What is Brazilian Jiu Jistu (BJJ)?

What is BJJ?

Self-Defence? Wrestling? Fitness? Martial Arts?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) stormed over the martial arts world in the last couple of decades and established itself as one of the main styles of combat arts you must know to be a complete fighter.

Even if you do not have such high aspirations, you have a lot to gain by training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

BJJ is a martial art based on grappling and the central purpose is controlling a resisting opponent with techniques that force them to submit or incapacitate them. For this very purpose are used different principles of leverage, angles, pressure, and the knowledge where the limits of the human body lie. These skills can overcome vast differences in physical attributes like strength and weight, allowing the grappler to control much larger and more aggressive opponents. 

Now, this is a skill that you should definitely want to have.

Why is BJJ so popular?

BJJ: A Martial Art, Self-Defence and a Sport

The “gentle art” as BJJ is sometimes called has gained massive popularity worldwide for a reason. It has both very well-developed sports aspect that goes from a beginner to a professional level with international competitions, while at the same time it has proven itself to be one of the best forms of self-defense.

If you watched (or participated in) a street fight you must know that a vast percentage of the fights end up on the ground, or at least in a standing clinch position. Once there the BJJ skills reign supreme. It’s a fact that controlling a resisting person is much easier on the ground, so the majority of BJJ is centered around getting the opponent down and securing a dominant position from where they can be neutralized. 

The knowledge of how to control and subdue an opponent with whatever level of severity you choose is invaluable. For example, law enforcement personnel often need to incapacitate a threat without doing too much harm and this often can be the case in a real-life situation everybody can encounter. 


The sport of BJJ

“Position, Position, Submission.”

BJJ can also bring you medals, fame, and a career as an athlete. Even though it was developed as a system to beat a larger opponent in a confrontation since the mid-1990s the art has become a worldwide sport with a wide range of competitions ranging from kindergarten children to world level athletes. 

Sport Jiu-jitsu shares most of the elements of the self-defense version, but there are also some key differences. There are certain positions employed in the sport that are very beneficial when you are trying to score points in the specific ruleset, but it would be pure madness to use them in a real fight. Competitors also use specific tactics that exploit the rules and maximize the chance to be awarded a victory.

The core principles of the two branches of BJJ are largely the same, but some of the things used in gi-based jiu-jitsu tournaments are not applicable at all in a scenario where strikes are allowed- being a real fight or MMA match. 

With that said there are many benefits from sport BJJ that are directly applicable in real life. Preparing for a competition brings intensity of training that can be hard to reach if you are not preparing for some specific event. 

Competing in a tournament brings anxiety and adrenaline impossible to replicate in the gym and learning to control and use these feelings is an invaluable life skill. 

BJJ at Eagle Martial Arts

Practice all aspects of BJJ

Eagle Martial Arts’ BJJ program focuses on self-defense and also provides the opportunity to compete, allowing you to pursue one or both aspects of the art. EMA helps you decide which path you want to dedicate your practice to. 


Short history of BJJ

Carlos Gracie – the pioneer of BJJ

The word Brazilian in the name should be self-explanatory where the martial arts comes from, but this is not the full story. The original martial arts BJJ sprouted from is the Japanese jiu-jitsu, which was used by the samurai for hand-to-hand combat. 

Late in the 1800s, the founder of judo Jigaro Kano started to combine both styles in order to create a new martial system. In 1915 one of his emissaries- Mitsyo Maeda arrived in Brazil and began teaching and showcasing his martial art. There a young kid named Carlos Gracie was brought in to the dojo by his father. In his hands and that of the Gracie family, jiu-jitsu evolved into a different animal that later became known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Since the very early days, the Gracies tested their style in challenge matches, street fights, and even professional bouts against any and all other styles to prove the efficiency of their art. Generations of the Gracie family members honed and perfected the art before we arrive in the early 1990s and the rise of the UFC. 

The beginnings of modern MMA are indeed tightly connected to proving that BJJ is the superior combat art. In 1993 a relatively small man Royce Gracie dominated the first Ultimate Fighting tournament using only his grappling skills and exploded the popularity of BJJ as an indispensable addition to the skillset of a complete fighter. 

EMA BJJ Lineage
(Picture: Eagle Martial Arts BJJ Instructor Lineage)

Get the benefits of BJJ

Self-Defence, Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Fitness & more

There are huge physical and well-documented benefits in training BJJ. Jiu-jitsu challenges the body in pretty much all aspects- strength, flexibility, endurance, durability. You develop your body while also learning new skills.

Some might argue that the mental gains are even more than the physical ones. Practicing any martial art is a never-ending journey to self-improvement that builds character, fortifies the mind, and develops mental fortitude. BJJ is also known as “human chess” for its countless techniques and concepts. Immersing yourself in them will surely sharpen your mind and body.

BJJ has proven to be one of the most potent self-defense systems on the planet. Unlike many other styles and systems, it was thrown into the fire of real conflict countless times to be strengthened and perfected. 

It is also an amazing and complex sport, an integral part of Mixed Martial Arts, and even a great workout for health. 

Jiu jitsu for you can be any of these aspects or maybe something else you want it to be. Come join the BJJ program at EMA and start discovering what BJJ is for you.

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