What is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Art, self-defensive system, and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) traces its roots way back in the year 1906. It was developed from the traditional Japanese JuJutsu and Kodokan Judo ground fights that were taught by several practitioners such as Soshihiro Satake, Mitsuyo Maeda, and Takeo Yano. Jiu-jitsu lastly became its own art through the practices, experiments, and adaptation of Judo through Hello Gracie and Carlos as well as other instructors.
Jiu Jitsu aims at teaching a weaker, smaller person on how to successfully defend against a stronger, heavier, and bigger assailant by using proper leverage, technique, and most importantly, taking the attacker to the ground and applying chokeholds, joint-locks, to overcome the opponent. It comprises stand-up maneuvers, but it is most popular for its intricate ground-fighting techniques. Acquiring superior positioning so that you can apply the style’s numerous holds, joint manipulations, locks, and chokes on an opponent are fundamental to BJJ.
Types of Jiu-Jitsu Movements and Positions
- Full Mount – In this position, the practitioner sits astride the assailant’s chest, taking full control of the assailant with his hips and body weight. Full mount BJJ can be successfully employed to apply chokes or arm locks.
- Side Control – In this position, the practitioner pins his assailant to the ground starting from the side of his body. The dominant fighter lies across his opponent with body mass being applied to the opponent’s chest. The assailant may also be controlled by pressure on either side of the hips and shoulders from the practitioner’s knees, shoulders, and elbows. Side control has several variants which include Knee Mount, Wrestler Pin, Kesa Gatame, Brazilian Crossbody, and Twister Side Control.
- Back Mount Move – Back mount is also known as ‘attacking the back’ or back grab. The practitioner strikes by attaching himself to the back of the assailant by wrapping his legs around and hooking the thighs of the opponent with his heels. Simultaneously, control of the upper body is accomplished by wrapping the arms around the neck or the chest of the assailant.
- Guards (Grappling) – In this position, the practitioner stays on his back as he controls the opponent with his legs. He pulls and pushes with the feet or legs to upset the balance as he limits the movements of his assailant. The grappling position comes in handy when an opponent achieves to place the practitioner on his back, and the Guards practitioner seeks the best way possible to launch counter-attacks. The three major types of this position are Open Guard, Half Guard, and Closed Guard.
- Submission Holds – Submission holds are grouped into two major categories which include chokes and joint locks. Joint locks mainly involve isolating the limb of the assailant and forming a lever with the position of the body that forces the joint to move exceeding its normal range of motion. The practitioner increases pressure in a controlled manner but releases if the assailant cannot withstand the hold but signals defeat by submitting.
- Joint locks – Many joint locks are permitted, but many competitions restrict or ban all or some joint locks including the spine, ankles, and knees. This is only because the angles of manipulation needed to cause pain are almost the same as those that would inflict serious injury. However, joint locks that involve the shoulder, elbow or wrist are permitted since they are safe to use even during competitions.
Benefits of Practicing Jiu-Jitsu
- Self defense – BJJ has been proven as one of the most effective defensive Martial Arts in the world. An endless stream of BJJ fighters has already arm barred and choked their assailants with an incredible victory. BJJ is an amazingly powerful art for self-defense during the most horrific situations.
- Fitness – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an incredible full body training program. The warm up, the sparring (rolling), and the drills will literally leave any student crawling off the mats by the end of the class. BJJ is truly captivating, fun, and engaging. You can get in shape quickly and easily as you learn a highly potential life-saving skill.