Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a martial art, a combat sport and a self-defense system. The main focus is on a technique called grappling and ground fighting. Its guiding principle gives an idea that even a much weaker person can defend themselves, by using proper maneuvers in case of an assault.
This system was developed in Brazil in the 1920s when a Judo master Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie, the son of an influential businessman, this technique. The Gracie family spread their skill in the United States after establishing an academy in California. The sport gained international popularity after several martial arts tournaments held in the 1990s; when Royce Gracie fought and won four times against physically larger rivals. These Ultimate Fighting Championships proved that even a much smaller opponent could protect themselves when needed and many thought this would be of great benefit for young people.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be developed for self-defense, sport grappling tours and mixed martial arts. Sparring with the opponent plays an important role in training. The rules are very complex and different tournaments may vary in rules, but the main idea is to earn points by advancing or improving your position. The fight is won instantly if the opponent gives up by tapping in cases of choking or joint lock pressure. This sport is sometimes referred to as a form of ‘human chess’ due to its complexity and the philosophy of ‘Brain over Brawn’.
BJJ is suitable for both sexes and all ages, from small children to senior citizens. The principle of applying techniques instead of raw power turns the opponent’s attack energy to your own benefit. The person learns to control a dangerous situation without hurting someone or getting hurt.
The aforementioned facts contribute to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being a great sport for kids. It involves no kicks. However, it does provide youth with discipline as the training can be tough and the sport requires dedication, regularity and repetition until perfected. When taught and applied properly, it’s a wonderful skill, fun to learn and it helps with muscle and fitness growth. Today’s lifestyle includes spending way too much time sitting, and at early age human bodies adapt to certain limited and unnatural movements. BJJ teaches children how to become aware of their body as a whole and treat it that way. After reaching this point, they will soon improve their strength, mobility, coordination and balance. In the long run, the training of martial arts will benefit their health.
There is a positive psychological aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as it instills young people work ethics and social skills. They learn not to give up or become negative even when things get too frustrating, they adopt a positive general attitude, they listen to instructions, work in a team and respect their teachers, parents and other players. And also practicing any martial art is a great way of making new friends, which is very important in early stages of life.
Conclusively, one of BJJ’s greatest benefits lies in the fact that it can be put to good use, should a young person need to defend themselves. This is especially true with the increasing cases of bullying in many areas. Kids learn to defend themselves without the use of violence and the adopted methods make them feel safe and more confident in everyday life.