Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art form attributed to the populous South American nation. The sport focuses on grappling, and is quite popular as a combat sport and a form of self defense. Carlos and Helio Gracie are considered the official founders of BJJ. The pair introduced various styles and principles that made it the unique form of martial art it is today.
The Origin Of Brazilian Jiu Jutsu
One of the leading experts in Kokodan was Mitsuyo Maeda, who left Japan in 1904 to give judo demonstrations around the world by taking on wrestlers, boxers and other kinds of fighters. He entered Brazil in 1914; and in 1916, Maeda participated in shows at the American Circus, partly owned by Gastao Gracie. Carlos Gracie, the son of Gastao Gracie, saw one of the performances and decided to learn the art, and Maeda decided to take him as a student.
Gracie Family Influences
Later, when Gracie went to teach the martial art form in the US, he used the name Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Its strong links to the Gracie family also earned it the name “Gracie jiu-jitsu”. The Gracie family took it from there, and oriented the sports towards the principles it is known for today. Generally, the sport promotes the concept that even a small and weak person can defend himself against a much stronger and bigger opponent.
In BJJ, this is achieved through superior fighting techniques. They include leveraging the opponent’s strength against himself, and using ground fighting techniques such as chokeholds and joint-locks to overcome an opponent. The skills taught in BJJ can be used in other forms of combat, including mixed martial arts and self defense – or even physical lines of work, such as construction, tree service, bouncing, personal training, and more!
At the end of the day, a BJJ expert should be able to use leverage to amplify and use force more effectively. This form of martial arts also emphasizes the skills needed to fight when one is lying on their back. Again, this is a means to give the weaker opponent an edge, since they are more likely to find themselves in such a position during a duel.
Links To Other Forms Of Martial Art
Even today, BJJ has strong links to judo. In fact, all the rules of judo are allowed in this form of martial arts, including its scoring rules. Forms of takedown used in wrestling and sambo are also permitted in BJJ. However, Kokodan judo, on which this form of martial art was based, has become increasingly restrictive when it comes to the rules, which means many rules currently used in BJJ would not work in judo tournaments.
The grading system for BJJ was borrowed from the judo ranking system, but it has grown to include a number of modifications. For instance, there is a difference between youth and adult belts in BJJ, which is not the case with judo. To get a BJJ black belt, it takes about 8 to 10 years of regular training.
In BJJ sporting, points are earned when one of the fighters attains a superior position. Such positions make it easier to defend and strike. Real-life evidence has proven that this form of fighting is more effective for self-defense as well.
Even today, BJJ is undergoing numerous modifications by many of its popular practitioners. For instance, Rose Gracie is promoting a BJJ fighting style that marks a departure from point and advantage-based scoring during tournaments. However, the initial changes introduced by Helio and Carlos are still dominant today.