiu-jitsu fighter’s ability to adapt in any situation, to fight empty handed, grapple, or use any type of weapon against an opponent, helps define Jiu-jitsu as one of the most effective self-defense arts.
The literal translation of Jiu-jitsu is the art of gentleness or pliancy. Jiu-jitsu is not a contest of muscular skill and strength; rather it relies on natural biomechanics, balance, leverage and timing. Because of this, Jiu-jitsu is the perfect art for self-defense and does not rely on any one advantage such as size, weight, height, and reach between opponents. Jiu-jitsu is equally accessible to men and women and is an extremely practical and effective form of self-defense.
Emphasis on striking techniques, balance displacement techniques, throws and takedowns, joint manipulation, restraints and immobilizations, ground grappling, and weapons defense makes Jiu-jitsu a very complete art of self-defense.
It differs from modern arts, such as Judo and Karate, in that the main goal is self-preservation.