Defining Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


BJJ is founded on the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent. This is done by using technique, leverage, and most notably by taking the fight to the ground and then applying joint locks and choke holds to defeat the opponent. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments and in self-defense situations. Sparring (commonly referred to as "rolling" within the BJJ community) and live drilling play a major role in training and the practitioner's development. BJJ is considered a martial art, a sport, a method for promoting physical fitness and building character as well as a way of life.



JiuJitsu was created in Japan as a battlefield art for samurai warriors. It had many variations (Ryu's) which included throwing, joint locks, strangles, striking, grappling and weapon disarms. One style derived and popularized from Japanese Jiu Jitsu is Judo, which consists of grappling and throwing. A student of Kano (The creator of Judo) named Mitsuyo Maeda was a guest of George Gracie in Brazil in 1912. Out of gratitude for George’s hospitality, he taught Jiu Jitsu to George’s son Carlos. Carlos passed on his knowledge to his brothers which led to the opening of the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in 1925.

Jiu Jitsu soon became synonymous with the Gracie name in Brazil. The Gracie boys began to teach Jiu Jitsu and test it in fights in public challenges. They had refined their style to ground fighting, a strategy they were able to use to neutralize strikers and larger opponents.

In the early 1990's, Rorion Gracie brought the sport from Brazil to the US where it would eventually be showcased in an event created by himself and Art Davies, The Ultimate Fighting Championship. His younger brother Royce, the smallest man in the competition dominated the fights, winning four in one night. This has led to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being the fastest growing martial art in the world.

Jiu Jitsu is used by military and police. Its techniques and philosophies are used for anti-bullying programs all over the world. It is widely competed and practiced in many professional arenas. It is also very fun and thousands of people find profound enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment and meaning in it every day.



In addition to being a complete self defense system, BJJ builds the mind and character which improves confidence in all areas of life. BJJ was developed to allow a smaller weaker opponent to defeat a larger stronger more aggressive opponent through technique and intelligent fighting. Using problem solving, principles of physics and building on character traits such as patience, humility, creativity and confidence, the smaller individual can turn their opponent’s strengths against them and immobilize them. Losing is welcomed in BJJ because of the opportunity for learning it provides.

BJJ philosophy places major value in not quitting, continually training, working with others as a team, self-awareness and remaining calm under pressure. Using energy efficiently, which entails the maintenance of a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as the mindful patience to fight strategically and control impulses are key BJJ principles. The most prevalent quality practiced in BJJ is the return to the mats to grind away at technique development, pushing through discomfort and frustration, expanding your comfort zone and making continual adjustments. BJJ is the fastest growing martial art in the world because of its effectiveness as a fighting style but the self development built up is immeasurably valuable.