Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not for the weak-kneed
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as the name suggests, originated in Brazil in early
20th century. The credit for this goes to a Japanese Jiu Jitsu master
Mitsuo Maeda who emigrated to Brazil in the early twentieth century, and
taught the art to Carlos Gracias. Garicas, in turn, taught this martial
art to his family, and soon it became a national obsession.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as BJJ, the fighters prefer to begin
the fight on the ground as opposed to on their feet. The basic techniques
in this art form are known as the mount and the guard. The first skill
that is essential in this form is to learn how to pass someone's guard.
Penetrating the defence means getting the opponent's legs around one's
body and then positioning oneself at the side so as to be able to lock or
choke someone at will. Maintaining one's defence therefore is as much of
a skill as penetrating someone's guard.
There are several techniques and sub-techniques used in this art form.
Some of them are:
Guard: This is the first position. People who put up a guard lie on their
back and at the bottom. Their legs are wrapped around the opponent's
Side Control: Here the opponents face each other chest to chest but do
not have their legs around each other.
Mount: Here the person is on top of his opponent, sitting on the chest
with legs on either side of the torso.
Back mount: Back mount is where the fighter has his legs wrapped round
the opponent's hip and upper thighs.
The techniques that are used to get an opponent to submit are chokes, arm
locks and twists. They should never, at any cost, be performed without
the supervision of an experienced instructor as they could lead to
serious bodily harm.
There are several layers of skills in this art form. It starts with white
belt, which gives way to blue, purple, brown and then finally black. It
usually takes about two to three years of rigorous training to move a
level. There are no formal tests, which one must pass to move up. A
student usually participates in competitive matches and if the opponent
is defeated it counts as promotion.
So if you are game for an art that is not for the weak-kneed, enrol for
Jiu Jitsu. You could become a deadly fighting machine.