Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- More Than a Martial Art

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial artcombat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on ground fighting. Its origins stem from the ground work in judo. Master Mitsuyo Maeda taught judo to a select few in Brazil, one of these people being Carlos Gracie, who then passed his knowledge to brother Hélio, who gradually developed a softer, pragmatic adaptation from judo known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).

BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.  A more precise way of describing this would be to say that on the ground, physical strength can be offset or enhanced by an experienced grappler who knows how to maximize force using mechanical advantage and leverage instead of pure physical strength. Therefore, it is a martial art and self defense system that can be practiced and successfully utilized by people of all ages.

A common thing I hear people say is that they are interested in training BJJ but they want to get in shape first, but this is an incorrect mind frame. By training BJJ you will get in shape, become more flexible, stronger, and more in-tune with your body and your mind, more so than whatever else it was you were originally going to do to get in shape. The training involved teaches you to persevere and overcome adversity every time you practice. It teaches you about self control, and relaxation in tense situations. It is like a game of chess using the human body. It also teaches you about modesty and makes you check your ego at the door each and every time. All of these things you will learn to translate over to your everyday life once you step off the mats.

Along with having the benefits of strengthening the body, and overall health, BJJ is a great outlet to meet people, make friends, and build relationships. It brings people from all different walks of life together where you could have a high school kid, a doctor, a businessman and a family man all training together. You can have people from all across the spectrum who would never cross paths any other way, and you see this in BJJ more than other martial arts because of the connection you make with people, sharing techniques and energy. It builds confidence in the shiest of people, and humbles the proudest of men. 

For kids, having something difficult to do is important. They need to be pushed to help develop who they are and to manage and control their thoughts and mind while dealing with adversity.

The art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu does all of this and more. It helps you think positively and moves your life into a healthy place. I believe it is not solely a martial art, but it is also a sport and a method to promote physical and mental fitness while building character and ultimately, a way of life.



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