Photo: Roxanne McCann
Photo: Roxanne McCann

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a traditional martial art that originated in Brazil in 1914. It is a grappling art, designed to deal with the inevitable aspect of combat, the clinch and more specifically, the ground. Techniques include a variety of throws and takedowns, but the majority of the training involves ground fighting and learning how defend yourself when your back is on the ground. We do not teach or utilize striking techniques such as punches or kicks, although they can be easily assimilated into your technical arsenal as you gain proficiency in your training.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's foundation is based on judo, a traditional martial art that originated in Japan in the late 19th century. Over the years, it has been continually developed and refined through competition, both in sports and combat. Practitioners wear a gi, a uniform that is also known as a kimono. The gi consists of a jacket top, belt and pants, all of which is made from durable material that can withstand the rigorous training inherent in the art.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's primary philosophy is "position before submission". It is a systematic approach that emphasizes establishing positional control over an opponent, isolating a particular region of the opponent's body such as the arm, leg or neck, and then securing a hold forcing the opponent to submit. Technical training is cooperative, but live training or "sparring" is non-static, meaning there is complete commitment to the execution of a technique against a fully resisting opponent. Because of this, developing the ability to control and submit an opponent who is actively resisting your efforts to do so makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a highly effective form of self defense.

Like most traditional martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a ranking system for both children and adults.