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BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
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BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become an extremely popular global Martial Art. With the significant rise of BJJ in Mixed Martial Arts, and the popularity of prestigious No Gi grappling tournaments, the art is rising into uncharted territory. Numerous people including celebrities that train bjj, are all speaking highly about the formidable grappling system. The recent spike in memberships worldwide is due to the current exposure that the sport is receiving. BJJ is finally getting some recognition from platforms like the UFC, One Championship, ADCC and Who's Number One.

What This Article Covers:

The Brazilian art has a fierce reputation of being one of the most brutal combative forms in the world today. BJJ is a comprehensive system that utilises Judo and Wrestling takedowns, before securing dominant control positions. The art has a high intensity of transitional components that involves guard passing, positional escapes, sweeping and leverage based joint locks and choke holds. Nowadays there are two forms of BJJ that have almost become two different sports, the first is the traditional Gi discipline that involves practitioners to wear a uniform called a Gi. This form is the main choice of athletes competing for world titles at the IBJJF World Championships. The second form is called No Gi or Submission Grappling, where practitioners wear a rashguard and shorts. This form has become increasingly popular due to the rise of broader rulesets where competitors have more freedom within the art.

Tom DeBlass returns to give you the key to unlock the secrets of his legendary half guard--only available from BJJFanatics.com!

what is brazilian jiu jitsu

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THE LEGACY OF BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was formed in the early 1900’s after Mitsuyo Maeda taught his style of Judo to Carlos Gracie. Along with his brother Helio Gracie they became the brazilian jiu jitsu creators, and began to forge a legacy that would outgrow their expectations. As their sport began to thrive in Brazil there was a significant rise of competition that spurred between BJJ and Luta Livre fighters. Many feuds took place like Rixon Gracie vs Hugo Duarte and Fabio Gurgel vs Denilson Maia, as each grappling art put their names forward to claim the number one position. The Gracie's fought many Vale Tudo fights throughout Brazil including famous bouts between Carlos Gracie and Manuel Rufino, George Gracie and Euclydes Hatem, Rolls Gracie and Mario Duma, and Renzo Gracie and Eugenio Tadeu. 

In 1972 the art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu began it's pilgrimage, as Carley Gracie moved to the United States of America to teach BJJ. Rorion Gracie then followed suit 6 years later by moving to California, where he began working in television as an extra, while trying to spread Gracie Jiu Jitsu. The Brazilian art would then claim international recognition as Rorion chose his younger brother Royce Gracie to represent the Gracie clan at the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship event. The question was how effective is brazilian jiu jitsu? and Royce Gracie answered as he displayed a vicious series of grappling that gained him success against several larger opponents, all who were extremely experienced in other fighting styles. 

As a result of the early UFC days, many athletes took the leap and began training in the Brazilian art. BJJ has since become a necessary component of MMA, consolidating the importance of ground fighting in a fight situation. BJJ tournaments are continuing to grow exponentially with a significant rise in the No Gi variant. With the popularity of submission grappling tournaments, like the ADCC, NAGA, Who's Number 1, Polaris, Submission Underground, Fight 2 Win, Kasai Pro, EBI and the Boa Super 8, fans all over the world are tuning into the live streaming services to watch all of the household names fight it out for supremacy. 

HOW DOES BJJ COMPARE TO OTHER MARTIAL ARTS 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a finesse about the art that only high level practitioners possess. It takes a considerable amount of time to build up the skills a practitioner needs to become a superstar. BJJ is unlike many different Martial Arts, as it has an amazing community of people involved in the development of all their students. Other styles of Martial Arts can be rigid and hard for a new student to walk into their dojo, for fear of being sized up. Some cultures in Martial Arts are known for their hard headedness and their brutality. BJJ on the other hand has an extremely soft and nurturing environment, which some people might find strange considering how brutal the art of BJJ can actually be. 

There are significant differences in how all Martial Arts are trained, the bjj philosophy is a simple one, train hard, be humble, be consistent and focus on making the most out of the time spent on the mats. The training regimes in BJJ differ to most other arts, as a Jiu Jitsu academy focuses on repetition of the technical aspect. There is a significant amount of time put into the warm ups, as the dynamic movements are all directly related to BJJ techniques. One of the best parts of BJJ and what other arts struggle to achieve, is to utilise full contact sparring. BJJ offers rolling at the end of every training, which is high paced and full of brutal choke holds and joint locks. Training under this kind of pressure will enable students to improve their skill sets at an extremely rapid rate. 

COMPETITIVE BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has come a long way since the beginning of its birth. The rise of international competitions has become a mainstream passtime for many avid BJJ practitioners. But why is bjj so popular? Many people believe that platforms like the UFC and recent televised No Gi tournaments, have given the sport a significant exposure to the global market. Athletes like Jon Jones, George St Pierre, Charles Oliviera, Rhonda Rousey, Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, Mikey Muscamesi and Craig Jones, have become cult heroes that are paving the way for a new era in competitive BJJ. Now with the high profile tournaments like the ADCC and the IBJJF Worlds, the future of competition grappling looks brighter than ever.

