An Introduction to
Brazilian Jiujitsu

Brazilian Jiujitsu was recently introduced in the United States by Royce Gracie in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Even though it has been around for many years, many people weren't all that familiar with the style. The Gracie family created the UFC to showcase their style of martial arts and continued to dominate fighters of all styles and weight classes, one after the other.  Once people began to see how quickly Gracie could defeat an opponent, they quickly became interested in the art of Brazilian Jiujitsu.

As many now know, Brazilian Jiujitsu is an art that is closely associated with ground grappling, with very little stand up skills involved.  Although it may be argued that there is skill involved in taking an opponent from a standing position to the ground, the reality is that no more than a dozen different techniques are used as takedowns. However, there are hundreds of ground techniques. In that sense, it is true that Brazilian Jiujitsu is mainly focused around ground fighting.

The Techniques of Brazilian Jiujitsu

From the ground, the BJJ stylist will have many options that he can utilize.  He can use choke holds, arm locks, leg locks, and dozens of other techniques that can put an opponent under his control in a matter of seconds.  When the stylist is on his back with the opponent on top of him he may assume a position called the ‘guard’, which is where he wraps his legs around the attacker and uses the power of his legs to control his opponent’s movements.  From the guard position, the stylist can execute dozens of techniques - even though it may appear that he doesn't stand a chance.

The mount, side control, and back mount are primary positions, along with the guard.  The mount position is where the stylist is sitting or laying on top of the opponent on the ground - a position where he can punch or execute a submission hold.  With side control, the stylist is laying on the opponent’s chest, a position where he can easily execute an arm lock.  The back mount is truly where the BJJ player is the most dangerous. This is where the stylist is on the opponents back and may really do some serious damage if the opponent has no Jiu-Jitsu experience.

With Brazilian Jiujitsu, the ranks start out at white belt, then move on to blue, purple, brown, and the highest color - black belt.  To move through the ranks takes a lot of practice and dedication, usually around 2 - 3 years per belt.  Once a student reaches the black belt, he is capable of teaching other students what he knows.  It takes a long time to reach this point, possibly more than 10 years - although it is well worth it.

Pros and Cons

With adequate training, BJJ stylists can execute techniques quickly and effectively. The professional fighters of the UFC and other MMA competitions are highly conditioned athletes and may easily dispatch any challenger who may have little or no comprehension of the grappling arts. With one-on-one competitions, BJJ dominates. That is why it is perfectly suited for tournament fighting. Unfortunately, Brazilian Jiujitsu isn't so great against multiple attackers.

In the world of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very effective. It is one of the best martial arts for ground fighting, especially in tournaments. Ground grappling is very common with tournaments these days, which is why it pays to be a well-rounded stylist. Very few martial arts styles can compete with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on the ground, which is why so many people are deciding to study it. If you've decided to start studying this exceptional ground based martial art - you can pat yourself on the back for making a decision you won't regret.

But remember, there is still an entire world of stand-up techniques, including the mastery of striking and takedowns that any complete martial artist will want to study, as well.