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The Gentle Art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, commonly referred to as BJJ, is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on controlling and subduing an opponent through leverage and proper technique. Though the name contains the word "Jitsu", meaning martial art, BJJ has been coined the "gentle art" because it allows a smaller, weaker person to successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger attacker by using proper technique.

The History

BJJ has its origins in Japan, developed from traditional Jujutsu fighting systems. It was first introduced to Brazil in the early 1900s by master Mitsuyo Maeda, who taught the art to the Gracie family. The Gracies went on to refine the techniques and create what became known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ started gaining widespread popularity across the world in the early 1990s through high profile MMA fights that demonstrated its effectiveness. In the 1st UFC, Royce Gracie in particular, repeatedly defeated larger opponents using BJJ. Today, it is one of the fastest growing martial arts practiced globally.

The Techniques BJJ utilizes grappling techniques like takedowns, submissions, sweeps and other maneuvers. Common tactics include the guard position, back mount, and establishing dominant positions from which to force submission. Chokes, armlocks, leglocks, and spinal locks are all part of the BJJ arsenal.

What makes it unique is the focus on leverage-based techniques that enable a smaller combatant to control and defeat someone larger and stronger. Proper technique, timing, and position are critical. BJJ training also emphasizes sparring ("rolling") to sharpen skills.

The Benefits

There are many benefits to practicing BJJ beyond self-defense:

  • Full body workout and improved flexibility

  • Increased discipline, self-confidence and respect

  • Stress relief and fun recreational activity

  • Tight-knit community atmosphere at most academies

BJJ can be practiced recreationally or competitively. It's an inclusive martial art open to men, women, and children of all ages.

If you're curious about starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reach out and schedule your free trial with us!


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