Many people that are looking to start their martial arts journey want to know which practice is best for them. Yet if someone were to know what would be best for self defense, it would be retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink.
If there is one thing that Willink knows about, it is combat. Whether through being an active SEAL from 1990-2010, where he served as a Platoon Commander and Seal Task Unit Commander, or through being in the corner of fighters competing in MMA. Jocko earned his BJJ black belt from Dean Lister, which he competed in on a national level, and he has used these skills to train a variety of fighters over the years.
Jocko Willink Says BJJ Is The Most Effective Martial Art
Naturally, Jocko Willink is a person that gets consulted a lot about self defense, and what martial art works best. As he explained in a video to his YouTube channel where finally answers this question, BJJ is the way to go. He admits to being biased, since he is a black belt and teacher at his own academy, but he explains that it is more than that. He says that the purpose of learning martial arts is for self defense, and that this means the goal is to get away from your foe, which BJJ helps with.
“If someone attacks me and they want to punch or kick me, I can just run away. They’re not holding onto me. I can get away from them. It’s when someone grabs you that you need some technique to get out of there, or someone takes you to the ground, that’s when you need some technique to get out of there. If someone just wants to punch me, well, I’ll walk away from them or run away from them. That’s OK.
“Obviously, I’m a fan of jiu-jitsu. Number one, It’s very practical, like I said, for self-defense. And again, the goal of jiu-jitsu in self-defense isn’t to take someone down to the ground. The goal in jiu-jitsu for self-defense is actually to be able to defend yourself on the ground, get up, and get away from an attacker. That’s what the goal is.
“Now, some people might think: ‘Well, Jocko, I don’t want to run away if somebody wants to fight me. I want to fight them.’ Well, let’s think about where that might end up for you. Number one, you don’t know if this person has a weapon or not. What if they have a knife? What if they have a pistol? What if they’ve got three or four friends? And now you’re getting either shot, stabbed, mutilated, or otherwise maimed and killed. That’s not what you’re looking for on a Friday night as you’re walking down the street.”
At the end of the day, Jocko Willink says it is important to learn to striking eventually. However he says that if you’re looking for self defense, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the way to go.