WHAT IS THE BJJ ? Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. abbreviated in the English language acronym BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), it is a martial art, a combat sport and a method of personal defense specialized in fighting and in particular in that on the ground. It should not be confused with its Japanese predecessor Jū Jutsu, from which it draws its origins (especially from the branch of Judo), but from which it differs for having been able to develop in an extremely effective way all the part inherent to the fight against land. BJJ practitioners have dominated for years, and still today, the scenario of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) meetings where the most valiant fighters, coming from the most varied martial arts, competed in the most important and prestigious world championship called UFC, for determine who was number 1 in the world.
The discipline was born as an appendix of the kodokan jūdō in the twenties of the twentieth century, when the master Mitsuyo Maeda taught the fundamentals of ground wrestling (ne-waza) to students such as Carlos Gracie and Luis França. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu then became an art in its own right through experiments, practice and adaptations of the master Hélio Gracie and his brother Carlos, who then passed on their experience to their family and their students.
Discipline teaches as its foundation that a smaller and weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a larger and stronger assailant by bringing the fight to the ground where they will use appropriate techniques such as levers, joint keys and strangulations. Training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is mainly practiced with the kimono (gi) but in recent years the kimono-free style (no-gi) has also developed a lot, which is almost identical to the sport of grappling and more useful for athletes of MMA (mixed martial arts). The practice of sparring (commonly called rolling) and training sessions with confrontation with an uncooperative opponent play a greater role in training, and performance is rewarded, especially during competitions, in relation to progress through grades / belts.
Since its inception in 1914, the ascendant art of judo was separated from the older systems of Japanese jujutsu by an important difference transmitted to Brazilian jiu-jitsu: it is not only a martial art but also a sport, a method to promote the development of the body and character in young people, and, finally, a way (Dō) of life.
IBJJF - International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is a for-profit company that hosts several of the biggest Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) tournaments in the world, including the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, World No-Gi Championship, Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship. The federation was created by Carlos Gracie, Jr., who is the head of one of the largest Brazilian jiu-jitsu associations, Gracie Barra. The IBJJF uses the rule set of the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu.
THE HISTORY OF THE BJJ The name. "Jiu-jitsu" is an old Romanization of the original pronunciation of art in the West, while the modern transliteration with the Hepburn system is "jūjutsu".
When Maeda left Japan, judo was often still called "Kano jiu-jitsu" or, even more generically, simply as "jiu-jitsu". Higashi, as co-author of "Kano Jiu-Jitsu" wrote:
"" Some confusion has arisen regarding the use of the term 'jiudo'. To make the matter clear I will specify that jiudo is the term chosen by Professor Kano to describe his system more accurately than jiu-jitsu does. Professor Kano he is one of the leading educators in Japan and it is natural for him to choose the technical term that most accurately describes his system. But the Japanese people generally still refer to the more popular nomenclature and call it jiu-jitsu ""
Outside of Japan, however, this distinction was even less noted. Thus, when Maeda and Satake arrived in Brazil in 1914, each newspaper advertised their art as "jiu-jitsu" despite both being Kodokan judoka.
Only in 1925 did the Japanese government officially declare that the correct name for the martial art taught in Japanese public schools was "judo" and not "jujutsu". In Brazil, however, the art is still called "jiu-jitsu". When the Gracie came to the United States to spread their art, they used the terms "Brazilian jiu-jitsu" and "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" to differentiate it from the styles already present with similar names.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) name was registered by Rorion Gracie, but after a legal dispute with cousin Carley Gracie the trademark right was invalidated .. Other members of the Gracie family often call their style with custom names, like Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu or Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Similarly, the Machado Family calls its style Machado Jiu-Jitsu (MJJ). Although each style and its instructors have unique aspects, they are essentially basic variants of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Nowadays, there are four major branches of Jiu-Jitsu from Brazil: Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra, Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Alliance Jiu Jitsu. Each branch can trace its origins to Hélio Gracie.
More recently, in the United States the name "jitz" has become a colloquial term for the layman.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born in Brazil thanks to the arrival, in the early years of the century, of the Japanese consul Mitsuyo Maeda, one of the five major experts in the ground fight of jujutsu (ne waza) that Kanō Jigorō, the founder of Kodokan judo, sent overseas to demonstrate and spread his art around the world. As a teenager, Maeda initially trained in sumo, but after learning of kodokan's successes in jujutsu school challenges, he decided to learn judo and became a student of "Kano Jiu Jitsu". Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a large number of countries giving demonstrations of "jiu-do" and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savateurs and practitioners of various other martial arts before arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914. Maeda was especially dedicated to fighting in ground, as Mataemon Tanabe of the Fusen ryu school of jujutsu, even though his skill in grappling probably derived from other schools of Jiu jitsu that Tanabe attended, initially managed to prevail over some of Kano's students by forcing the fight to the ground, while The Kodokan set-up wanted to focus on the standing fight. Maeda was so skilled in winning numerous matches abroad against exponents of various disciplines, so much so that he earned the nickname "Conte Koma".
