- Brazian Jiu-Jitsu is an evolution of the techniques originally utilized by the Samurai of ancient Japan. When disarmed or quarters became too close for proper use of bladed weapons the Samurai would clinch with an enemy, throw them to the ground, control or break a limb then use a short sword to finish them. They did this because striking an armored opponent was mostly futile and left space open to be slashed or stabbed. These techniques were known as Jiu-Jitsu or the “gentle art”.
Between 1877 to 1883 an educator named Jigoro Kano learned a number of traditional Jiu-Jitsu styles, some favored throwing and pinning, others joint locks and strangle holds. He combined the most effective of these techniques into a singular art now known as Judo.
In 1917 the Gracie family was introduced to Judo through one of Kano’s top groundwork (newaza) experts, Mitsuyo Maeda. The Gracie family took his lessons and evolved them into a system of self-defense. What made this system so effective is that the retained the full contact training of Judo.
Overtime Gracie Jiu-Jitsu further evolved and specialized until it became a competitive sport in its own right, re branding itself as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as the martial art had outgrown its founding family.
- BJJ is considered the singular most effective martial art today mostly due to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). The UFC pitted champions of different martial arts against each other in a no rules tournament format in order to see who would really win in a fight. Generally anytime one fighting style would cross paths with another it was within a rule set that essentially neutered one of the arts. Not in the early UFC though, no rules to hide behind or to give excuses for a loss. What happened was revolutionary, the striking arts (Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing, Kung Fu etc.) were systematically crushed by the grapplers (BJJ – Royce Gracie, Catch Wrestling – Ken Shamrock). They both employed submissions to either break the limbs or joints of their opponents, or strangle them unconscious. Once on the ground submissions are easily applied, even against a much larger opponent.
Basically 90% of all martial arts are striking based. Humans are bipedal creatures, so even the untrained understand that punching and kicking are effectively how you “fight”. So if you get so close to someone that they don’t have enough space to punch or kick effectively you are essentially safe (Boxers do this if they get overwhelmed in a fight). If you then tackle them to the ground you are even safer from strikes, and the untrained do not know what to do once they have been taken to the ground. If you are trained in a grappling art such as BJJ the fight is pretty one sided from that point on.
BJJ is so effective because we focus on getting the fight to where no one knows how to fight back, all while understanding and respecting the points where attackers are still dangerous.
- Bully’s tend to choose smaller victims, Jiu-Jitsu is designed for the weak to beat the strong. As stated above, BJJ teaches to take the fight to a place where most do not know what to do or how to survive, let alone continue to effectively attack. Additionally BJJ does not employ strikes as a weapon. We teach to control an opponent, and to utilize a submission hold only when necessary. So your child learns to not lash out and make matters worse, just control and not injured or be injured, unless they absolutely need to.
The fact that we always train against full resistance means that your child will not be surprised by the aggression they will face, nor the difficulty in dealing with a real fight. Also the confidence in their training is well founded and healthy, as they understand what they are doing is real and they have also experienced defeat on a daily basis in training.
All the same can be said for women’s self-defense. More importantly though is Jiu-Jitsu’s strength when it comes against sexual assault. Where almost all martial arts see ending up on your back as an unwinnable position, including other grappling arts, this position is one of the most dangerous in BJJ. Not only can you control an attacker with your legs, you can also submit them in a number of ways. Turning a horrible position into one you would almost want to go to in a self-defense scenario.