Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art, the basis of which is grappling.

All edits by  Ku Za 

Edits on 15 Jan, 2022
Ku Za
Ku Za edited on 15 Jan, 2022
Edits made to:
Infobox (+2/-2 properties)
Description (+123 characters)
Article (+14397 characters)
Topic thumbnail

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Martial art and international martial arts, the basis of which is grappling, as well as painful and suffocating techniques.



Brazilian jiu-jitsu originates from Mitsuyo Maeda (Jap. 前田光世), a master of Japanese judo, a student of Jigoro Kano (Jap. 嘉納 治五郎). For Jigoro Kano, judo was not just a martial art - it was both a sport, and a way to keep a person in good physical shape, and a method of developing willpower, and, most importantly, a way to achieve peace of mind. The art that would eventually be called "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" also absorbed these principles.

Mitsuyo Maeda, being one of the best Japanese masters of wrestling on the ground (on the ground), in 1904 went on a trip around the world. In all countries, wherever he was, the master took part in demonstration fights with practitioners of different styles and areas of martial arts - wrestlers, boxers, savators, and in November 1914 he arrived in Brazil.

It is believed that BJJ is a development of traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and that Mitsuyo Maeda practiced it. However, Maeda never trained in jiu-jitsu (although he did train at the Kodokan for judo, which was partly derived from Japanese jiu-jitsu). Initially, as a teenager, he trained in the art of sumo, but, impressed by stories of judo's success in competitions between judo and jiu-jitsu fighters that were taking place at the time, he changed sumo to judo, beginning to study with Kano at the Kodokan. He became 7th dan in Kodokan judo the day before he died. Mitsuyo Maeda died in 1941.


When Maeda left Japan, judo was still often referred to as "jiu-jitsu Kano" or simply "jiu-jitsu".

Outside of Japan, however, this difference was even less noted. The distinction between jujutsu and judo is a very subtle one, and they are often lumped together. Thus, when Maeda and Soichiro Satake arrived in Brazil in 1914, the newspapers announced "jiu-jitsu" despite the fact that both Japanese were judokas of the Kodokan.

The Japanese government itself did not formally regulate until 1925 that the correct name for the martial art taught in Japanese public schools should be "judo" and not "jiu-jitsu". In Brazil, this art is still called "jiu-jitsu". When the Gracie arrived in the United States to spread their art, the system became known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-jitsu, the older Western spelling of the art name, is an older romanization, but it is still used in conjunction with Hepburn's modern jujutsu romanization. Other correct spellings are jujitsu and ju-jitsu.

This art is sometimes referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ), but this name is only a trademark registered by Rorion Gracie, which definitely refers to the style taught by him and his teachers. Other members of the Gracie family often refer to their style by personalized names such as "Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" or "Henzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu", and similarly the Machado Brothers refer to their style as "Machado Jiu-Jitsu" (MJJ). While each of these styles and their instructors have their own unique approaches, they are all based on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today there are three main branches of BJJ: Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra, and Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Each branch has its roots in Maeda's judo and the Gracie family's jiu-jitsu.


In 1914, Mitsuyo Maeda came to Brazil, where he settled for the next few years. There he met Gastão Gracie (port. Gastão Gracie), a local aristocrat. In 1916, Gastan's 14-year-old son, Carlos Gracie, watched a demonstration of Maeda's art at the Teatro da Paz and decided to study it. Maeda took Carlos as a student, he became a master and, together with his younger brother Helio Gracie (Hélio Gracie), laid the foundation for modern Brazilian Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

In 1921, Gastao Gracie and his family moved to Rio de Janeiro. Carlos, who was 17 years old, passed on the knowledge he received from Maeda to his brothers Osvaldo, Gastão and Jorge. Elihu was then too young and sick to practice this art, he could not participate in training due to a medical ban. Despite this, Elihu learned by watching his brothers. He still managed to overcome his ailments. He is considered by many to be the founder of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (although others, such as Carlos Gracie (port. Carlson Gracie), call Carlos the founder of this art).

Helio competed in several judo competitions before submitting (submission judo), and most of his fights ended in a draw. One defeat was inflicted on him by the Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura (jap. 木村 政彦) during his visit to Brazil (in 1951); the surname of the winner Gracie was later called a painful hold on the shoulder joint, which Helio was defeated with. The Gracie family continued to develop the BJJ system throughout the 20th century, often wrestling in Vale Tudo competitions (the forerunners of modern MMA), which helped to focus it on ground fighting and perfected its technique. Many people believe that Helio Gracie has a 6th dan in judo. However, there is no record in the Kodokan that Helio Gracie had any dan in judo.

Today, the main difference between the styles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which specializes in self-defense, and the sport-oriented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) is the struggle for points. These styles have a lot in common. In addition, there are many different techniques in training in different schools in terms of using it against whoever is stronger.


Brazilian jiu-jitsu gained prominence in the martial arts in the early 1990s, when Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) - the only tournament at that time that united representatives of various martial arts. Royce often wrestled against very tough opponents who practiced other styles including boxing, karate, judo, taekwondo and wrestling. Particularly impressive were his victories over fighters who were significantly superior to the Brazilian in height and weight. Since then, BJJ has become a staple for many MMA fighters and has earned great respect for bringing attention to the importance of fighting on the ground.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specializes in taking the opponent to the ground (on the ground) and using grappling techniques on the ground. This fighting style includes submissions and chokes that can be used to force the opponent to submit (sports jiu-jitsu) or disable them (combat jiu-jitsu). It is believed that a big and strong man loses most of his advantages while fighting on the ground.