Gastão Gracie was a trading partner of the so-called American Circus in Belém. In 1916, the Italo-Argentine circus of the Queirolo brothers organized some shows and in one of them Maeda performed. In 1917, Carlos Gracie, Gastão Gracie's eldest son, attended a demonstration by Maeda at the Da Paz Theater and decided to practice judo. Maeda accepted Carlos as a student for a few years, and the latter passed his knowledge on to his brothers. According to some apocryphal accounts Gastão Gracie helped Maeda, sent on a diplomatic mission to Brazil, in his stay in Brazil in a not always well-defined way, and Maeda would have taught judo to his son Carlos to repay his debt.
At the age of fourteen, Hélio Gracie, the youngest of the Gracie family, moved into a house in Botafogo with his brothers where they lived and taught traditional Japanese ju jitsu. Following medical prescriptions, Hélio would spend the next few years merely observing his brothers training and teaching, since by nature fragile of constitution. Over time, Hélio Gracie gradually developed Gracie Jiu Jitsu as a softer and more pragmatic adaptation of judo, as he was unable to perform many movements which required to oppose the opponent's strength directly. Over the years Hélio Gracie developed a system that focused on ground combat, as opposed to judo which emphasized throwing techniques.
Years later Hélio Gracie challenged the legendary judoka Masahiko Kimura. In her book "My Judo", Kimura recounts that he considered Hélio a 6th dan of judo at the time of his meeting with him in 1951 see extract. However, there is no Kodokan record attesting to any rank in judo awarded to Hélio Gracie, however it is not unusual for a foreign judoka to have a current rank higher than the one officially recognized and attested by the Kodokan, as the degrees of the Kodokan are maintained independently and require stricter requirements.
Although Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is largely identified with the Gracie family, there is another prominent branch derived from Maeda through another Brazilian student, Luis França. This school was particularly represented by Oswaldo Fadda. Fadda and his pupils were famous for their influential use of foot levers and currently the school survives through Fadda's connections with teams such as the Nova União or the Grappling Fight Team.
Hélio Gracie participated in numerous submission-based competitions from which he often came out the winner. A defeat (in Brazil in 1951) was achieved when the Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura was challenged by Gracie; the resonance of this defeat was such that his surname was used by Gracie and their students to indicate the key to the arm with which he defeated Hélio, the kimura. The Gracie family continued to develop the system through the 20th century, often fighting in full-contact fights of the vale tudo tournaments, precursors of today's mixed martial arts. During these years the focus on ground combat was increased and techniques were refined.
BJJ allows all the techniques that judo admits to bring combat to the ground, in the form of throws and throws. The BJJ also admits all wrestling techniques, sambo or any other wrestling art; including direct attempts to throw by grabbing the legs. BJJ differs from judo in that it allows an athlete to drag the opponent to the ground and also to throw himself at it, provided he has a grip. Kodokan judo provides competitions with similar rules, called kosen (short for Kōtō senmon gakkō), initially aimed at students aged 15 to 20 as it was considered safer, which allows an athlete to bring the fight to the ground in any way and to continue it without interruption. Due to this similarity with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kosen judo has had a certain renewal of interest in recent years.
Since judo was introduced in Brazil, it has undergone several changes in the rules - some to enhance its spectacle, others to improve safety. Many of these rules have greatly de-emphasized the ground-fighting aspects of judo, while others have reduced the range of levers and joint keys allowed or when they can be applied. Brazilian jujitsu never followed these regulatory changes, giving rise to a divergence which then resulted in a distinct identity as an art and discipline, although still recognizable as linked to judo. Other factors that contributed towards BJJ's stylistic divergence from sports judo include the Gracie's desire to create a national martial art that would influence Brazilian culture and the family's emphasis on full contact combat.
Nowadays, the main difference between Brazilian jujutsu styles is between the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which places more emphasis on self-defense, and sports BJJ's orientation towards competition. There is a large commonality of techniques between the two. Furthermore, there is a great variety of ideals in the training of the different schools in terms of the use of control or finalization techniques, of greater physicality or greater technicality. The regulatory differences developed in comparison to judo and the scoring mechanism are designed to give the BJJ a more practical emphasis by rewarding control positions from which the wrestler could theoretically strike the opponent in a real fight.
