What is Jiu Jitsu?

For those who are not aware or have never heard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, lets take a look at what it is. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport that evolved from self defense. In Brazil , Jiu Jitsu isn’t called ” Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” it is simply called ” Jiu Jitsu ” . When the world found out about the origins of Jiu Jitsu, because it was tied to the Gracie family, many people began calling it ” Gracie Jiu Jitsu ” or “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ” . As a rule of thumb calling it Jiu Jitsu one can never go wrong describing it to the  unaware.

There are now two categories of Jiu Jitsu. Sport Jiu Jitsu , where you see tournaments and academies and students training for competition. The goal in Sport Jiu Jitsu is to win by submission or by points. The other side of Jiu Jitsu is called Self Defense Jiu Jitsu, where the focus is mainly self protection of encounters that might happen in the street. The early days of Jiu Jitsu were held in the highest regards because of it’s effectiveness in ending a fight quickly, you can see with the early days of the UFC how Royce Gracie used Jiu Jitsu to finish fights .

At that time most or all of the competitors knew nothing about ground fighting , and those that did , did not know how to effectively finish a fight. As the years went on competitors knew that in order to be effective in competition they would have to learn what the Gracies and those in Brazil were using for years. If one thing that can be learned is that whether using sport or self defense Jiu Jitsu, either one can effectively finish a fight.

As the popularity of Jiu Jitsu rose in the United States and around the world, more and more organizations became born. Starting with the International  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation or IBJJF for short, holding events in Brazil and throughout the globe, it reached a broader audience going international. As more and more academies started , so did the amount of competitors. And without silencing the need for more competitions , other organizations like Abu Dhabi Combat Club or ADCC, became more mainstream and became one of the elite organizations for grappling tournaments. Competitors attend as an invitiation only event. With the popularity and effectiveness of Jiu Jitsu, the United States military and local law enforcement also became interested. Many black belt Jiu Jitsu coaches and practitoners also instruct the United States miltary in the art of self defense and hand to hand combat.

Now that we have seen what Jiu Jitsu is, lets see what it is not.

Jiu Jitsu is not a secret mythical martial art with thousands of years of history, no monks were ever reported to have trained in it, and you may never see it in action movies. Jiu Jitsu will not give you the ability to leap tall buildings or to take on 100 men at once. Jiu Jitsu won’t help you get into space or become president of any country. What people may fail to realize is that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an effective martial art , one that has revolutionized,  in the last 100 years martial arts, more so than any other martial art in history. Jiu Jitsu will give you the ability to put someone to sleep effectively, it will give you self confidence and it will definitely humble you.

But with all martial arts , just because we have the ability to put someone to sleep ,or injure , doesn’t mean we should, in other words take your training with great responsibility, for if used recklessly, someone can get seriously hurt and legal issues may arise.

Training and knowing Jiu Jitsu comes with great responsibilities, one cannot just assume any situation calls for violence and fighting. Jiu Jitsu in its purest form can be an asset, if no other options are available, it can allow you to survive Helio Gracie was known to say if you can survive an attack using Jiu Jitsu, then you have already won. It can’t  protect you in situations that involve  weapons  if you have not trained in self defense. Jiu Jitsu was born and bred on the streets of Rio De Janeiro Brazil, in part due to the lack of police presence at the time. Because of the importance and effectiveness of using Jiu Jitsu as a self defense martial art, a person should never go out looking to test their skills. Violence should only come as a last resort and only when other options have been exhausted. A more effective way to prevent violence is diplomatic negotiations. When faced with a problem in public , more often than not, most people are willing to negotiate using words rather than fists. If one is faced with opposition after attempting to diffuse the heated situation , then a good idea is to remain calm and be on the defense.

So in retrospect using your skills to avoid conflict is an excellent way to maintain health and live to spar another day on the mat.