If you’re a UFC fan then you have already seen a lot of BJJ (BJJ) fighting. Men like Ronaldo Jacare Souza, Roger Gracie, and Robert Drysdale have successfully used BJJ to destroy opponents. BJJ has become an epic combat sport that involves howling fans and lots of beer and wings.
It teaches the “little guy” that he can take down stronger, larger opponents by bringing the fight to the ground, and applying skillful leverage, technique, joint locks, and chokeholds.
History and Founding
BJJ evolved from Japanese roots in the early 1920s, and later spread thought the northern hemisphere like wild-fire. Many mistakenly consider Royce Gracie as the founder of modern BJJ due to his popularizing it during the early years of the UFC. Gracie proved the efficiency of BJJ by defeating competitors from many martial arts backgrounds in bloody, no holds bar battles-where he became the first UFC champion.
But the true founder was a man named Mitsuyo Maeda – known by Brazilians as Conde Coma. Maeda studied under Jigoro Kano at his Kodokan martial arts school. Maeda proved to be one of Kano’s best students. He later travelled the planet demonstrating the art form in circus and arenas. Maeda’s travels eventually brought him to Brazil; where he finally met Carlos Gracie – a troubled teen Maeda took under his wing, which helped start the Gracie BJJ lineage.
Take it to the Ground
Here is a brief overview of the trade mark maneuvers used in BJJ:
The Half Guard
The half guard is a grappling move created in the 90s by Roberto Correa. The way it works is while lying with your back to the mat, you use your legs to control one of your opponent’s legs. The move later changed the combat sport’s world-helping to reshape BJJ, Submission wrestling, and mixed martial arts.
The Estima Lock is a foot lock created by the Estima brothers during the early 2000s. It became extremely popular after the No Gi World Championship of 2011-where Victor Estima used his lock to defeat all his opponents. The way it works is brutally simple, yet painfully elegant. It works by holding your opponent’s foot against your stomach and combining forward motion with your hips-twisting the poor guy’s foot in similar fashion to the dreaded toe hold.
The Berimbolo is one of the most popular moves in BJJ. The lightweight fighters of the early 2000s helped popularize this move. Though it was created in the 1990s-named the “scrambly” position. The move involves spinning upside down, disrupting your opponent’s balance-allowing you to either sweep your opponent, or take control of his or her back.
The De La Riva Guard
The De La Riva Guard was created by Ricardo De La Riva in the 1980s. It has become a staple in modern BJJ, and is taught in basic courses in schools around the world. It’s a move you use while on the ground, trying to control your opponent’s legs. The move is basic and simple, yet devastatingly effective. You wrap, or hook one of your legs around the outside of your opponent’s leg, which in turn throws him or her off-balance.
The above picture may paint this art form as something only for brutes. Not so fast. Like with many other martial art forms there comes a deep philosophical understanding and appreciation for peace and tolerance after years of training in a BJJ dojo. Sure, during competition, you will be ready to defeat your opponent; but in regular everyday life you will rarely, if ever, see a need to use your skills.
This applies to moments of real danger as well. Unless you are directly attacked, hence forcing a response, it’s very unlikely a veteran of BJJ will engage an untrained rough neck. The skilled practitioner of BJJ doesn’t need ego boosting. He or she gets more than enough of that on the dojo mat.
This is the concept so many people don’t understand. They assume because you have a potentially lethal skill set that you will want to show it off, or use it any chance you get. Hardly! The skilled BJJ expert will only want to use his talents to teach, compete, and keep his or her body and mind healthy.