Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial arts discipline that focuses its training on grappling and ground fighting. As a system of self-defense, Brazilian-style jiu-jitsu promotes the use of extremities and muscle strength to lock the opponent into a hold that is difficult to get out of. It is based on judo, the Japanese self-defense system brought to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda. Two of Maeda’s students went on to found what is now known and practiced as Brazilian jiu-jitsu – Carlos Gracie and Luiz Franca. The term “jiu-jitsu” is taken from the Japanese “Kano jiu-jitsu”, the old name of judo. Today, it is one of the most popular forms of self-defense and is a recognized sport internationally.
Advantages of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Age and Height Appropriate
Jiu-jitsu can be practiced by anyone, whether a child or an adult, provided he or she is physically able to learn and execute the proper techniques. It also works well for people who are fighting against bigger and taller opponents.
Jiu-jitsu does not require the practitioner to have a certain type of physique in order to see improvement. In fact, practitioners of this type of martial arts can even adapt their own fighting style based on what they find comfortable to do with their bodies. Age is also just a number in jiu-jitsu. You could be in your 20s, 30s, 40s or older and still improve your techniques after several months of regular practice sessions.
One of the main advantages of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is that it teaches you how to fight and defend yourself even when you are already on the ground. This is beneficial for many individuals, especially those who could be easily overpowered by their opponent’s momentum. In real fights, it is common for individuals to find themselves on the ground with their opponents on top of them. Although not all types of martial arts teach the proper techniques to handle a takedown, jiu-jitsu does. In fact, a practitioner is trained on exactly what to do in order to move, defend himself and get away even when he is on the bottom.
Jiu-jitsu provides a fantastic all-over body workout. It works your shoulders, arms, hands, torso, thighs, legs and feet, and encourages your brain to focus and think ahead.
Limitations of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Jiu-jitsu is a sport built mostly on grappling to throw an opponent off his feet. As such, it will require plenty of tough moves and muscle strength to execute properly. It gives an excellent workout but it can be quite tiring.
Jiu-jitsu promotes the use of chokeholds and joint-locks to overcome an opponent, so the practitioner is not trained to strike or punch. However, an experienced practitioner should have learned enough skills and knowledge to effectively control the range of an opponent’s punches during a fight.
Jiu-jitsu requires combatants to grapple and hold each other using the arms, thighs and legs. In some cases, certain positions are difficult to maintain. Unlike boxing or muay thai where the opponent is kept away at arm’s or leg’s length, jiu-jitsu requires combatants to spar or fight very close to each other.
Ineffective Against Multiple Opponents and Limited Space
Most of the techniques taught in jiu-jitsu requires enough space to execute a grapple and a takedown. Also, it may not be the best martial arts discipline to use when there are several opponents to handle.
Overall, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an excellent self-defense system to learn. It is a physically and mentally stimulating martial arts form that builds confidence, promotes fitness and boosts self-control.
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