Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques are a great example of how Brazil takes a sport and make its unique.
The sport originally came from Japan to Brazil in the early twenty-first century. It didn't take long for the Brazilian athletes to make changes and create their own version of Jiu Jitsu.
Mitsuyo Maeda was a Japanese judo expert who traveled to different countries to demonstrate the techniques of judo. He came to Brazil in 1904 to introduce the sport to the country. Carlos Gracie watched Maeda perform and decided to learn judo.
Carlos became a student under Maeda and then he taught his brothers, including Helio, the youngest. Because Helio was frail and couldn't do many of the techniques, he developed his own style that later became Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Today, there are two kinds of Jiu Jitsu that are recognized in Brazil. The Gracie Jiu Jitsu focuses more on defense against the opponent and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu concentrates on competition as a sport.
The primary focus of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques is to get the opponent on the ground and implement submission holds and ground fighting. Joint-locks and chokeholds are popular techniques used.
The theory behind the style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighting is that opponents can be equal regardless of their size. When fighting on the ground, a large opponent has no more advantage over the smaller fighter.
The goal of the fighter once they are down on the ground is to get in the dominate position so they can apply the submission technique to win the match. With most submission holds, it is almost impossible for the opponent to get released.
One of the primary differences between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts is the amount of ground fighting that takes place. It emphasizes this strategy for all athletes in training. Very little emphasis is placed on standing techniques, including striking. Many fighters participate in cross-training with other sports such as wrestling.
Side control is a dominant position to gain control over one's opponent. The competitor lays across his opponent's chest and holds them down by applying pressure to the shoulders and hips. This can lead to many submission holds.
In the full mount, the dominant player holds their opponent down by sitting astride them. They may place their knees under the arms of their opponent to limit movement until they can get into position for the triangle, apply a choke hold, or lock the arms and shoulders.
The back mount is also known as the back grab or rear mount. It is performed by mounting the opponent's back and wrapping their legs around them and their arms around their neck. The attacker then attempts to utilize the choke hold for submission. This strategy is especially effective for smaller opponents to gain the upper hand of their larger competitors.
The guard is often used for counterattacks if a competitor is down on their back. It is important to utilize this technique prior to the next attack by the competitor to prevent being placed in a submission hold.
In the guard position, the player uses their legs to control their opponent. They can sweep the person to switch positions or get back on their feet. It can also assist them in applying a hold or lock on their opponent.
There are two basic type of submission holds: chokes and locks. With joint locks, the body part is pushed farther than is normal to cause pain until the opponent submits. Many competitions place limits on joint holds to prevent injury or permanent damage.
Joint locks are generally prohibited on knees, ankles, and the spine because serious consequences can occur. Wrists, shoulders, elbows have more flexibility, which lessens the likelihood of permanent damage and are usually allowed.
Chokes prevent blood supply to the brain or air restriction, depending on the type of choke used. Is causes the opponent to become unconscious in seconds or minutes unless they submit. The safer choice is the barocepter choke, which does not restrict blood flow. The opponent presses down on a cluster of nerves to trick the brain into thinking the pressure is higher than it really is and can cause unconsciousness in just a few seconds.
In German Jiu Jitsu, more emphasis is placed on striking techniques and kicks, but ground skills are still taught. In training, the competitor learns to defend themselves against multiple opponents.
Japanese Jiu Jitsu is still followed in many countries, including the United States. More emphasis is placed on standing techniques and leg locks are not allowed. A time limit is placed on opponents in submission holds, whereas in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are no time constraints.
Another difference in the two styles comes in the type of training involved. There is very little realistic fighting involved in the Japanese style, which gives the Brazilian the upper hand in a battle.
Other South American countries follow the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques in their competitions. It has become the most popular style of Jiu Jitsu and is studied almost everywhere. Much of Europe follows this style, but many of the countries focus on the standing techniques as well as the ground techniques.
The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation hosts competitions throughout the world. Australia, South America, and Europe each host their own championship meets.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques have created a new style of martial arts that has grown in popularity, not only in Brazil but throughout the world.
One of the draws of this type of martial art is the equality of the opponents, no matter their size. This style of martial arts is also growing in other segments for self-defense, including police work.
Brazil is a leader in all of their sports so it is no wonder that their style of martial arts is creating a loyal following in many sectors of life in all areas of the world.