Jocko: BJJ Beats Wrestling 9 Out of 10 Times in Real Fight

Jocko Willink BJJ
Jock Willink

In episode 68 of his popular podcast, Navy Seal and BJJ black belt Jocko Willink received the following question from a listener:

“In podcast 13, you stated that jiu-jitsu is the martial art that takes the most time to become proficient. I disagree and here’s why: as a wrestler, I’ve been able to pick up jiu-jitsu in a matter of  about two months to the point where I can submit a blue belt here and there and mostly control purple belts. I might just be a bad teacher, but I haven’t had much success teaching jiu-jitsu folks to wrestle. After the same amount of time, they’re maybe a low high school wrestling level.”

Jocko BJJ
Jocko BJJ

Jocko responded:

“I guess I should’ve said grappling in general, which is definitely harder to achieve a basic level of competence in rather than striking. Now don’t get me wrong, you take a skilled boxer, [and] they will destroy an unskilled boxer. You take a skilled Muay Thai guy, [and] they will destroy an unskilled Muay Thai guy.”

Jocko BJJ
Jocko BJJ

Jocko continued:

“A good wrestler is a good grappler. You are a good grappler, and that’s why you’re able to pick up jiu-jitsu quickly. Because wrestling is grappling which is jiu-jitsu. Are there differences? Yes, there are absolutely.”

Jocko BJJ
Jocko BJJ

Jocko finished up by giving his opinion on whether BJJ is more effective than wrestling in a fight:

“If you played baseball in college, when you get on the office softball team, you’re a killer. It’s the same thing with wrestling. As far as the fact that it doesn’t take long to learn if you’re a high-level wrestler, yes, absolutely, you learn it very quickly. Look at the history of the UFC: Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Randy Couture, Tito. [All of them were high-level wrestlers who excelled in MMA.] Now are there other guys who come in and fill in, but the majority base is wrestling. So, now, [if] you [watch] the early UFCs or go to any gym, [you’ll see that] a jiu-jitsu-only guy beats a wrestling-only guy 9 times out of 10. That’s the way it is. [If a wrestler only knows wrestling, and a jiu-jitsu guy only knows jiu-jitsu], the jiu-jitsu guy is going to win simply because the wrestler doesn’t know how to finish the fight.”

Watch the whole episode of the Jocko Podcast here:

Jocko Podcast 68

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