Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and a self defence system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was formed from the Kodokan Judo ground fighting fundamentals that were taught to Carlos Gracie by Master Mitsuyo Maeda. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices, and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge onto their family.
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. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (Gi and no-Gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defence. Sparring (commonly referred to as “rolling”) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition, in relation to progress and ascension through its ranking system.
Since its inception in 1914, its parent art of Judo was separated from older systems of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu by an important difference that was passed on to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: it is not solely a martial art: it is also a sport; a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people; and, ultimately, a way of life.
If you would like to learn more about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we highly recommend checking out the work of Stephan Kesting over at www.grapplearts.com. He has detailed video tutorials and has taken the time to compile an excellent beginners guide which can be seen here.