Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) – a descendant of Judo – is a popular self-defense system, martial art, and combat sport that has gained widespread popularity in North America, thanks in large part to mixed martial arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In fact, most of the best MMA fighters today choose jiu jitsu as their primary grappling and ground fighting sport.
With origins in Japan, BJJ originated from the judoka founders (Mitsuyo Maeda, Soshihiro Satake) and was passed along to Luis Franca and Carlos Gracie, patriarch of the legendary Gracie family of martial artists.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s main selling point is that it allows smaller, weaker athletes to overcome bigger, stronger opponents by getting them on the ground and employing grappling tactics (e..g joint locks, choke holds) that favor technique, leverage, and physical endurance.
Why makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so Damn Exciting?
Upon first glance, a grappling sport may not seem very exciting to watch or participate in. However, BJJ transcends conventional wrestling and Judo by offering athletes “human chess”. Combatants engage in a series of holds and counter holds in an effort to wear down the opponent and eventually get a submission.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu demands a high level of concentration, because one false move or lapse may mean defeat. The vast array of grappling techniques (e.g. clinch holds, submission holds, sweeps, attacks) and ground positions (e.g. guards, side control, full mount) lend themselves to heightened anticipation for athlete and spectator alike.
The variety offered in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu combat contrasts sharply with the predictability of classical boxing. Thanks to the UFC and other mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations, BJJ is quickly gaining respect outside its Brazilian homeland.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Fitness.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s structured workout model allows you to burn calories, get fit, and lose weight without resorting to ridiculous diets. Plus, you learn the thinking behind the various strategies and tactics.
A typical BJJ conditioning circuit may include all or several of the following:
- Sprawls in place
- Jumping Jacks
- Knee walks
- Arm drags
- Hip escapes
Beyond conditioning, we have:
- Endurance Training (e.g. Middle-distance running on a variety of surfaces).
- Explosive Power Training.
- Strength Workouts (e.g. Kettlebells for grip strength).
- Stamina Workouts (e.g. sparring three (3) rounds of three minutes each).
Like other martial arts, students must establish a strong core and conditioning base. However, the best way to become good at BJJ is to practice BJJ.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Self-Defense.
The armed forces, police academies, and female self-defense classes all champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is excellent for self-defense, because the training emphasizes real-world situations and several options for getting out of bad situations quickly. Of note, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has acquired a well-earned reputation for offering effective self-defense techniques for non-athletes.
Regardless of your size and strength, BJJ techniques can help you counter and neutralize attacks quickly and effectively. It offers a variety of defenses to use against gun and knife attacks. It offers multiple escapes from choke holds, headlocks, and other street attack situations. In addition, it offers advice on falling, rolling and taking attackers to the ground.
That being said, many BJJ experts do not recommend martial arts for street-fighting. Use it to counteract an attack, subdue the assailant, then escape and seek police assistance as soon as possible.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not only a combat sport, but a lifestyle choice for its most devoted and passionate practitioners. Most accredited training centers take a community-based approach to learning that leaves no student behind. As an all-round combat sport, the training will improve your self-confidence, build a stronger, tougher physique; give you amazing cardio-endurance, and equip you with strategies for escaping street attacks.