I plan to start boxing this summer. Nothing definite as of yet. My question is to those who have backrounds in both. What your thoughts on mixing the two primarily for self defense? I already have a BJJ backround and thought I should learn some stand-up.

Please, no baseball bat, knife wielding, eye gouging, biting, groin smash "what ifs". Personally, if I fought someone "on the street" I'd try to end it in such a way my lawyer could use the "self defense" defense and not have to defend my "assault with intent to maim" charge.

thanks in advance

Excellent. Train hard man.

the ability to throw and take a punch, as well as defend against a takedown (and get back on your feet if the fight goes to the ground), will help you out in a lot of street fights.

for myself, i wouldn't develop my guard and kicking skills more than i need to for a street fight. however, if i was training for NHB, then i would focus more on MT and the guard.

Some say Muay Thai mixes better with BJJ than just Boxing. Look at Vanderlei, Vitor etc

Boxing is a good mix with BJJ. You are non-committal with your legs, which helps prevent being taken down, and boxing also helps to keep things 'close', which is good for YOUR takedowns.

"Look at Vanderlei, Vitor etc"

At his peak, the night he took out Vanderlei, Vitor was purely boxing and BJJ.

"At his peak, the night he took out Vanderlei, Vitor was purely boxing and BJJ."

Vitor was not purely boxing and BJJ. He had an extensive wrestling background; I believe he wrestled all four years in high school. And it showed against Tra Telligman when they clinched, while Vitor was unloading his punches. If Vitor's sole grappling background was BJJ, then we wouldn't have seen that kind of clinch work, and there probably would've been more guard action from Vitor.

Thanks for the input so far. The boxing gym is in the mountains of Montana. It's inexpensive as hell but very demanding, part of why I am really considering it.

Keep it coming guys!

90% of all streetfights may end up on the ground, but 100% of them start out with some asshole trying to take your head off!

You'd be well served knowing how to defend against the puncher, if nothing else.

Boxing and BJJ is a good combination my friend.

Like others said, it's pretty essential to learn some basic clinch work as well, whizzer, sprawl, etc.

I think another good idea would be to get a little basic MMA under your belt, just for the sake of knowing the transitions between arts and how to defend ground and pound style tactics.

I trained in BJJ for a short time and wasn't very good at it, but once I started training in boxing I fell in love, I'm in the best shape of my life and don't regret one moment that I boxed instead of training BJJ. I've trained boxing for over a year now and still have SO much to work on, but have come so far as well. You'll have a blast, just train smart and don't be anyone's punching bag, you should train for about 3 months before sparring. If you want any other training tips e-mail me at

With a combo of boxing, BJJ and a little dirty tactics, I don't see you being an easy day for anyone.


Do you guys think it would be essential for him to also get even a few months of basic MMA under his belt for some transitions work?

Good for MMA, except no kicks, knees, elbows or defenses against them. Lacking for self defense. I prefer to fight very dirty in a combat situation. If you are fighting for your life, you're not worried about lawsuits. No rules in the street.

Gary Hughes

It's very easy to add dirty tactics to boxing. Actually I have seen (yes with my own eyes) pure boxers clean house in fights using only boxing technique. Two of them were against multiple opponents.

One of which was right outside the boxing gym that I train at, some thugs decided to come down and challenge one of the boxers, it was some old ongoing grudge. Brain trust even brought some friends with him but ended up getting a busted tooth and an ass-whoopin'.

Another one was more serious. This one was witnessed by another friend of mine (not the one doing the fighting). A friend of mine (he's a very good boxer, has been competing for about 5 years now) and two of his friends were walking down the street in New Brunswick, NJ when some idiots decided to start with them. His two friends backed off after exchanging some words and my buddy (Andrew) dealt with the three jackasses. Supposedly he knocked the first one out and went after the second one and the third one hit him over the head with a bottle. A lot of shit went down and Andrew took some punishment, got hit with a radiator from a garbage can and everything but still walked away, the idiots didn't. They fought for a good five minutes according to witnesses. Andrew got beat up pretty bad but still walked away.

Another one was just a basic beatdown by a boxer. The other guy didn't have a chance. (I witnessed this one myself)

In all three the person who walked away was a boxer who didn't have a lesson in anything other than boxing, and used only boxing. Just be careful of not breaking your hand if you ever need to defend yourself. Get used to making a tight fist and hitting with the first two knuckles and you'll be alright.

Evad6317, you could also ask guys on the JKD forum this question, there are a lot of people who have BJJ and boxing as their base systems on there.

Interesting responses guys, keep 'em coming!!!

"It's very easy to add dirty tactics to boxing. Actually I have seen (yes with my own eyes) pure boxers clean house in fights using only boxing technique. Two of them were against multiple opponents."

Now I'm rellly pumped to start boxing. Kick ass feedback, thanks a bunch.

"I find it hard to develop MMA skills solely for the purpose of street self-defense. That's why I think competition is important, in terms of giving you a purpose."

I totally agree with that. In fact I totally agree that that is the case in all arts. Dwelling on self-defense all the time becomes an unhealthy training paradigm after a while, I think, whereas competition, as long as you are not an egotist and need it to validate your entire existence, is the way to go, even if you are just a weekend warrior!

Take into account too that, like I said, training for self-defense only is a very unhealthy training paradigm. Train boxing for a year and then consider fighting an amateur fight or two.

I boxed for about 6 months and all of the sudden I forgot all about self-defense and started thinking about improving this facet, improving that facet, improving conditioning, and suddenly my entire game shot up, I feel like I grew as a person, and I started getting the crazy idea that at 32 years old I should try to fight an amateur fight some day.

It's been dancing around in my head and I may get crazy enough to do it.

But don't dwell on the self-defense aspect, man, once you learn to carry yourself and once you let go of your ego and learn to nice people to death who are dicks you will never get into fights. All the dickheads want is to be respected, just like everyone else. Some dude bumps into you in a bar say excuse me, offer to buy him a drink, and you end up going home in your car not a 5.0 crown vic, capisci?

The sport of boxing, however, will stay with you and it will be a source of healthy enjoyment for quite some time. Awareness and the ability to keep yourself in check keeps you out of fights, out of court, out of prison, out of the hospital, morgue, etc...

Just smile, train, improve, grow and enjoy yourself!!!

Dirty Kenpo and Dirty BJJ and both dirtier (and more effective) than Dirty Boxing. Lots of boxers are in denial here.

Gary Hughes

I think Wrestling mixes with Boxing better than BJJ does, because of the stances and footwork common to both. BJJ and kickboxing seem to go well, for the same reason.

karate and judo works real well, actually, because they're closely related.

Just think about what I said, and box for 6 months. Don't make excuses to not go, train at least 3 times a week and enjoy, then make up your mind on whether my points were valid. Believe me, self-defense will be 1000 miles away by then, but the skills will be there if you need them.