Brazilian Jui Jitsu is a unique martial art with Japanese origins. The style focuses on levers, torsions and pressure to take an opponent to the ground and overpower them. Ironically, ‘Jui Jitsui’ directly translates to ‘gentle art’. However, it can be a lethal style.
The development of Brazilian Jui Jitsu stretches back to the beginning of the 20th century. As Japanese Jui Jitsu spread worldwide, students developed fighting styles based on its principles. Esai Maeda, a Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster from Japan, travelled to Brazil in 1914, setting the scene for the development of BJJ. He challenged fighters from different martial art styles, including Capoeira, and earned a reputation as the best. A young boy, Hello, from the Gracie family, took an interest in the style and eventually learnt it. However, his frail physique didn’t allow him to execute most of the techniques in Jiu Jitsu. Therefore, he developed original techniques and modified existing manoeuvres to create Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The style focuses on unique judo throws, wrestling takedowns, choke-holds, joint locks, sweeps and grappling manoeuvres. BJJ is recognised globally as a martial art and is also included in competitive sports.
The Brazilian Jui Jitsu key skills translate to other areas of life and offer unique benefits. For example,
BJJ is an effective self-defence style. Unlike most fighting techniques, BJJ focuses on taking down the opponent, which gives control over the fight. Hello Gracie, the father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, developed different maneuvres that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a takedown with minimal effort. Therefore, practitioners can match up against opponents who outweigh and out-muscle them, as with most assailants.
Since most street fights end on the ground, BJJ offers a unique tactical advantage. The style focuses on taking dominance after a takedown. For example, the choke-holds and joint locks are designed to incapacitate opponents and force them into submission.
Another factor that makes BJJ a highly effective style for self-defence is that anyone can learn it. Women, men, and children as young as five can learn and practice BJJ. The learning process is gradual and progresses from basic techniques to advanced manoeuvres. Furthermore, all the maneuvres are designed for a weaker practitioner to subdue more vigorous opponents: therefore, no one is prevented from learning.
Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu improves physical fitness. It yields excellent results, and many personal and sports trainers recommend it as part of routine fitness training. Here is a quick overview of how BJJ improves fitness.
BJJ requires strength. A takedown, a grapple, a choke, and a joint lock are complex movements that involve multiple muscle groups. As a result, training involves improving strength across all muscle groups to ensure each manoeuvre is executed with ease.
BJJ uses compound movements that are executed against resistance. As a result, the muscles hypertrophy to match the growth in strength. Ultimately, practitioners develop larger, toned muscles.
An increase in muscle and cardiovascular endurance is one of the benefits of practising BJJ. The style demands the execution of sustained holds and locks that improve muscle endurance. As a result, practitioners can engage their muscle groups for long periods without fatigue. Furthermore, the physicality of the style increases cardiovascular function as the heart adapts to improving circulation to different muscle groups.
Unlike other training techniques, BJJ focuses on flexibility since some of its manoeuvres involve stretching the joints into unnatural positions. As a result, students are often subjected to stretching exercises that improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
The physical benefits of BJJ are unmatched. Although most students set out to learn to fight, they acquire impeccable strength and attain stunning physiques from the training.
BJJ offers character development through training and practice. Students eventually acquire the following qualities as they progress in their training.
Learning BJJ teaches patience. Transitioning from amateur to professional takes years of training and mastering different techniques. Furthermore, each level presents unique difficulties that require time to overcome. Learning a manoeuvre in BJJ also requires several repetitions to streamline the execution and build a good mind-muscle connection. As a result, patience is not only learnt as a basic requirement in BJJ.
This describes the strength of mind that enables an individual to face danger or bear adversity with courage. The gruelling training and fights of BJJ impart unmatched mental strength to its students. The primary aim of BJJ is to subdue a formidable opponent. As a result, there is no room for fear in training or practice.
Furthermore, BJJ training involves a lot of painful exercise routines and training techniques. Furthermore, minor injuries are quite common. Nonetheless, students are taught to overcome the pain and see through their fights. Therefore, although safety is a priority, it’s not an excuse for cowardice.
BJJ training involves taking directions from a senior-level practitioner or professional instructor. As a result, obedience is a basic requirement for students trying to make progress in their training.
Furthermore, several laws govern the practice of BJJ. These laws are designed to maintain safety and uphold the principles behind BJJ as a martial art. Therefore, practitioners are required to obey all laws applicable to the latter, and any form of disobedience will result in immediate punishment.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is known to improve confidence in several ways. For example, practitioners are trained to overcome their fears and go up against formidable opponents. This demands confidence which is eventually learnt. Furthermore, training improves physical fitness, which boosts an individual’s confidence.
Once practitioners have learnt techniques and manoeuvres in BJJ, they have to discern the most appropriate approach to defence and offence based on their situation. The ability to make this decision improves their power of discernment. Over time, a practitioner is expected to make split-second decisions that eventually influence the outcome of a fight. The unique power of discernment acquired from BJJ training spills over into other spheres of life. As a result, practitioners can reach many decisions faster and more accurately.
Although there are many styles in martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stands out as one of the most beneficial. It has no entry limitations and teaches techniques that translate into real-life situations. Furthermore, its benefits go beyond the fighting arena and training grounds. Therefore, it is a great choice for anyone who has taken an interest in martial arts. Start learning today, and your life will never be the same again.