I’ve encountered this issue recently, regarding what someone not in the sport might call a person who does jiu jitsu. Both terms are used when talking about jiu jitsu students, but what do you prefer? It does make sense to call oneself a “martial artist”- jiu jitsu is considered a martial art, and so in that line of thinking it makes sense.
I always prefer the term “grappler” though, when talking about jiu jitsu. Probably because this is what I think of when I hear the term “martial artist”:
…If only I could be so cool.
But the term grappler I feel also emphasizes more the sport element of jiu jitsu, which technically isn’t wrong, but doesn’t paint the whole picture. Jiu jitsu did start as a self defense system, and that history should be acknowledged and respected.
I guess it depends on how you view jiu jitsu itself: do you think of it as a martial art and self defense system, or do you think of it as more of a sport?
Let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!