Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. The art was derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan judo (which itself is derived from Japanese Jujutsu) in the early 20th century.
It teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique – 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 defense.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.
It is a system that can be practised by anyone of any age group and gender.
Walk into any academy and talk to some of the students who have just started training Brazilian jiu jitsu and ask them what it’s has done for them. Most respond with things like, “I lost so much weight,” or, “My body is so much more flexible now.” Some talk about how much strength they have gained or how they are in better shape.
The fact that Brazilian jiu jitsu will change your body cannot be denied. You can physically see your body changing with every day or week. What you can’t see is the improvements in your overall health as a result of training.
Everyone associates exercise with a look. People want to look a certain way. You won’t likely hear many people say, “I workout so I can lower my cholesterol.” The only people who say that are the ones who went to the doctor and found out they have high cholesterol and need to exercise.
BJJ is no different. Students rarely walk through the door looking to improve their blood sugar, but I always tell people the best part about exercise is the stuff you can’t see. Keep this in mind when you get frustrated training. No matter how many times you got submitted, you are still doing something positive for your health.
One of the hidden benefits of BJJ is what the struggle of learning, drilling, and rolling does for you.
Walking into a class after spending months learning a technique, attempting it, and being crushed by everyone is not a good feeling. What is a good feeling is walking in the next day and trying it again.
The mental strength to keep pushing even when things are not going your way will show up in other areas of your life outside of the gym.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies are a collection of almost every type of person you can think of - doctors, lawyers, students, law enforcement, businessmen and women, and more. Every day they walk into the academy for the same reason - to get better at BJJ. These same people walk into the academy every day and improve their health, learning ability, and stress levels. They may not be thinking about the many benefits of BJJ that cannot be seen, but it doesn’t matter if they can see them or not - they are happening.