Joe Rogan and Jocko Willink Discuss BJJ for Self-Defense

Jocko Willink Joe Rogan
Jocko Willink and Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan is a comedian, UFC commentator, actor, and podcast host. Jocko Willink is a decorated Navy Seal, author, and host of the Jocko Podcast. In addition to hosting wildly successful podcasts, the two men have something else in common: they’re both BJJ black belts. Thus, when Willink appeared on episode 1492 of the Joe Rogan Experience, the two had plenty to say on the topic of self-defense. One of the things the two experienced martial artists discussed during Willink’s appearance on the podcast was BJJ for self-defense. As we explain below, both men agree that BJJ is the go-to martial art for protecting yourself on the street.

Jocko BJJ
Jocko BJJ

The Advantages of Grappling Over Striking

During Willink’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan and Willink discussed the advantages of grappling over striking in a street fight. Both men agreed that in most situations, grappling has a clear strategic advantage over striking. As Rogan explained:

“You watch the occasional street fight where a guy tees off on some drunk guy and lands the perfect punch and knocks him out cold. That does happen. But what also happens is when someone misses and then clinches. The worst thing in the world is to fight a grappler who’s good at takedowns when you’re on the concrete. You get suplexed on your head on the concrete.”

Jocko Willink

Street Defense Should Start with BJJ

During his conversation with Rogan, Willink also expressed the belief that self-defense should start with BJJ, saying:

“If you come to me and you want to fight and square off like in a boxing stance, I can run away from you. My primary self-defense is I’m just going to run away from you. When you grab ahold of me, now everything’s different. I can’t run away anymore. Now I have to actually know how to handle myself in a grappling situation. That’s why I start with BJJ.”

Joe Rogan Jocko Willink Tulsi Gabbard
Jocko Willink, Joe Rogan, and Tulsi Gabbard

Children Should Learn BJJ for Self-Defense

The two men also broached the topic of self-defense for kids. Both men agreed that kids should learn BJJ before branching out into the striking arts. As Willink explained:

“[As kids] get older, they should know how to throw punches. They should get in the boxing ring sometimes. You should absolutely do that as a human, but you can do that when you’re 17, maybe 16. But I don’t think there is any better [martial art for kids than BJJ].”  

Jocko BJJ
Jocko BJJ

BJJ and Fight Avoidance

Finally, both Rogan and Willink agreed that violence should always be a last resort. Rogan emphasized the importance of fight avoidance, saying:

“Swinging knuckles with some guy in the street is so goddamn dangerous because, first of all, you don’t know what he knows, and everyone’s vulnerable. Every person that gets punched in the face is vulnerable.”

Willink agreed, saying:

“I’m always telling people [who don’t like to fight] to train BJJ. I’m like, ‘Hey, if you don’t like to fight, you more than anyone else should learn BJJ because if you know BJJ, your chances of having to fight will go down a lot just by the way you carry yourself.’”

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