WHAT IS BJJ?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts designed to work with the principles of leverage and technique instead of using just brute force and strength. The main focus of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is ground grappling. This is the most important, but often neglected, area of martial arts.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the only martial art and self-defense system that can hold its own in comparison to other Martial Arts styles. This is because it teaches its practitioners necessary ground work including, but not limited to, how to submit their opponent and control the fight once it goes to the ground. Most other styles of Martial Arts do not teach this, which makes it easier for the practitioner to be submitted and grappled. When BJJ students face those who practice other forms of Martial Arts, the results are almost always the same: the BJJ student takes his or her opponent to the ground (where the Martial Arts student lacks the necessary skill and can no longer benefit from distance and striking speed) where he or she is eventually subdued because of their lack of skill on the ground. It is also a fact that 90% of all fights end up in a clinch and then eventually on the ground. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will give you the necessary tools to protect yourself against these clinches and teach you how to defend yourself or control the fight if it goes to the ground. This type of Jiu-Jitsu also teaches you how to protect yourself in street confrontations, not just ring fights.
How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is used today?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is used by a variety of people all over the world for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons people practice BJJ include: self-defense, staying/getting into shape, as a means of exercise, learning discipline, competing against others, or even just as a hobby. People from all walks of life practice Jiu-Jitsu, not just fighters, although the top fighters in the world use Jiu-Jitsu as one of their main skills in today's mixed martial arts events such as the UFC, Strikeforce and Pride Championships. Some of these fighters include Royce Gracie, BJ Penn, Demien Maia, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and many others. However, this should not intimidate anyone looking to join the BJJ team because, again, it really is for everyone regardless of experience, knowledge, and background.
In the United States, as well as other countries, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been incorporated into the military and police training. The Army Rangers, Delta Force and police departments all over the US have been using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a part of their training for years. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can also be a very good tool for people working in the security field since it gives the practitioner the ability to control and restrain "aggressors" without the use of punching and kicking, which is the same reason why the military and police have incorporated it into their training.
How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu became famous
In the 1990's, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu revolutionized the way combat athletes and mixed martial artists viewed fighting in general after they witnessed a 176 pound Brazilian fighter by the name of Royce Gracie defeat 3 larger (and stronger) opponents in one night in a "no-holds-bar" competition called "UFC". He defeated his opponents by using Gracie, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This was also the birth of the UFC and ever since then, BJJ has become one of the most sought after Martial Arts.
Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is for Everyone's Enjoyment
Jiu-Jitsu is not just for strong athletic men; it is an ideal sport for men and women of all ages and sizes because of the use of leverage and technique, rather than the use of brute strength. Many people feel intimidated when contemplating training Jiu-Jitsu, but this is a sport for all types of people from all walks of life and at Gracie Barra, we are here to help you reach your goal, no matter what it may be. Many people come to us for a variety of reasons: as a hobby, for a great workout, to learn how to defend themselves, improve their cardio, lose weight, or to better their Mixed Martial Arts skills for competition. Gracie Barra is a school for anyone interested in learning or bettering their BJJ game. Whatever your reason is, we have a place for you!
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an Excellent Method of Self-Defense for Women
BJJ is an ideal form of self-defense for women since most attacks used against them end up on the ground. It strives to teach women how to defend themselves if their attacker should take them to the ground and even how to take their opponent to the ground and submit them as a means of self-defense. Jiu-Jitsu is one of the very few forms of self-defense that deals with the most neglected form of combat: ground fighting. Also, most martial arts rely on speed, strength, or the element of surprise to be effective. What is not put into the equation is the fact that women are usually ambushed and attacked by surprise without given the opportunity to strike at the right moment. So what do you do when you find yourself on the ground with a person 100 pounds heavier than you on top of you? The answer is definitely not kicking or punching, but rather skilled ground control, which BJJ teaches you.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts on T.V.
If you turn on SPIKE TV and watch The Ultimate Fighter show, you'll understand the importance of ground fighting in Mixed Martial Arts. It is almost impossible to have a successful MMA career without being a BJJ practitioner due to the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, even in a professional fighting environment. Most fights end up in a clinch or on the ground, which is where you'll see the BJJ come into play; especially on televised events.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Workout
Most people who begin Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have previously done some form of exercise prior to BJJ. Most of those people don't believe it can be superior to their current workout, and are always surprised after their first class. BJJ is a complete body workout that most people aren't accustomed to. They are using muscles and other parts of their body that they are not familiar with when it comes to the traditional workout routine that they have grown accustomed to. There are also movements added in that are typically not a part of the standard workout routine.
However, many people who begin a BJJ regimen start for the reason of getting a great workout and a great workout is what they get! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an unconventional way to get an amazing workout that will keep you interested, motivated and coming back for more.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts in Houston, Texas
Houston now has a growing number of academies and gyms that offer classes due to the popularity of the sport. Houston also hosts competitions every year organized by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation), Gracie Barra Competition Network and more. This is great for all of those who want to test their game against others and work on their competition skills.