There’s a lot of buzz about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being the “Best” martial arts or fighting system, and there’s truth to that. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been referred to as “folding clothes with the people still in them”, and “3-D Kinetic Chess”. The popularity of the system is more than just a fad, and its success lies in its effectiveness.
What we now know as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has its origins in India many years ago. Monks found themselves in need of a method of defending themselves against often larger and stronger opponents. With their knowledge of Yoga, they developed a system of body manipulations that can be used to restrain and even disable an opponent. Variations of this system of self-defense spread throughout Asia and were adopted and refined by the Samurai of Japan in the Feudal Era.
In approximately 1914 a Japanese Jiu Jitsu master named Esai Maeda traveled to Brazil and was befriended by Gastão Gracie, a successful Brazilian businessman, who provided Maeda with mentorship and helped him establish himself in Brazil. In gratitude, Maeda offered to teach Jiu Jitsu to Gracie’s eldest son, who in turn taught his brothers. One of these brothers, Helio Gracie went on to become a very successful fighter and teacher and is regarded by many as the Father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Helio was so well respected that even prize fighters of the era such as Joe Louis declined Helio’s challenges.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Modern Age
The popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (or “BJJ” in modern terms) is possibly only paralleled by the “Kung Fu Craze” that accompanied the films of Bruce Lee in the 1970’s. Considered to be the perfect fighting art of the day, Kung Fu (which comprises several distinct styles) lacked a crucial and fundamental aspect: Grappling. There are multiple studies and a dizzying array of statistics that state that a substantial majority of all fights wind up “on the ground”.
Whether through an intentional takedown or a simple loss of balance, there is a statistical probability that most fights will result in some level of grappling. Other martial arts systems recognize the value of grappling as an integral part of a comprehensive system for self-defense or competition. The grappling techniques taught in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are considered to be the finest in the world.
Krav Maga, the unarmed self-defense system taught by the Israeli Armed Forces is designed to be an effective fighting system consisting of the most effective techniques of the world’s fighting systems. In Krav Maga, there is a focus on quick and decisive action, and the grappling aspects reflect the most recognizable techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu– namely joint locks (arm bars, etc.) and chokes (vascular and air). These techniques are proven to be effective.
Perhaps the strongest argument for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being the “Best” martial art, is the incorporation of BJJ techniques into Mixed Martial Arts. With the foundation of the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the early 1990’s, and the winning performances of Rorion Gracie (of the famed Gracie BJJ family), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu changed the nature of the sport. MMA fighters know that without a solid foundation in BJJ, their chances of success are slim. BJJ skills are on display in nearly 100% of bouts in modern MMA.
As a defensive art for self-defense and “street” applications, BJJ is ideal due to its flexibility and scalability. It is possible to defeat a larger and stronger opponent by attacking weak and vulnerable points in the body. Too often in the news you find stories of a fight gone wrong where a punch led to someone falling and striking their head, leading to serious injury or death. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is possible to control an opponent by immobilizing them and forcing them to submit, preventing serious injury.
As a recreational sport or a street-proven self-defense system, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu provides a pathway to physical fitness and personal growth. The training is designed to develop each student according to their own abilities and desires.
Discover for yourself the benefits of training with the experienced staff at Breakaway Jiu Jitsu in Newport News, VA. Begin your journey. Please contact us today at (757) 223-0373.Share