Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
The MMA world was turned on its head when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, Royce Gracie, choked out Karate master Gerard Gordeau to win the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship – UFC 1 – back in 1993. Beating much bigger, stronger opponents using a combination of locks, chokes and takedowns, Gracie brought BJJ to the masses and ensured that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA became inseparable.
What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
BJJ is a martial art and sport that centres around grappling, locks and chokes and especially ground work. It is derived from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu which itself is based on Judo – another Japanese martial art. Where other martial arts use strength to overcome an opponent, Jiu-Jitsu uses techniques that allow smaller, weaker fighters to overcome much bigger and stronger opponents. With the many opportunities to train in Jiu-Jitsu in Brisbane, BJJ has become a very accessible martial art for men, women and children. Plus, the absence of kicks and punches adds to its accessibility as it makes BJJ a relatively safe martial art – far safer than boxing or Muay Thai.
The Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Like any martial art, BJJ is a great form of exercise as well as a good form of self-defence. Unlike boxing, BJJ provides an intense, full-body workout that will develop strength, endurance, stamina, power and flexibility. Speed, agility, and athleticism are also important for BJJ and training regularly will ensure this fitness attribute improves.
In addition, BJJ provides several other benefits including:
- Weight control
- Better hand-eye coordination
- Increased total-body strength
- Improved core strength
- Enhanced cardiovascular fitness
- Improved focus and concentration
- Enhanced immune system function
- Improved self-disciple and self-confidence
- Overall general fitness and well-being
BJJ – not just for fighters
While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is primarily a martial art, many people do it simply because it’s a great workout. Notable celebrities who train in BJJ for reasons other than fighting include director Guy Ritchie, and actors Naomi Watts, Wesley Snipes, Ashton Kutcher, Milla Jovovich, Keanu Reeves and Ed O’Neill.
Training for BJJ
The best way to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, whether you are an MMA fighter who wants to improve their groundwork, or are just looking for a new and fun way to work out, is to attend a class run by a qualified instructor. This will ensure you learn how to apply the techniques of BJJ properly and in the safest possible environment.
Training involves a variety of methods and techniques. Each class begins with a thorough warmup to ensure your muscles, joints and mind are ready for what follows. Students are then taught basic trips and throws, joint locks, chokes and submissions, as well as defences against these same techniques being used against them.
Techniques are initially taught against a non-resisting partner before controlled sparring is allowed. Some training may even be done blindfolded, to teach students to deal with unexpected attacks – an important self-defence skill (however, this is usually an advanced training drill).
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very energetic martial art, and grappling uses a lot of energy. Practicing groundwork and performing conditioning exercises to improve fitness is necessary to be good at BJJ. It burns a lot of calories – as many as 800 in an hour – which makes training for BJJ a great way to get in shape and lose or control your weight.
Because BJJ involves no punching or kicking, serious injuries are rare. Techniques like locks and chokes can be applied at slow speeds and applied with low amounts of force which means that students should never be placed in dangerous situations during training. All Arena MMA coaches are highly experienced and highly qualified, which further enhances safety.
Clothing and equipment for BJJ
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be performed wearing a suit called a gi – similar to a judo suit – although many people prefer to practice wearing regular workout clothes. Students usually practice BJJ barefoot, so no special footwear is required. This makes BJJ very accessible, as you simply do not need to buy special workout gear. Protective gear is not necessary, unlike boxing, which requires gloves, head guards and low-blow guards; although some students may want to wear knee and elbows pads for comfort.
Try BJJ for FREE!
If you are interested in doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brisbane, this is both accessible and effective. BJJ is a martial art that provides a fantastic way to get fit and stay fit while learning a valuable form of self-defence. It’s also essential for MMA success. But don’t just take our word for it – come to Arena MMA in Springwood, Logan and try a BJJ class for free! To see other locations to train for BJJ in the Brisbane area, check out our locations here.