What is Brazilian Jujitsu?

Brazilian Jujitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan and was later developed and popularized in Brazil.

It focuses on ground fighting and submission holds, emphasizing leverage and technique to overcome larger and stronger opponents. BJJ places a strong emphasis on grappling and ground control, with the goal of submitting an opponent through joint locks or chokeholds.

One of the fundamental principles of BJJ is the idea that a smaller, weaker person can effectively defend themselves against a larger, stronger opponent by using proper technique and leverage. Training in BJJ involves a combination of positional drills, sparring (rolling), and live grappling sessions, where practitioners learn to apply and defend against various submissions and control positions.

Here’s a brief overview of the evolution of BJJ:

  1. Judo Roots (late 19th to early 20th century): Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s foundations can be traced back to Judo, which itself evolved from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. Judo was developed by Jigoro Kano in the late 19th century, focusing on throws, groundwork, and submissions. Mitsuyo Maeda, a skilled Judoka, travelled the world to demonstrate and teach Judo.
  2. Maeda in Brazil (early 20th century): Mitsuyo Maeda, also known as Conde Koma, arrived in Brazil in 1914. In Brazil, he befriended Gastão Gracie, and as a token of gratitude, he taught Judo to Gastão’s son, Carlos Gracie.
  3. Gracie Adaptations (1920s-1930s): Carlos Gracie, along with his brothers, adapted and modified the techniques learned from Maeda to suit their physiques and preferences. They focused on ground fighting, emphasizing leverage and technique over strength.
  4. Birth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (1920s-1930s): Carlos Gracie opened the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy in Rio de Janeiro in 1925. The Gracie family continued to refine and develop their own style of Jiu-Jitsu, which eventually became known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
  5. Helio Gracie’s Influence (20th century): Helio Gracie, one of Carlos’s younger brothers, made significant contributions to the art. Due to his smaller stature and health issues, Helio focused on developing techniques that allowed a practitioner to defeat a larger opponent through leverage and technique.
  6. Growth and Spread (20th century): BJJ gained popularity in Brazil and gradually expanded internationally. The Gracie family played a crucial role in promoting BJJ through challenge matches and competitions.
  7. Globalization and Modern Era (late 20th century – present): BJJ continued to spread globally, especially with the establishment of BJJ academies outside of Brazil. The art gained recognition for its effectiveness in mixed martial arts (MMA), with many MMA fighters incorporating BJJ into their training.

In addition to its effectiveness in self-defence, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become a popular sport with organized competitions at various levels, from local tournaments to international championships. BJJ has also gained recognition as a valuable component of mixed martial arts (MMA) training, where fighters often incorporate BJJ techniques to enhance their ground game.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.