What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? | Everything You Need to Know

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most useful martial arts in the world.

In this page, we will explain what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is, the benefits of BJJ, and how it has been used in Mixed Martial Arts.

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art where the main goal is to control an opponent and force the opponent to tap into submission.

Unlike most other martial arts, there is no striking involved, and is a form of ground fighting.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is also known as 'BJJ' and there are two forms, No Gi BJJ and Gi BJJ.

Problem-Solving in Jiu-Jitsu

Mastering BJJ allows you to overcome size and strength disadvantages by using superior positioning, grip & leverage on the ground.

jiu jitsu positioning

It is commonly referred to as 'Human Chess' as those training will often have various challenges mentally and physically.

Practitioners will have to use problem-solving skills while managing fatigue and reacting to moves that are made by their opponent, as well as anticipating movements.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu rose to the national spotlight where Royce Gracie dominated the early UFC events despite giving up a significant amount of weight vs larger opponents.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Dangerous?

It is one of the safest martial arts that you can practice due to not having to deal with repeated blows to the head, body, or legs.

In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, most matches are won once an opponent secures a tap.

jiu jitsu rolling

Safety Protocols in Jiu-Jitsu

There is a renowned camaraderie in BJJ where trainees can focus on mastering their go-to technique, improving their game, and adding new moves to their game while not having to expend all of their energy at once.

Most classes begin slowly to drill and practice different techniques, and as the class nears the end, they can have 'scrimmages' or 'rolls' where they can have a higher intensity session.

There is a gym rule that everyone must abide by, which is to let go as soon as an opponent taps in any way.


Holding on after a tap is a huge red flag that can quickly get you kicked out of the gym permanently while creating enemies for yourself inside of the gym.

Instructors constantly remind students of this rule to maintain a very friendly and safe environment.

The Use of Jiu-Jitsu in MMA

Jiu Jitsu was introduced into the Mixed Martial Arts world by Royce Gracie as he routinely dominated events by forcing giant and dangerous men much larger than him to submit.

When this first occurred, most of the fan base was not aware of what was happening, all that they knew is this guy in a uniform was tapping out these fighters who were knocking everyone else out before facing him.

This sparked massive interest in the sport, and now over 20 years later, it has become a base for MMA fighters.

bjj tournament

Everyone who wants to become a MMA fighter must learn jiu-jitsu or they will be at a severe disadvantage if the fight ends up on the ground at any point of the fight.

There have been many successful high-level fighters in MMA, but most notably (and most recently) Charles Oliveira who recently became the UFC Lightweight Champion.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Good for Self-Defense?

BJJ is fantastic for self-defense and provides you with the tools to be comfortable in any situation.

In real-life situations, BJJ also allows you to just put an opponent in a defenseless position until help has arrived, such as the police for example (who also use Martial Arts for their training).

Having the ability to do this, regardless of the size of the perpetrator gives you great peace of mind and comfort in any situation.


There Are Many Hobbyists in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

You don't have to aspire to be a professional fighter to train BJJ, as Recreational BJJ is very popular and brings on a ton of benefits.

Physical Benefits

Improved cardiovascular function, training muscles that you didn't even know could get sore (forearms for example) due to all of the pushing, pulling, and constant adjustments.

A great workout is proven to lower stress, and that's exactly what you'll get here.

Social Benefits

Jiu-Jitsu is a very social sport where you will make friends, (friendly) rivals on the mat, and even teammates.

Many people have reported over the years that they've formed great relationships through friendly competition in the sport.

Mental Benefits

Jiu-Jitsu aids in becoming a better version of yourself while having a supportive environment to push you to be successful.

BJJ allows you to release stress, form friendships, and be excited about future training sessions every week.

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