You may have seen or heard how effective Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be and you’re considering devoting your time to BJJ training, but you’re wondering what to expect. Jiu Jitsu emphasizes ground fighting techniques to prevail in a physical battle with an opponent. These techniques mostly consist of submission holds involving joint locks or chokes based on the idea that you can negate the advantage of an opponent’s strikes, even a larger or stronger one, by taking them to the ground. Joint locks typically involve creating leverage and pain in an opponent’s limb to the point that they surrender… or the limb is broken or joint destroyed. A choke hold usually disrupts an opponent’s oxygen and blood supplies to the brain, again causing either submission or unconsciousness. All this might cause one to wonder: how is it possible to train long-term without getting seriously hurt?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Methods
Obviously, since this combat system is so highly effective certain limits and parameters are necessary in training. Otherwise few students could manage to keep their bodies intact long enough to ever master the principles of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. On the other hand, BJJ prizes effectiveness of techniques above all in training, so they want to keep training methods as close to “real” as possible without permanently hurting students. Jiu Jitsu’s focus on submissions without the use of strikes does allow for students to practice many throws and techniques at full speed and strength, allowing for more rapid development than some other forms.
A large part of training includes technique drills where moves are practiced are practiced against a non-resisting partner. In BJJ, achieving a dominant position over an opponent on the ground is critical, so much time is devoted to “position drills” where more dangerous finishing moves are not performed. Physical conditioning is a primary component of training at many Brazilian-style clubs, and of course full sparring (known as “randori”) is eventually incorporated into the curriculum when the student is ready.
Belt System Advancement and Promotions
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training differs a lot from other martial arts in the area of grading and belt promotion. Grading is largely based on every-day observation in training as opposed to ceremonial tests. Less emphasis is given to theoretical and background knowledge and instead advancement in belt rank is almost exclusively based on practical results in randori. In contrast, Judo belts are attained not just by randori competition but also knowledge of techniques’ Japanese names and Kata demonstrations. Also there is usually a big difference in how fast belt advancement can be achieved by students compared to non-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, especially in Gracie Family affiliated schools, a black belt cannot be achieved in less than 8 to 10 years of solid training. Also almost all require the age of 19 before achieving black belt regardless of total years of training. Many other schools and styles allow children to become black belts before reaching adulthood.