IS BJJ GOOD FOR SELF DEFENSE 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created by the Gracie's to be a self defensive combat system. Nobody, not even Helio would have predicted the popularity of the art would take it down the path of a more sports orientated version. Nowadays with the professionalism of the Gracie University, Rener and Ryion Gracie are growing the self defense component exponentially. The Gracie Combatives Program and the Women's Empowered Program have both seen extensive success with the hand to hand combat element. BJJ is proving that it can be an extremely effective self defense system, as law enforcement agencies across the United States are choosing to combine BJJ elements with their tactical procedures.

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HOW TO PROGRESS IN BJJ

The art of BJJ has an extremely slow progression, as a student will learn first hand how hard it is to move up the ranks. In BJJ there are no specific testing requirements, no catas, no ridiculous way to achieve a promotion, just an old fashioned way, when you're ready then you're ready. Instructors base their gradings on a slow accumulation of technical knowledge and proficiency on the mats. They also factor in other criteria like how they interact within the community, how hard they work, their consistency on the mats and their competitive ability. Some academies have a set list of certain techniques that a practitioner needs to know for each belt rank, while others will just base the promotion on their overall skill inside their academy. 

There is no real secret to progression, just basic facts about jiu jitsu. All a student has to do to progress is keep showing up, and working hard, because BJJ is about repetition. All technical aspects take time to master, so practising them a lot is the key to perfecting the techniques. If students spend as much time as they can on the mats, their movements will become second nature. It is important to develop muscle memory, because in a real life scenario a student's Jiu Jitsu must become instinctive. Once a student can start ticking these boxes their instructor will slowly award them four stripes on their belt, this will usually take six months per stripe. After two years or more in a belt rank, the student will move up in belt colour to the next belt rank. 

There are other ways to progress in BJJ, but not everyone will find it easy. If a student has a serious competitive edge, then diving into BJJ competitions is the way to go. Although winning competitions will not guarantee a belt promotion, it definitely goes a long way to convincing an instructor that the student is ready for the upgrade. Competing is a great way to fast track a student's abilities in BJJ, as it will battle test their game plan in, as close as they can get to a real life scenario. Students don't necessarily have to win competitions either, as a practitioner that shows courage by jumping into the centre of the competition mats, may be all they need to convince an instructor they are ready for the change.

WHAT ARE THE MOST ICONIC MOVES IN BJJ

There are many different techniques in Jiu Jitsu that are extremely effective and exciting to watch. The most iconic move would have to be the rear naked choke, as it is the number one submission used by most competitors. The back control position is the most effective control position in BJJ, which is how a practitioner can set up this choke. The armbar is another highly effective maneuver, this submission is when a practitioner secures the arm and hyper extends the elbow using leverage. The triangle is another powerful choke that is used by most guard players. This choke is secured by using your legs to squeeze around an opponent's arm and neck at the same time.

The double leg takedown is an excellent way of getting the fight to the mat. Many BJJ and MMA athletes utilise this high percentage takedown. It involves changing levels and shooting in low at an opponent's thighs, once a double leg grip is secured momentum is used to drive their opponent sideways onto the mat. The guillotine is another iconic submission in BJJ, as the choke is executed from a front headlock position. Pulling guard is one of the talking points in BJJ, as some people will criticise it and others will embrace it. There is an art form to pulling guard, as it can be a great defensive position and a highly active attacking position. The guard involves wrapping your legs tightly around an opponent's waist as the practitioner will utilise wrist and head control. There are many different types of guard like open guard, x guard, butterfly guard, de la riva guard, 50/50 guard and many others.

Guard passing has become iconic and synonymous with Jiu Jitsu. There are many different ways to pass the guard, in essence it is the practise of breaking out of an opponent's guard, clearing their legs and moving past them to secure a more dominant position like side control, knee ride or mount. Some of the most prolific moves in BJJ are becoming more and more popular due to the rise of No Gi Jiu Jitsu. The leg lock game which includes inside and outside heel hooks, toe holds, calf slicers, ankle locks and knee bars have become increasingly more common. Athletes like Dean Lister, Craig Jones, Lachlan Giles, Eddie Cummings, Gordon Ryan and Luis Panza have taken the leg lock system into a brave new world as they sit at the top of the mountain in No Gi BJJ. 

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE FOR BJJ LOOK LIKE

The growth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has risen tremendously over the course of its progression. It has become extremely popular in certain places all over the world. Even though countries like the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe are well versed in BJJ, there is still a long way to go in spreading the art in places throughout Asia, India and the Middle Easten countries.

Tom DeBlass returns to give you the key to unlock the secrets of his legendary half guard--only available from BJJFanatics.com!

brazilian jiu-jitsu

Once the art has spread worldwide there will be a significant rise in the development of the sport, as each culture has so much to give the art. There is still a lot of work to do to take this sport to the next level, but the question will continue to be asked, will jiu jitsu be in the olympics?. For now the answer is no, but if the right parties make the right changes, then the future of the sport could be in for an Olympic debut. For now fans will have to settle for high flying action in ADCC, IBJJF and various other tournament championships. 

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