The Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A martial art that has gained much more notoriety in the past years is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This martial art focusses on taking an opponent to the ground and attacking him using joint locks and choke holds. It was started in the early 20th century by a Japanese man who imigrated to brazil and pioneered as its own martial art by his early disciples.

BJJ has its roots in judo because of the Japanese master’s own roots. However it was developed further and into its own martial art from the early user’s competing and learning as they went along. BJJ also incorporates moves from other martial arts that are effective as well. In addition to its relative youth compared to other long standing tradition martial arts, BJJ differs from traditional martial arts by being a sport and a way to simply improve fitness rather than just a systern of fighting.


Brazilian jiu jitsu traditional gi

The traditional practitioners of BJJ wear a gi made of heavy cotton. This gi gives the opportunity to provide paces to grasp and opponent and a tool to choke him out with. The belt is used to secure the gi and signify rank similar to many traditional japanese martial arts. In recent times no-gi BJJ has become more popular, especially with those competing in mixed martial arts and those just seeking the exercise, where just fighting shorts and possibly a shirt are worn.

Fighting Style

The main advantage of BJJ lies int he fact that a smaller opponent, with the correct technique, can defeat even larger opponents. This also takes into account that a larger opponent will generally seek to  use striking to take down an opponent and will not focus on his ground game as much. Also when grappling a larger opponents strength can be negated by an experienced grappler. This is achieved by using leverage and getting in positions where the mechanical advantage is such that no amount of strength can break through the experienced grappler’s advances.

The way BJJ seeks to end a fight is through joint-locks and chokeholds. Joint-locks focusing on bending body parts the way they shouldn’t be to cause pain and, if used for real self defense situations, broken bones or torn connecting tissue. And of course chokeholds used to knock out your opponent through lack of oxygen or blood to the brain.

For a whole bunch of basic BJJ techniques click here

Ground Supperiority

BJJ almost exclusively focusses on fighting on the ground. This is much different from other fighting styles which either exclusively  focus on striking from a stand up position or split time between a ground game and a takedown game. This almost exclusive ground training gives a BJJ fighter a great opportunity to train himself to become a dominating force on the ground.

A great BJJ user will be comfortable in any situation you place them in on the ground. Realistically though he will simply work his way to a position he wants to be in and finish you off from there, or at the first mistake you make before he gets there. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become a platform in recent years to form a dominating ground game and control a fight, hopefully leading one’s self ending up in the winner’s chair but even a loss can be used to better one’s self.

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