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Why Should I do Jiu Jitsu Instead of Karate? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Santa Clarita

Have you ever wondered what karate and jiu-jitsu are? Maybe you’ve also thought about which of the two arts is superior?


At first glance, you might not find them to be all that different from one another. You might also conclude that either would work great, so long as you dedicate yourself.


But, as you’ll see in a moment, karate and jiu-sitsu are inherently different and one might be superior to the other in self- defense.


What is Karate?

Karate classes for beginners in Santa Clarita
Santa Clarita Karate


Karate is commonly known as an empty-handed self-defense art. The word karate means empty hand in Japanese and signifies one’s ability to use one’s body for self-defense.

Karate teaches practitioners to use their hands, feet, arms, and legs to deliver - and defend themselves against - powerful blows. Through skill, wit, keeping a distance, and having quick reflexes, a karate practitioner can disarm opponents and deliver powerful and effective strikes to end a conflict quickly.


What is Jiu-Jitsu? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Santa Clarita

Rear Naked Choke by Coach Jeff Martin at Dream MMA and Jiu Jitsu
Santa Clarita Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Classes


In contrast to karate, Jiu-Jitsu is an art that primarily emphasizes close distances and grappling techniques. Instead of delivering powerful strikes, Jiu-Jitsu practitioners learn how and when to close the distance, and throw down and submit opponents through skill, technique, and leverages.


For instance, a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner might close the distance at the right time, use the proper technique to get the opponent on the floor, and use a chokehold or joint lock to submit them. The entire sequence can happen in mere seconds, and the aggressor might find it impossible to predict the movements or defend themselves effectively.


More importantly, Jiu-Jitsu is about learning how to use one’s body and leverages correctly. It’s not uncommon for a skilled practitioner to throw down and defeat much larger opponents.


Where Karate Fails


Karate is an excellent martial art with a lot of nuance and potential. With enough practice, a person can gain significant self-defense abilities to keep themselves from harm’s way in unpleasant situations.


But, many black belt karate practitioners spend decades developing their craft and are still unable to defend themselves from the seemingly less experienced Jiu-Jitsu fighters. For instance, it’s not uncommon for a blue belt Jiu-Jitsu practitioner with up to two years of training to overpower and submit a black belt in karate.


So, why is that? Because knowing a single striking art like karate gives you a false sense of security. You feel this is enough to overcome any opponent. But, the truth is, you won’t understand the power of jiu-jitsu until you learn how to take down, control, and submit an opponent. This is where an art like karate simply comes out short.


Where a karate practitioner often tries to keep a distance and land strikes at the right time, a skilled Jiu-Jitsu fighter will corner them quickly, prevent them from throwing strikes, and submit them before they can blink. In truth, karate is good for learning how to defend yourself from other karate fighters. But come time to tackle an opponent who possesses a different skill set, karate can come out short quickly.


Conclusion on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs. Karate


Karate is by no means a poor martial art. It’s infinitely better to know karate than to have no self-defense skills. But, certain arts are better than others in certain situations, which holds true for Jiu-Jitsu as it relates to karate in close combat.


Jiu-Jitsu is more nuanced and better suited for keeping you safe in a real-world situation. It teaches you how to close distances effectively and render your opponent’s attempts to strike useless. This impedes them significantly and gives you the upper hand to quickly force them off balance and submit them.


If you’re interested in learning what Jiu-Jitsu is all about first hand, come down to Dream Martial Arts and Fitness in Santa Clarita. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Santa Clarita.


Coach Jeff teaching Dream Martial Arts students how to defend a choke in Jiu Jitsu.
Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in SCV


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