“Jiu jitsu is not the art of hitting,
it’s the art of not getting hit.”
Jiu-jitsu, or jujitsu, is a Japanese martial arts discipline that literally means “gentle art”. It has different adaptations and spellings over the vast history of martial arts. Ranging across the original Japanese jujutsu, American jujitsu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The underlying principles are all the same in that they make the opponents’ momentum backfire on them. Various pressure points and joint manipulations are used in jujitsu to overcome the opponent. The combat style of jiu-jitsu can be traced back to ancient monks and warriors. We often read about Japanese samurai legends in history books. Jujitsu schools teach a common battlefield defense technique that slowly evolved into other ground-based fighting styles.
Jujitsu and the Gracie family
When the Japanese judoka, Mitsuyo Maeda, traveled to Brazil, he taught jujitsu to a group of students. Some of these students worked together to inaugurate a martial arts discipline that came to be known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The Gracie family members –Carlos and Helio in particular –launched the first-ever Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy in the 1920s. The original jujitsu practices and strategies were modified, and new skills were added as the martial art grew over the years.
One major difference between Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu is that Japanese jujitsu practices more moves while standing, whereas Brazilian jiu-jitsu focuses on ground-based grappling. Self-defense through ground-fighting skills is a clever strategy. Once the opponent is tackled to the ground, it is easy to overcome them. And Brazilian jiu-jitsu exploits this strategy to the fullest.
The Gracie descendants continued to take this Brazilian adaptation of jiu-jitsu in an uphill success. It soon became a global phenomenon with a meteoric rise over the martial arts horizons. The practices started to be implemented in the mixed martial arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Eventually, Carlos Gracie Jr. founded a governing body known as the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation(IBJJF) that now hosts tournaments and championships for worldwide applicants.
Common moves taught in jujitsu schools
For the ground-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu, various simple and complex maneuvers are performed to gain the upper hand. These strategies are divided into positions, movements, and submissions.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu has six main positions, namely, the guard, mount, rear mount, scarf hold, side control, turtle, and knee on belly. Each position is worth different points in a competition. Timing and speed are crucial components that turn these combat positions into survival tactics.
Transitionary movements build connective bridges between jujitsu techniques, allowing martial artists to switch from one position to another. These movements include bridging, shrimping, sweeps, transitions, guard passes, and escapes. There are also sub-variations of these basic movements. They all provide useful grappling advantages by giving you escape routes to get out of an attack. The art of jujitsu is more dynamic than static in nature, which is why transitions are important.
Submissions are techniques that end the fight using jujitsu skills like chokeholds and joint locks. Sweeps and submissions both help in bringing the conflict to a dead end by forcing the attacker to give up. Triangle, armbar, Americana, kimura, and guillotine are common submission strategies that use chokeholds and shoulder/elbow locks to subdue the opponent.
American Jiu Jitsu Schools Maplewood
American Jiu Jitsu Maplewood offers jujitsu programs for kids and adults, both on-mat and online. It teaches scenario-specific techniques that students can apply in real life. The AJJ learning environment is a combination of various martial arts practices such as tai chi, judo, aikido, and Daito-Ryu. These self-defense skills allow students to use footwork and body orientations to successfully defuse an attack.
The martial arts dojo employs spatial fighting techniques that help students use strikes and joint locks based on different distances. For example, at closer fighting ranges, the jujitsu practitioner can use strangleholds and joint locks to take down the opponent. The scenario-based defenses are also very effective in learning how to protect yourself against armed attacks that use weapons.
The kids’ Mighty Samurai and Elite Samurai programs are designed to tackle self-defense and anti-bullying contexts while practicing jiu-jitsu. Young adults enroll in Junior and Senior Samurai classes for life-saving throws and escapes that help them turn any momentum in their favor. The adults’ module focuses on advanced training and classes for black belt achievements with AJJ studios.
Gracie University Jujitsu Schools
A brainchild of the pioneering Brazilian jiu-jitsu family, Gracie University is known for its progressive learning curve with grappling martial arts. The online curriculum offers self-paced opportunities for students to move towards their black belt aspirations. There are reflex development drills as well as fight simulations that aid muscle memory to help students build quick reflexes. Since Gracie University is a virtual jujitsu school, students upload their recorded techniques for being evaluated by Gracie University instructors. Personalized feedback from these experts prepares students to be eligible for official belt promotions by taking tests at certified training centers.
There are certification levels designed for acknowledging Gracie jiu-jitsu levels with belts–the black belt being the highest level of certification. The formalized curriculum at the university gives practitioners a guided approach to the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Schools that have been accredited as Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center simplement quality teaching methods within safe environments. Not only do students learn how to fight, but they also develop the confidence to never resort to fighting as a solution.
Age-specific training programs
Training programs at Gracie University are divided into Gracie Combatives, Women Empowered, Gracie Bullyproof, Master Cycle, Law Enforcement, and Instructor Certification. Essential techniques and concrete jiu-jitsu defense skills throughout the programs remind students to never fight fire with fire. The instructor-level courses also open doors for career opportunities as certified trainers in the university.
Renzo Gracie Academy Jujitsu Schools
Renzo Gracie Academy is another renowned martial arts school from the Gracie family. It features an online portal that gives access to over 880 online jujitsu resources taught by leading experts. The structured online content is a comprehensive learning opportunity to acquire basic defenses and understand scenarios from drills. With the influence of all the Gracie predecessors, Renzo Gracie Academy jujitsu schools continues the pioneering legacy of Brazilian jiu-jitsu by teaching the coming generations to be self-reliant and independent.
The RGA programs are split into Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools, Muay Thai, submission grappling, and KidJitsu. Under the Brazilian jiu-jitsu module, students can enroll in age-specific levels at Kids, Fundamentals, Advanced, and Master classes. They get to progress from jujitsu fundamentals and self-improvement journeys to the advanced black-belt goals. These advanced modules focus on separate contexts like BJJ, BJJ NO-GI, and BJJ for MMA.
To Gi or not to Gi…
In the jujitsu vernacular, a “Gi” refers to the standard uniform worn by martial artists. A typical Gi jujitsu uniform is comprised of a kimono, pants, and a current rank belt. So, in Gi Jujitsu, opponents can grab at each other’s uniform to exert force during grappling moves. However, for No-Gi jujitsu, opponents wear simple athletic clothing instead of the Gi uniform, and they are not allowed to grab the clothes. This makes No-Gi fights more fast-paced that require quick decision-making skills. Both styles of jujitsu teach students to become proficient grapplers.
“In the fight, only one person can be comfortable.
Your job is to transfer the comfortable from your opponent to you.”