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About Jiu Jitsu

Helio Gracie is considered by many as the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While his accomplishments and contributions to the sport cannot be ignored, there is more history that must be explored to gain a firm understanding.

The history of BJJ can actually trace it's roots back Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda was a member of the Kodokan and an expert judoka. Because of his prominence in ground fighting, Maeda was sent overseas to spread the art to other areas in 1904. Finally arriving in Brazil in 1914.

Jiu Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu met the Gracie family through a prominent business man named Gastão Gracie, who was the father of Carlos, Osvaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and Helio. In 1917, Carlos Gracie who was 14 at the time, became a student of Maeda and learned the art. He eventually passed on his newly learned art to his brothers when the family moved in 1921 to Rio De Janeiro.

Helio continued to study the art and competed in several competitions. One of which gave rise to the familiar term "kimura". This came into prominence when Helio was defeated by a joint-lock by Masahiko Kimura. The technique that was used was evenutally named after this opponent.

BJJ's now world wide popularity didn't come until many decades later however. In the 1990's, the famous UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) featured martial artsist from around the world competing in no-holds-barred fighting competetions. Royce Gracie, son of Helio, won the first, second, and fourth UFC tournaments, forever solidifying himself in the minds of fighters across the globe.

Today, brazilian jiu-jitsu is likely the fastest growing martial art in the world. Schools and students are growing in shocking numbers. Part of the continued popularity is due to MMA and the UFC's continued and growing success that emphasizes BJJ as a necessary component of a total fighting system.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu books

Here are some popular Brazilian jiu-jitsu books on the market. Whether you are looking to supplement your training, or are looking for some additional reading material, these should help you out.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) ...while most martial arts deal only with the initial punching and kicking stages of combat, Brazilian jiu-jitsu concentrates on ground combat. This guide shows how to use Brazilian jiu-jitsu to increase combat effectiveness. Photographs and step-by-step instructions show how to master the techniques used in this exciting new form of combat.

X-Guard: For Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, No Gi Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts (from a customer review)...Marcelo Garcia is probably the best grappler in the world and his system is unique and effective and works for all body types, and unlike Eddie Bravo's very good system doesn't require crazy flexibility. The book provides info on gi and no gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's comparable to Eddie Bravo's Rubber guard book in terms of quality and production value. It has a color coded easy to use system that makes it very easy to quickly find sections and whether the technique is appropriate for gi and no gi competition.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (from product review)...this collector quality first edition will be one of the most sought-after books in the martial arts world for years to come. Get in on the ground floor and be one of the few to own the first edition of GRACIE JIU-JITSU - THE MASTER TEXT. In a clear and easy-to-follow format, Grand Master Helio Gracie addresses different aspects of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu method that bears his name. From the first page to the last, you'll get a simple break down of how to systematically progress and technically improve your mat game regardless of your background or grappling ability. Now over 90 years old, still training and teaching, Helio Gracie has left an enduring worldwide legacy that can only be found in GRACIE JIU-JITSU - THE MASTER TEXT

More BJJ and instructional books...

Ultimate Fighting Techniques (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) (v. 1)

Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Strategic Guard: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Details and Techniques

Encyclopedia of Leg Locks (Encyclopedia of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)

BJJ Description

The premise of BJJ is that most of the advantage of a larger, stronger opponent comes from superior reach and more powerful strikes, both of which are somewhat negated when grappling on the ground. The BJJ style includes effective use of the guard position to defend oneself from the bottom position, and passing the guard to dominate from top position with side control, mount, and back mount positions. This system of maneuvering and manipulation can be likened to a form of chess when performed by two experienced practitioners. A submission hold would be the equivalent of checkmate.

BJJ permits all the techniques that judo allows to take the fight to the ground. Once on the ground the opponents can continue to fight, and winning is usually the result of one participant "tapping out". In sport competition, matches are timed and can also be won by outscoring your oppenent by gaining dominent positions, and completing certain manuevers.

Popular techniques employed by practioners are the triangle choke, kimura, cross-choke, armbar, foot-locks, sweeps, and maintaining dominent positions. Fighting generally begins from the stand-up position and the fighters will work to take eachother down by employing a range of throws, sweeps, and other takedowns. Once on the ground, each oppenent will move to try and gain an advantageous position and apply techniques designed to force the oppenent into submission (tap out).

Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

  • Excellent form of self-defense
  • Enhances flexibility and stamina
  • Strength conditioning
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Develops self awareness and assertiveness
  • Stress reduction and positive attitude

BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) Videos

I love this video, great demonstration of take downs and subsequent transition into submissions. These two guys show how fluid BJJ can be. I stronly suggest watching this one.