Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – The Martial Art that Changed the Face of Modern Competitive Combat
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ has changed the face of martial arts in recent years; though gaining popularity when Royce Gracie began dominating larger opponents in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) arena at the Ultimate Fighting Championships during the ‘90s, his family is credited with adapting the Japanese martial art of Kodokan Judo. Beginning with Carlos Gracie and on to his brother Helio, who developed the art to become Gracie Jiu-Jitsu that allowed Royce Gracie and his family’s martial art to take the MMA world by storm.
It is in BJJ’s ability to allow a smaller opponent to take on much larger opponents that its strength is derived. Focusing on ground work that involves first getting an opponent to ground and with their size mitigated, removing their long reach or powerful strikes, to utilize submission, locks and choke-holds to gain advantage and ultimately defeat an opponent.
Upon seeing and experiencing the absolute advantage that Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu afforded the fighters that used it, the fighting style quickly became popular with MMA fighters and today is staple of the Mixed Martial Arts world.
A key difference between the BJJ practiced in a dojo versus that practiced in MMA is the Gi, which is the traditional uniform worn by Jiu-Jitsu martial artists and includes belts that measure experience. Technique may vary slightly, as there are indeed some techniques that utilize a manipulation of the Gi for control or even submission, but the fundamental locks and submissions remain the same.
An example of the most notable techniques developed in or as a result of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is called the “Kimura”, named after one of the only fighters to defeat Helio Gracie. The Kimura is an arm-lock or double wristlock where an opponent’s wrist is grabbed with the hand on the same side of the body and then grabbed from behind with the opposing hand to create a figure four, once achieved, the fighter can control his opponent and often force a submission by putting massive pressure on the shoulder.
Whether used for self-defense, fitness or in competition, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is surely at the pinnacle of what a great mixed martial artist’s repertoire should include and is a fantastic way to stay in shape and develop one’s confidence.
For those interested in learning BJJ, Fusion Martial Arts has classes from 6:00-7:30 on Tuesday evening, 7:30 – 9:00 on Thursday evening, and there’s an open mat session every Saturday morning from 11:00 – 12:00.
Students will train with Master Donald Chang who has a lifetime of experience in Jiu-Jitsu and Aikido and has protected the likes of Jet Li and many other film stars and celebrities.
Those interested can contact Yan at 13417474739