Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Zionsville Indiana

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is defined by Wikipedia as a martial art, combat sport, and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling. Especially ground fighting. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was formed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting (newaza) fundamentals that were taught to Carlos Gracie and Luiz França by Mitsuyo Maeda and Soshihiro Satake. Mitsuyo Maeda won more than 2,000 professional fights in his career. His accomplishments led to him being called the “toughest man who ever lived”. He is also referred to as the father of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

The main focus of BJJ is to take the fight to the ground and dominate and control the opponent or attacker by utilizing proper body weight placement and leverage. This concept was developed in order to allow smaller or weaker people to successfully defend them-selves against larger or stronger opponents.


Photo of Coach James Clingerman competing in the IBJJF Chicago Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

Coach James Clingerman using his “High Collar Passing” on his way to Victory at IBJJF Chicago Open 2019.

The techniques in BJJ focus on the application of chokeholds or joint locks. The grappler is able to control their opponent with body weight and leverage by obtaining a dominate position on the ground and then applying a number of these submissions. This forces the opponent or aggressor to give up or “tap”.

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. A premium is placed on performance in competition, in relation to progress and ascension through its ranking system.

BJJ has different subcategories within the art. These variations of BJJ are typically put into the three different categories: BJJ for sport, BJJ for Mixed Martial Arts, and BJJ for street or self-defense. There are several different theories and techniques that are applicable for said categories. While some are interchangeable, others are definitely not. This is why having a cognitive understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is essential for functional success and application.

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