Introduction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Sunday 01st January 2012 - Article 2
Derived from Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) was refined in such a way that a smaller opponent could overcome a larger, more physically gifted assailant using the concepts of leverage, timing and mobility. It is a ground based art relying mainly on grappling techniques to reduce the size and strength advantages of an adversary (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), 2009a). The popularity of BJJ has risen rapidly within the last 15 years since it was showcased to the world by Royce Gracie in the original Ultimate Fighting Championship, an elimination tournament pitching multiple martial arts styles against each other. Gracie proved the effectiveness of the art by winning 3 of the first 4 events, submitting skilled opponents, some in excess of 250lbs, at a weight of just 180lbs himself (roycegracie.tv, 2010).
Since the rise in popularity, BJJ is now practised more as a sporting discipline rather than a method of self defence. It is also a major component of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition, where a vast majority of fights end up with at least one opponent on the ground; either by takedown or knockdown. According to Compustrike statistics from the last 10 recorded events, thirty nine of forty fights in Strikeforce and the Ultimate Fighting Championship ended up on the ground (Compustrike, 2010).