What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
If it’s the first time you’ve come across the sport of BJJ, you might be asking yourself. What is brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
? After participating in the sport for 9 years, I just assumed until recently that with the massive growth of BJJ and MMA worldwide, everyone on the planet knows what BJJ is, but I was wrong. Recently a friend of mine who teaches a security class which is mainly comprised of Krav Maga, asked me to assist with a session on ground work which the guys had not been taught. It suddenly dawned on me that the people in the class were well trained in various fighting techniques but had never fought on the ground and had never heard of BJJ. When someone asked me what kind of techniques we were learning, I explained and he asked me, “what is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
I didn’t really have time to explain the rich history and story of BJJ in that class but I thought there might be other people out there who are also asking ‘What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu‘? It makes sense then that on a site like this, I should give a bit of an explanation on BJJ for new comers who are just hearing about this amazing fighting system now. Essentially BJJ is a Martial Art that has a very strong focus on taking the fight to the ground and finishing it there using a wide variety of techniques and movements. These techniques allow the BJJ practitioner to make use of leverage and transitions to dominate their opponent in terms of position and apply various sweeps and submissions consisting of a huge variety of locks and chokes.
BJJ has proven it’s self highly effective as a martial art and it is a given that to compete at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts competition, being skilled at BJJ is absolutely essential. You can’t really talk about the origins of BJJ without speaking about the characters who shaped it and the environment they found themselves in to create it. The explosion of MMA due to the UFC provided a breeding ground and launch pad for the popularity of BJJ. In order to go deeper you need to do some reading about the Gracie family who founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu which has spread into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Helio Gracie and his family started learning judo from a Japanese emigrant to Brazil by the name of Mitsuyo Maeda. The techniques were adapted for use by the small to overcome larger opponents. If you’re looking to really understand ‘What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu“? I suggest reading about these incredible characters. But I’m not planning to re-write wikipedia for this article so I recommend the following articles if you’d like to expand your knowledge.
For me, BJJ is really about the following:
I love the sport. It gives me joy.
Often compared to human chess, it is a highly complex art that always keeps me learning.
It’s constantly evolving and is not an art based on ancient forms or Katas that no longer have a basis in modern reality. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the forms in some of the beautiful martial arts. There’s nothing beautiful to watch about BJJ drills or BJJ training or ‘rolling’ but it sure is effective.
The ability to force your opponent to submit without hurting them means you can train full contact, making training highly realistic and super effective against a real live and resisting opponent.
BJJ competition is great fun.
As a fighting system it so valuable to me, as if some drunk idiot attacks you at a party, you can force him to quit without injuring him but alternatively if you find yourself up against a dangerous attacker, you literally have the ability to break his bones or kill him.
I’m a security officer and amateur MMA fighter and I fully acknowledge that I need other skills such as those offered by Boxing, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Krav Maga and I train and enjoy them all but when the need arises, BJJ is a critical skill set to me.
So to answer the original question, ‘what is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?’. When it comes to Martial arts and sport in general, it is my first love. Everyone old and young can and should do it. It has changed the way I think and learn and has radically transformed me mentally, physically and emotionally. You should definitely give it a try.