Can Christians do Jiu Jitsu? (Or Is It A Sin)


BJJ is a fantastic sport but you are trying to strangle someone so can you do it as a Christian? I decided to research the internet and find out.

You must consider BJJ fueling aggression thacontradicts directly with Matthew 10:16 but there are many Christian MMA and BJJ fighters like Jon Jones and André Galvão who practice Christianity so it’s ultimately it’s up to you and your relationship with God.

However, it’s important to look at the physical and spiritual implications of doing BJJ and decide for yourself where your faith is.

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Can Christians Do Combat Sports In General?

Christianity and combat sports don’t seem to go together like a Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich, but you can still do BJJ without sinning, as it depends on your situation.

Philippians 2:12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling

Philippians 2:12

This verse is saying everyone practices their Christian faith in different ways, whether you choose to spread the word of God with MMA or with BJJ God is your final judge.

There are many high profile Christian MMA fighters a sport even more violent than BJJ, such as Jon Jones, Yoel Romero, and Ben Henderson.

There are websites like the fellowship of Christian fighters(see the link here) where they explain what it’s like to be a Christian fighter full of Bible verses.

Also, you have a Christian themed MMA clothing line(Jesus Didn’t Tap) by the former MMA fighter and social media. personality Jason David Frank. BJJ is a big part of MMA so this can be applied to BJJ as well.

In 2014 the American documentary Fight Church looks at the rich subculture of Christianity and MMA and includes the previously mentioned fighters.

The documentary shows the lives of some Church pastors that see MMA being an important part of their Christian fame with the estimation of over 700 Churches in the US that have added martial arts into their ministers. This number has likely grown since 2014. You can see the trailer of Fight Church above.

Is BJJ Too Violent For A Christian?

BJJ could be seen as less violent like sports like Muay Thai the sport of the 8 limbs with striking from the legs, hands, knees, and elbows as you never hit anyone, just choke. If your interested in if Christians can do Muay Thai check my post here.

It is less violent than even Boxing and way less violence compared to what you see in the old testament. Still, if you hold anything back because of your faith you will be putting yourself at a big disadvantage.

Many scriptures speak out against violence such has Matt 26:52. where he argues that all those who take up the sword(do violence) will perish by the violence.

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword

Matt 26:52

However, when Jesus knew his arrest was going to happen in (Luke 22:36) he tells his disciplines to sell their cloaks to buy a sword(violence) if they don’t have one

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Luke 22:36

These verses give evidence to the numerous Christians around the world who practice MMA and BJJ, as the bible does not condemn self-defense with the use of force being justified. You must look into yourself and your Christian faith and understand BJJ would only be a sin if you think it would be.

Do Christians Have Spiritual Implications Doing Combat Sports?

Any spiritual implications from doing Muay Thai will depend on the person you are since our relationship with God is a personal one. The issue is BJJ can fuel an aggressive nature if your aggressive normally which can contradict with Matthew 10:16.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Matthew 10:16

This could lead a Christian confused and confuse the scriptures to justify their passion for combat sports which isn’t related to the fighters but also the millions who watch UFC on pay per view who goes back to the love of violence in ancient Rome.

This desire to win in MMA can cause an ago complex with even the humble fighter, which according to Luke 14:11 when unchecked this will lead to your downfall. We saw this with the former UFC champion Ronda Rousey he’s ego destroyed her.

You can see her downfall in the video below.

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

How BJJ Helps Christian Spirituality

Mick Pope is Professor of Environmental Mission at Missional University(religious uni) and a member of the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, and also has a first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu says about BJJ and Christian Spirituality

He says in this paper here that BJJ provides an opportunity to respect God in three different ways.

  • Respect for our god-given physicality and how all life can end
  • The pursuit of a BJJ flow state(a state in BJJ) and how this provides a model for biblical holism and the cultivation of virtue.
  • BJJ helps bring people together in both a competitive and collaborative way that promotes humility a Christian virtue

Although as a Christian you need to remember the following factors before you do BJJ since this is a controversial topic. Do not be a weaker Christian and stumble by practicing BJJ (Rom.14).

Secondly, you must resist the temptation of starting fights with newfound BJJ skills, and don’t use BJJ taking up your time as an excuse to take away from your Christian duties such as helping your local church Church (Heb. 10:25)

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Look inside yourself and your relationship with God and ask yourself, what are my motives for doing BJJ? Make sure it’s not non-Christian motives like wanting to feel tough but more like learning and exploring the skill itself whilst remembering your Christian morals.

Is BJJ Spiritual?

BJJ or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu did evolve from traditional Jiu-Jitsu in japan but it does not represent a spiritual philosophy, it started as a martial art for self-defense. No spiritual practices are taught in the sport, or paying homage to a belief system like Yoga does with Buddhism.

Unlike traditional martial arts like Tai Chi or even Taekwondo BJJ does not represent any spiritual Philosophy, or tries to take you to go to a different spiritual plane like Tai Chi.

Most of the structure and what the classes will teach you will depend on the coach’s philosophy to life in general and how he or she will approach how they treat the martial art.

If you want to see how Andre Galvão a 4th-degree black belt who is a deeply religious opinion on BJJ sees the video above. Also, you want to read a Christian view on BJJ check out Christian BJJ blog bjjunderthecross right here.

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