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Three Martial Arts for Self-Defense That Don’t Require any Striking

Three Martial Arts for Self-Defense That Don’t Require any Striking

Martial arts are one of the best things that anybody can do for themselves.  Martial arts have a plethora of benefits both in the physical and mental aspects of life.  They can provide us with safety and the knowledge that could potentially save our lives.  Many of us don’t train martial arts and never take up any self-defense because going to self-defense classes can be very intimidating.  Some of us may not want to spar, or we may think that our fitness level is not adequate for a martial arts class.

Some of the most effective martial arts for self-defense actually don’t incorporate any striking at all.  There is no getting punched in the face; you won’t get brain damage, black eyes or anything that many of us associate with martial arts and self-defense.  These martial arts use grappling, takedowns, joint locks and chokeholds to subdue your opponent are actually some of the best methods of self-defense in the world.

So what are these magical martial arts that don’t require us to punch or kick and strike, well there are three that have been proven effective in combat and have saved plenty of lives.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and Judo, these three martial arts have no striking and teach you how to maximize your strength.  You don’t need to be athletic to learn them; you don’t need to be in crazy shape, crazy flexible, there are no prerequisites for these arts.  You just have to have the will to learn.  Let’s discuss what each one of them has to offer and how they differ, and how they are similar.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most popular martial arts in the world.  This martial art exploded with popularity when the UFC was originated.  Basically the UFC was created as a tournament where different martial arts would compete against each other, karate, boxing, tae kwon do, etc.  The outcome was that a little guy from Brazil named Royce Gracie won the tournament several times in a dominating fashion.   So what is Jiu Jitsu? Well, it is a martial art that has no striking and is all about taking your opponent down to the ground, controlling them, and ultimately applying either a joint lock or chokehold to submit them.

Jiu Jitsu is very popular in MMA and the UFC.  It teaches someone how to fight off of their back and how to get from a bad position to a good one.  It is an extremely technical martial art that is all about leverage, teaching the practitioner how to make the most of their body.  People have often said the bjj, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the best martial art for a smaller person.  This is because you can learn how to make your body as strong as possible by using leverage.  Therefore, a small person can easily subdue a much larger opponent.  This is one of the greatest martial arts for females to learn because it will allow them to become extremely dangerous off of their back and to be stronger than they ever thought possible.  Check out this video of a young girl beating up a bunch of boys with her Jiu Jitsu, this is an excellent example of the effectiveness of bjj!


Bjj is not only one of the best martial arts for women but it is good for people of any size, fitness level, gender, age, weight, or skill level.  It is a very practical martial art that provides numerous benefits both mental and physical.  You can gain confidence, you can gain skills, you can learn new techniques, and learn things that could potentially save your life. If you want to learn some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and some other self-defense techniques we have a DVD that is also available ondemand with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and Olympic Distance Runner, Todd Williams where he shows us practical self-defense techniques to defend yourself if you are ever on a run or a walk with yourself or your family.


Wrestling is considered by many a sport because we see it in highschool, college, the Olympics and many other venues primarily as a sport.  Make no mistake; wrestling is as much a martial art as anything like karate, Jiu jitsu, or judo.  Wrestling is all about control.  It has no striking and your goal is to take your opponent to the ground and pin them down.  This is an amazing strategy for self-defense.  Stay safe and bring the fight to the ground so you can control and pin your opponent.  When you are on the ground you are in much less danger then when you are standing where someone can punch you, kick you, elbow you, or knock you out.  These are all dangerous moves.

The difference between wrestling and bjj is the fact that in Jiu Jitsu you learn submission holds, chokes, and how to fight off of your back.  In wrestling they typically do not teach submission holds and they do not teach you how to fight off of your back.  You learn how to take people to the ground and control them.  If you are a fan of the UFC or MMA you have probably noticed that wrestlers are constantly winning championships and sustaining very little damage.  George St. Pierre, Tyron Woodley, Daniel Cormier, all of these UFC champions have a wrestling background that allows them to evade strike by using control and takedowns.


Judo is like a mix of wrestling and Jiu Jitsu which is a big benefit but also has negatives.  For example, in wrestling you will become amazing at takedowns and pins and in Jiu Jitsu you will become extremely dangerous off of your back and in submission holds, in Judo you will become mediocre in both but you will be well-rounded.  Think of bjj and wrestling as specialist and judo players as diverse. 

Judo is excellent because you learn some techniques off of your back, you learn some pins, some submissions, throws, trips, takedowns, and many other useful tactics and like wrestling and bjj you will not be throwing strikes.   Check out this video below of an Olympic Judoka and Silver Medalist Travis Stevens showing us a throw. 

If you want to learn more from Travis he has several DVD’s available and one of his best is called “The judo Academy” where he teaches basic Judo and gives you an overview on Judo techniques.