Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, is a martial art & combat sport that focuses on using the principles of leverage to defeat your opponent by gaining a dominant position over them & applying a submission hold (usually chokes or joint locks). Modern Brazilian Jiu-jitsu traces its roots to the older Japanese art Jujitsu, which was later refined in Japan for more sporting purposes & renamed Judo. Judo & BJJ have many techniques in common; however, Judo emphasizes primarily throwing techniques, while BJJ focuses more on finishing the fight on the ground. Modern BJJ encompasses almost all grappling arts; including wrestling. “Jiu-jitsu” translates as “gentle art” and it focuses on using leverage and technique redirect your opponent’s strength and to maximize your own strength in the most efficient manner possible. For this reason, the techniques of BJJ have been proven to be very effective for smaller, weaker people, even against a much larger, more athletic opponent.
In BJJ, there are no static “forms” or moves that are “too lethal” to practice in any type of realistic context. Because it is a grappling art, practitioners can safely spar with at full speed with live resistance, while minimizing the chance for serious injury- making it the most effective, “battle-tested” art in the world. BJJ is one of the very few Martial Arts in the world that gives students the ability to test the effectiveness of their techniques in a live setting; which is a huge gift and an even bigger responsibility. Live sparring and drilling is an extremely important component of training in BJJ, and a student’s ability to apply their techniques in a realistic situation with a resisting opponent also plays a major role in rank advancement in the art. BJJ is traditionally practiced in the gi, or kimono, a uniform consisting of loose fitting pants and a jacket, which enables the practitioner to use the grips on the cloth to hold, throw, and submit their opponent. However, techniques for training without the kimono (or “no-gi”) are also taught. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu may be used for self-defense, sport-grappling tournaments, and mixed martial arts (MMA).
The effectiveness of BJJ is unquestionable, and has been proven over the years so much so that it is now a staple of virtually every professional fighter’s arsenal. Whether you are young or old, looking for a healthy hobby, a system of self-defense, or wanting to become a serious competitor or professional fighter, the practice of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu will give you a lifetime of benefits, if one is willing to put in the time & dedication to become a serious student.
Give us a call today to schedule a free introductory class to see if Jiu Jitsu is the art for you!
National Martial Arts is proud member of the Renato Tavares Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association. Master Tavares, a 5th Degree Black Belt and PanAm Gold Medalist, visits NMA several times a year and shares his knowledge with the students and staff.