Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. The art was derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan judo in the early 20th century.
It teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique—most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self defense . Sparring (commonly referred to as ‘rolling’) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition, in relation to progress and ascension through the grades/belts.
Q. What does “Jiu-Jitsu” mean?
A. Jiu-Jitsu translates to “the gentle art”, it is referred to as such because the art utilizes leverage and balance rather than force and strength. Also the finishing submissions are viewed as a more humane alternative to striking.
Q. What is the difference between Classical or Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
A. There are numerous differences the main one being BJJ focuses more on ground grappling while Classical Jiu-Jitsu places a greater emphasis on standing grappling and striking.
Q. Why do Jiu-Jitsu practitioners where the gi?
A. The gi serves as a teaching tool for developing a strong grip, balance, and control. Fighting with the gi requires a high level of precision and attention to detail; two tools essential for good Jiu-Jitsu.
Q. What is the belt system in Jiu-Jitsu?
A. Belts in BJJ include white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each successive belt represents an increased mastery of the art.
Q. How long does it take to obtain a black belt?
A. This varies for each individual however it is usually between 8 and 15 years.
Q. Why does Jiu-Jitsu focus on ground fighting?
A. First of all, it is a fact that nearly all real fights will go to the ground. Also, BJJ always prepares its fighters for a physically superior opponent, someone much bigger and stronger. Striking with a larger opponent is very dangerous, when on the feet the utilize leverage to his advantage and instead must try to match strength. On the ground leverage can be used to control and submit even the largest of foes. It has been proven time and again that if you can’t fight on the ground then you can’t fight.
Q. Is Jiu-Jitsu effective against other styles of martial arts?
A. In MMA (mixed martial arts) matches and no-rules challenge matches Jiu-Jitsu has consistently proved its supremacy. Evidence of this can be found in the videos Gracies in Action I & II, a documentary in which the finest Jiu-Jitsu fighters took on and defeated all comers.
Q. What are some of the physical benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu?
A. Jiu-Jitsu if the best workout I’ve ever experienced. In addition it improves balance, coordination, cardio vascular capacity, and muscular endurance.
Q. Is Jiu-Jitsu beneficial for women?
A. Jiu-Jitsu is excellent for rape prevention and other forms of self-defense necessary for women. Also, since Jiu-Jitsu was designed for smaller people women will not find their lack of size a hindrance.
Q. How are classes structured?
A. Most schools begin with a warm up of stretching and calisthenics, then a series of grappling related drills, followed by technique instruction, and finally a long period of sparing (also known as rolling).
Q. Is it possible to learn Jiu-Jitsu simply by reading instructional books and watching videos?
A. No, those mentioned above should serve simply as supplements to a Jiu-Jitsu program. In order to learn and progress in the art one must have a qualified instructor and numerous training partners.