BJJ uses a variety of throws after a grapple is taken. Once the opponent is on the ground, many maneuvers (and counter-maneuvers) can be used to control the opponent into a suitable position and then use a submission hold to force him to surrender. Achieving a dominant position on the ground is one of the principles of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style and involves the effective use of the guard position (guard) to defend yourself during the fight on the ground, and passing the guard to dominate in key positions: side mount (side mount or, using Sambo terminology, “side hold”), mount (mount) and back mount (back mount or “hold from the back”). This style of maneuvering and manipulation is similar to chess played by two experienced chess players. A painful hold (suffocation) and subsequent surrender is the equivalent of checkmate in chess. However, in some cases, the struggle can be continued, despite the complete implementation of the reception.

Henzo Gracie wrote in his book Mastering Jujitsu:

“The classic jiu-jitsu of old Japan seemed to have no general fighting strategy for its participant. Indeed, this was one of Kano's most fundamental and insightful critiques of the classical program. Mitsuyo 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 by Maeda based on his international travels, fighting against fighters of a wide variety of martial arts."

The book clarifies Mitsuyo Maeda's theory, and the author argues that different phases can be distinguished in a fight: a punching phase, a grappling phase, a phase on the ground, and so on. Thus, the primary task of an intelligent wrestler is to keep the fight in the phase of the fight that best suits his abilities. Henzo Gracie has stated that this fundamental principle influenced Gracie's style, perfecting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Later, these positions were improved over time by the Gracie family and others, which became a great help in modern MMA.


There are two main categories of techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu: leverage (knots) and chokes. Creating a lever (knot) is the isolation of an opponent's limb to a certain body position, which will force the joint to move in a straight line (rotate on its own axis) outside of its normal range of motion. With an increase in pressure on the limb-lever, the opponent, unable to avoid this position, surrenders. He can verbally surrender or slap the opponent several times (slapping yourself is dangerous because the opponent may not hear). Choking is used to cut off the oxygen supply to the opponent's brain, which can cause them to become unconscious if they don't give up soon enough. A less popular technique is pinching, in which the opponent's muscle is compressed between the bones (usually the shins and wrists), or pinching, which expands, separates the joint, causing significant pain to the opponent. These moves are usually not allowed in competition due to the high risk of injury.

Training features

Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specializes in fighting to the submission without the use of punches, facilitated by a training method that allows practitioners to operate at full speed and with full strength, just like in a real competition. Training methods include training techniques that are performed on a non-resisting partner: limited sparring, commonly referred to as positional training, where only certain techniques or sets of techniques are used; full sparring is also used, in which each opponent tries to use any allowed technique. Improving physical condition is also an important part of training in many clubs.


Standards and traditions

Standards for belt grading vary between schools, but in most cases, the following methods are used to determine a person's skill and degree in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

  • proficiency in technology, which they must demonstrate;

Technique proficiency should be judged in terms of the number of moves a person can perform, as well as the level of skill with which they perform them in sparring and competition. Students are encouraged to adapt techniques to their body type, strategic preference, and level of athleticism. The final criterion is the ability to execute a move successfully, not strict technical compliance.

Competitions play an important role in the grading of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students as they allow the instructor to determine the level of their athlete against an athlete of the same level from another school. Belt submission may be given after success in a competition, especially at the lower belt levels. It may also be issued to a student who beats all the athletes at his level in his school and starts to beat some of the athletes at the level above. Example: A white belt forces all white belts in his school to surrender, and also forces some of his school's blue belts to surrender.

It is believed that the high level of competition between schools and its importance in the provision of the belt is a key factor that discourages the lowering of standards and the ability to buy belts. Instructors may also take into account a person's behavior outside of school and refuse to give him a belt if he shows anti-social and destructive tendencies. It is in accordance with these and other criteria that most teachers promote their students. Some schools may also have formal testing, which may include oral or written examinations.

It is also possible to use a different system of colored belts up to the blue belt, but the competition uses a single standard for grading belts. There are minimum age requirements for issuing belts. Blue belts are never issued to anyone under the age of 16. To obtain a black belt, a student must be at least 19 years old, according to the regulations of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

Some schools use a streak system to determine a student's progress within his belt. Stripes can be awarded to any belt below black, but like belts, they are awarded at the instructor's discretion, such as for strong progress or for winning a tournament. However, not all schools give out stripes or give them out consistently. Thus, the number of stripes a person has is not always an indicator of his class. Using them is a guide for the student, because you need to get four stripes in order to be nominated for the next belt.

Those involved with a black belt can receive degrees (dans) - up to the 9th. At the 7th degree, the black belt becomes black and red. At the 9th degree, the belt turns red. Only Helio, Carlos and their Gracie brothers ever had a 10th degree. The members of the Gracie family who hold the 9th degree are Carlson Gracie, Reylson Gracie, Relson Gracie, Reyson Gracie, and Rorion Gracie.

BJJ differs from other martial arts by the methods of issuing rewards, which are based on practice (sparring, wrestling) and on the results of the student's participation in competitions. Almost always, any black belt holder is an expert in the practical application of Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and performs well in competition. Less attention is paid to theoretical and optional training. Rarely is a performance test not based on observation of an athlete's every training session. This is how BJJ differs from judo, in which theoretical knowledge is required along with practical knowledge (for example, demonstration of kata).


Schools also differ in terms of student progress time. More traditional schools, especially Gracie, believe that black belt cannot be achieved in less than 8-10 years, while some newer schools allow students to reach black belt faster. A blue belt can be obtained after 1-2 years of training, depending on the student's training frequency and learning ability. Purple belt can be obtained within 2-4 years. This largely depends on the student and the frequency of training. The purple belt is the lowest level an instructor can have. The time after which you can get a brown belt is 5-8 years, black - from 8 years.

Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.