Helio Gracie Vs Masahiko Kimura
Masahiko Kimura wins against Helio Gracie
In the 1980s, prominent members of the Gracie family emigrated to the USA where they organized interstile tournaments, in which they challenged fighters from other systems. This type of fighting almost without rules was widespread in Brazil with the name vale tudo (in Brazilian "everything is worth it") and on the model of the television program that conveyed these challenges, the very famous Ultimate Fighting Championship was born, held for the first time in 1993. Thanks at this event the effectiveness of Brazilian jiu jitsu was shown to the world: although at the time the predictions gave the disciplines that use percussion (boxing, kickboxing, etc.) as favorites, Royce Gracie, called to represent the style of jiu jitsu created by his father Helio, against all odds he managed to beat all the fighters of the tournament, including the physically strongest and by far the heaviest. The great celebrity triggered by the strength of the American mass media therefore made BJJ a famous sport all over the world and since that time its spread has increased exponentially. Today the international BJJ movement is in fact constantly growing, both as a sport in itself (where percussion is forbidden) and as a fundamental element in the preparation of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters, a sport of maximum contact derived from the original Brazilian Vale tudo. who have achieved the greatest fame in leagues such as UFC, Pride, etc.
Starting from the premise that much of the advantage of a bigger and stronger opponent comes from his size and his powerful blows, both of which are mitigated in ground fighting, Brazilian jiu-jitsu places emphasis on bringing the fight to the ground in order to use techniques. control and submission, including joint levers and strangulations. A more precise way to describe this would be to say that on the ground, strength can be neutralized or enhanced by an experienced fighter who knows how to maximize it using mechanical strength rather than pure physicality. BJJ allows a wide variety of techniques to bring the fight to the ground after taking a hold. While other combat sports, such as judo or wrestling, usually use a throw to bring the opponent to the ground, in BJJ one option is to "call the guard", ie grab the opponent and then sit directly on the ground. or jump by wrapping the legs around the torso of the other athlete.
Once on the ground, a number of maneuvers (and counter moves) are available to manipulate the opponent into a position suitable for the application of submission techniques. Purely defensive positions such as guarding can also be used to conduct an offensive game and attack the opponent.
Renzo Gracie wrote in his book Mastering Jiu-jitsu:
""Classical jujutsu of ancient Japan seemed to have no common strategy for guiding a fighter through the course of the fight. Of course, this was one of Kano's fundamental criticisms of the classic program. Maeda not only taught the art of judo to Carlos Gracie, but also taught a particular philosophy about the nature of combat developed by Kano, and further refined it through his travels around the world competing against fighters specialized in a wide variety of martial arts. . ""
The book summarizes in detail Maeda's theory regarding the fact that physical combat can be broken into distinct phases, such as the swapping phase, the wrestling phase, the ground one, etc. Thus, the goal of the smart fighter was to keep the fight at the stage for which their skills best suit. Renzo Gracie noted that this was of fundamental influence in the Gracie's approach to combat, these strategies were further developed over time by Gracie and others, becoming prominent in contemporary MMA.
UFC 1 - Royce Gracie vs Ken Shamrock
As in Judo and Karate, also in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it is customary to distinguish the progress of practitioners by assigning them colored belts. The belts start from white, blue, purple, brown, black, red-black, red-white, red. BJJ is also one of the few martial arts where a student is allowed to teach even if he is not yet a black belt.
Organizations and leagues.
The first Brazilian jiu-jitsu federation was the Guanabara Jiu-Jitsu Federation in Rio de Janeiro.
There are currently many international organizations that deal with the development and dissemination of Brazilian jiu-jitsu among which the most prestigious are three: the SJJIF, the IBJJF and the UAEJJF.
SJJIF, International Federation of Sports Jiu-jitsu, is a non-profit organization with federations and tournaments around the world with the mission of making Brazilian jiu-jitsu an Olympic sport. The SJJIF in 2016 was recognized by the Federação de Jiu-Jitsu da Guanabara (today called Federação de Jiu-Jitsu do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) as the true International Federation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
The IBJJF, International Federation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is an organization that hosts numerous tournaments but which, being a commercial company for profit without a democratic organization, does not meet the requirements (non-profit and democratic form) , to obtain the recognition of the international sports authorities (GAISF and CIO). As the first organization to create international events in the industry, their leagues are still successful.
The UAEJJF is the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of the United Arab Emirates that deals with the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu both at the sports-federal level and at the professional level. By joining the JJIF (Ju-Jitsu International Federation, Federation recognized by the GAISF), the UAEJJF Federation changed the old regulation of Ne-Waza to that of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
IBJJF World Championship
Since 2008 the UAEJJF has periodically organized national, continental and world professional Jiu-Jitsu tournaments: among these the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup, held annually in Abu Dhabi in April.
Although officially recognized as Submission Grappling competitions, the ADCC tournaments, organized by the Abu Dhabi Combat Club, see the frequent participation of BJJ athletes. The most decorated athlete of the Abu Dhabi tournament is Marcelo Garcia, winner of 4 ADCC tournaments and a large number of Brazilian IBJJF World and Championships.
Marcelo Garcia to the ADCC
The programs and regulations of the BJJ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. (For the programs and regulations of the BJJ, the WKLF refers to the relevant international Federations)