What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? | Easily Explained

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most useful martial arts that anyone can learn in order to protect themselves.

In this page, we will explain what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is, 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 into the point of submission.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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

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

Mastering BJJ Benefits

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.

What is the Difference Between Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Traditional Jiu Jitsu was introduced by the Japanese who actually had Samurais using it on the battlefield as a backup plan, whenever they were unable to use their weapons.

Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Dangerous?

It is actually 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. This same logic applies to training as well.

jiu jitsu rolling

Safety Practices

There is a renowned camaraderie in BJJ where trainees are able to focus on mastering their go-to technique, improving their game, and adding new moves to their game while not having to go 'all out' in energy.

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

This is important as by then the body is warmed up, which can prevent injury.

Along with this, there is a known rule that everyone must abide by which is to let go as soon as a tap is made.

jiu jitsu watching

Holding on after a tap is a huge red flag and can have you kicked out of the gym permanently.

Having rules such as these in place, as well as the instructors communicating this clearly to everyone allows for a very friendly and safe environment.

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 prior to 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 they 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 a fantastic for self defense, protection, and feeling comfortable in all situations.

BJJ focuses mainly on defense which allows you to neutralize an opponent as well as submit him.

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 a great peace of mind, and comfort-ability in any situation.

bjj tournament

Recreational Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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


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

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


Becoming a better version of yourself, while having a supportive environment as well as supporting people around you is something that people love.

BJJ allows you to release stress, form friendships, and look forward to training sessions throughout the week.

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