Getting down with the sport of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Like many people, my first encounter with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was in a Korean drama. But the sport has become one of the most popular martial arts styles in recent years, thanks to its heart-pounding mix of grappling and ground fighting.
Inspired by Judo, the sport has a relatively short history. In 1914, Judo master named Mitsuyo Maeda (1878-1941) visited Brazil and stayed with a family surnamed Gracie. Maeda ended up teaching Judo to Gracie’s eldest son, Carlos. Then Carlos taught his siblings. However, the youngest and small-est son, Helio, felt disadvantaged when he practiced with his big brothers as many moves in Judo favor stronger and larger fighters. Thus, Helio refined and expanded on Maeda’s teach-ings that favored leverage over strength, focusing on fighting from one’s back on the ground. With time, this developed into a fighting style known as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu vs Judo
Judo, much like wrestling, focuses on grappling and throwing in the standing position. It is faster-paced and more aggressive than Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
In a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu match, players work as if they can’t wait to go to the floor. A match starts with throwing. The ground part is actually the real fight for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighters. In Judo, however, players try their best to avoid the ground as the sport has developed some very fine throwing techniques. In Judo, perfect throws lead to victory but only points will be given in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Benefits to practicing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Like other martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu provides many physical and mental benefits to practitioners. The most obvi-ous benefit is improved self-defense abilities. The techniques used in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu teach people how to effectively take down an opponent with a limited amount of energy. The les-sons and skills practitioners learn during Brazilian Jiu-jitsu classes may save their lives or help in emergency situations.
Practitioners can also improve their physical health through regular practice. Workouts will keep them in shape as they include grappling, wrestling, sparring and other strength-training and aerobic moves. The intensity may make practitioners gasp for air but gradually will build up their strength and endurance. And the practitioner’s heart will be strengthened as they shed unwanted fat as a bonus.
As a fun interactive sport, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu offers the prac-titioner a sense of satisfaction when tapping opponents out. Regular practice allows people to gain more self-confidence while their memory will be improved as they learn hundreds of moves. With time, the brain will also work to help the practitioner to overcome their opponent.
The belt ranking system (Adult)
In total, there are eight colored belts in the ranking system of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The highest is the red belt.
Black/Red Belt (Coral Belt)
Q: What is the biggest difference between Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and other martial arts?
A: Brazilian Jiu-jitsu favors superior techniques and leverage as speed and strength don’t matter much when you’re on your back.
Q: Is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu better than normal aerobic exercises?
A: Yes. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu can increase not only your core strength and muscle tone, it can improve your balance, car-diovascular capacity and muscular endurance and reduce your body fat.
Q: Who can learn Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?
A: Literally anybody, as the core principle of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is to provide a method for smaller, weaker individuals to protect themselves from bigger and stronger ‘attackers.’
Q: What should I pay attention to during practice?
A: Always be careful and concentrated on what you and others are doing. Carelessness will cause unnecessary injury.
Q: What should I wear for my first class?
A: A comfy T-shirt and shorts will be best.