BJJ Poll: What Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to You, a Martial Art or a Sport?

by Caleb on September 12, 2009

I hate to do the old “start a speech by quoting Webster’s Dictionary”, but according to, a sport is:

an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Some may be angry for even suggesting that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not first and foremost a martial art! But I wanted to get the sentiment of its practitioners. What is it to you?

I guess this comes down to why it is that we do BJJ. I’m very curious to hear your answers. Please leave a comment below or call us up on our toll free line where we can record your thoughts and put them in an episode of the show: 1-877-247-4662!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Farmjitsu September 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Personally I believe BJJ is a lifestyle.

People (especially in New Zealand) are using BJJ more as an introduction to MMA. I think these type of people just don’t understand BJJ as a form of art that takes a long time to master.

Andy September 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

OK, so yes jiu-jitsu is a martial art. I am teaching my daughters what I can in hopes they will use it as a self defense should they ever need to. For myself though I am hoping that I am way past ever being stuck in an altercation that I cant talk my way out of if not just walk away.
I do however compete in tournaments that by nature push the sport aspect. Different things we do to frustrate and trick our opponents surely wouldn’t be practical in a bar brawl. Can you see using spider guard or the newly contentious 50/50 guard in a back alley brawl? So while I love jiu-jitsu and at its core it is 100% a martial art, I tend more to practice the sport aspect of it more. For this reason I think it is both rather than one or the other, but I did select I cant decide.

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