What Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become one of the most popular and well known martial arts, in part due to its relationship with mixed martial arts (MMA) and the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC.

As a martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was influenced primarily by Japanese Judo, otherwise known as Jiu-Jitsu.  The Gracie Family of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were introduced to Judo when they became students of Mitsuyo Maeda.  Maeda was one of the world’s most accomplished Judoka and  had started a school in Rio around 1917, where he became close to the Gracie family.

Although his 14 year old brother was Maeda’s first student, Helio Gracie is given credit as being the founder and originator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the family liked to call it.  Simply put, Helio took what he knew about Judo and added his own techniques.  These techniques were designed to overcome the effects of strikes and kicks, which are mostly done while standing up.  The Gracie version of Jiu-Jitsu also was designed to overcome the benefits of strength.

This was done by focusing on combatives on the ground and using technical joint locks and chokes that took advantage of leverage and anatomical features which allowed a smaller and weaker fighter to overcome a larger and stronger opponent.

Practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often use traditional Judo throws and other techniques to bring an opponent to the ground, then use techniques to control, subdue, choke and break the bones and joints of an opponent, if need be.

In its traditional form, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not include any punches, elbow strikes or kicks.  Because of this, it is possible to defend yourself against an opponent while doing limited damage to that person, which is another advantage.

Helio Gracie said that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was “the triumph of intelligence over strength”.  Although the art has changed very much since the early 1900’s, this principle is still true.

Many students and teachers of Jiu-Jitsu like to say that it is human chess, because of the almost unlimited possibilities that exist while practicing the art.  It is definitely a cerebral martial art, and it takes thousands of repetitions to master any particular aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Physically speaking, it is a demanding martial art.  However the conditioning benefits are tremendous, and you get in shape without ever throwing or getting punched.

While the techniques student’s learn are very realistic and very practical, while practicing with teammates we do not take the techniques to the point of injury.  Master Pereira or another instructor is always on hand to oversee classes and observe students in a controlled environment.

For this reason it is a great martial art for women and kids.  Women learn how to hold their own against stronger opponents and kids learn discipline and the benefits of dedication and hard work.

To learn more about Team Marcelo Pereira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu contact us here.  We are happy to show you around or give you a deeper introduction to our program.



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