Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu is one of the fastest-growing Martial Arts in the world. With around 100,000 World-Wide practitioners in 1997, it has grown to well over 2 million today in 2020.
Jiu-Jitsu techniques have been practiced over the centuries to master the art of hand to hand combat in the form of wrestling and grappling.
The Martial Art we all have come to know today is called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which was formed in Brazil in 1925.
The first Jiu-Jitsu academy was opened by a Japenese born Brazilian by the name of Geo Omori who taught many, now legendary students such as Luiz Franca, Mitsuyo Maeda, and of course, the Gracie brothers, Helio, Carlos, and George Gracie.
The Gracie Family and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
The Gracie family is quite large and can be confusing to some but what you need to know is that Helio, Carlos, and George Gracie were brothers and the first generation of Gracies that helped bring Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the glory it is known for today.
Carlos Gracie was the first that got interested in Jiu-Jitsu by seeing a match of Mitsuyo Maeda, where he began to fall in love with the sport. After the match, he had pleaded with Maeda to take him in as a student and Maeda had accepted. Carlos Gracie had trained with Maeda for few years and got his brother Helio Gracie into it as well.
And from there, as they say, the rest is history.
The Gracies became one of the most prominent Martial Art families in the world, challenging other fighters to show that they had the most dominant Martial Arts style. They would take on Wrestlers, Boxers, Kick-Boxers, Karate masters and whoever else would take on the challenge. These fights are etched in Jiu-Jitsu history as historic fights that very few were privileged to be able to see in person.
Then comes the second generation of legendary Gracies such as Rickson, Royce, and Rorian. Rickson Gracie to this day is known as the best fighter in the Gracie family but never got the same World-Wide recognition that his brother Royce received. That is because Royce Gracie participated and won the first UFC event in 1993.
His brother Rorian Gracie is one of the co-founders of the UFC and rumor has it that they choose to put Royce Gracie in the UFC events even though that everybody knew that Rickson Gracie was the best fighter in the family, but for the fact that nobody could control Rickson.
You can learn more about Royce Gracie by watching UFC’s 1-5 and learn more about Rickson by watching his documentary “Choke” on YouTube.
The Structure of Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense Martial Art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds. It focuses on being able to control one’s opponent, gaining a dominant position and using a number of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds
Dominant positions constitute being on somebody’s mount, side mount, north-south position, getting their back, or holding them in your guard.
In traditional Jiu-Jitsu, you were a Gi, which is a Martial Arts uniform, which focuses more on technique while nowadays there is also no-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, which focuses more on getting the dominant position due to there being less to grab onto and being more slippery dealing with a sweaty opponent.
Jiu-Jitsu is structured in a belt system, from White Belt to Black Belt. Kids and Adults have different journeys to the Black Belt. For adults, you start at White Belt, then progress to Blue, Purple, Brown, the Black Belt, in that order. You are required to get 4 stripes on each belt to test for the next belt. Each stripe you learn different positions, joint locks, chokeholds, sweeps, transitions, and throws.
Jiu-Jitsu rules state that you need to be 15 years old to get your Blue Belt, which means kids in Jiu-Jitsu have a longer road to reach Black Belt. But typically speaking, kids that start in Jiu-Jitsu young are some the best well rounded Black Belts in the world and are practically naturals in the sports due to them being in the sport since they were little.
A huge part of Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu is the live grappling portion, being able to execute the moves you’ve learned on a live opponent who is also trying to execute the same moves on you. This creates a chess match of the bodies and the minds, creating stronger wills, mindsets, on the go problem-solving skills, the ability to overcome obstacles, and the anxiety that comes with someone trying to attack you making you much more capable to defend yourself in a dangerous, real-life situation.
Another huge part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is tournaments. Tournaments are a great way to test what you’ve learned and see how you do in an ultra-competitive scenario against other academies and students you’ve never faced before. Many academies require students to go to tournaments in order to test for the next belt. The reason for this is because you practice Jiu-Jitsu in order to learn to defend yourself, but people can freeze mentally in a real-life scenario due to the added stress and anxiety. There is a lot more anxiety and stress you must overcome when competing in tournaments, you must learn to quiet your mind in order to perform and execute the moves you have learned in training.
What to do Now?
Here at Global Martial Arts USA in Gallatin TN, we offer several Martial Arts including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Boxing, MMA, and other Martial Arts.
We offer a one-week free trial so that way you and your friends can come in and find the class that fits best for you!
With our expert instructors, we’re ready to help you start your journey today!
Click below to schedule your free trial week!