What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

What is brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport and martial art based on control techniques and ground-based submissions. 

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a combat sport and martial art based on control techniques and ground-based submissions.

The aim is to neutralise your opponent using ground techniques to obtain a dominant position, or using submissions (joint locks, strangleholds, muscle compressions) to force your opponent to surrender (without having to strike a single blow).

Initially developed as a system of self-defence, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was revealed to the world with the first mixed martial arts combats organised in the United States, establishing itself as an effective way of overcoming a stronger adversary by bringing the combat to the floor. Since then, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has developed as a sport in its own right with competitions and federations around the world.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu combat

How a combat unfolds:

In competition, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu combats begin standing but mostly take place on the floor: either by being brought to the floor, or because one of the participants decides to sit to put up a block. The person who is below (known as the "guardeiro") can try to force their opponent to submit or reverse it (thus ending up in the higher position). The person who is above (known as the "passador") can also try to force their opponent to submit or break through their opponent's guard.

The combat ends only if one of the combatants surrenders (by giving three taps on their opponent or the floor) or if they are no longer in a condition to continue the fight. If neither of the previous two cases occurs at the end of the match time, the person who has scored the highest number of points is declared the winner.

A short history of brazilian jiu-jitsu

At the beginning of the 1900s, Mitsuyo Maeda, a pupil of Jigoro Kano, was sent to Brazil to promote and teach Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. On his arrival in Brazil, he was welcomed and supported by a politician named Gastão Gracie. In thanks for the help he received to establish himself in Brazil, Mitsuyo Maeda taught Jiu-Jitsu to Carlos and Hélio, Gastão's two sons. Hélio, being particularly small, quickly understood that by applying certain concepts, floor-based combat allowed him to greatly reduce the impact of a difference in size between two adversaries. Together with his brother Carlos, he developed a system using the floor-based techniques and guarding himself by positioning his legs between himself and his adversary.

Carlos and Hélio had several sons who were all trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Several of them took on challenges to prove the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through multiple mixed martial arts combats. Following the Gracie's victories through these events, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu took off and has now developed into a world-famous sport in its own right.