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What is Jiu Jitsu?

Gracie (Brazillian) Jiu Jitsu is a self defense martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds.

It focuses on the skill of controlling one's opponent, gaining a dominant position and using a number of techniques to force them in to submission via joint locks or chokeholds,  teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent by using leverage and weight distribution to take the fight to the ground and then using submissions to defeat them.

Brief History 

A modern martial art rooted in ancient times, the earliest forms of Jiu Jitsu were originally from Japan.
Japanese Jiu Jitsu started off as a way for warriors in battle to effectively combat heavily armored opponents in close quarters. Striking proved to be ineffective against an armored opponent and large, heavy swords would also prove to be useless in close combat, therefore, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing the enemy came in the form of throws, joint locks and chokes.
There are many derivatives and branches of Jiu Jitsu, with the most popular one being the Brazilian adaptation.

The Gracie Family
The Gracie family is probably the most important family in the history of martial arts. They are responsible for developing and popularizing the Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu we know and see in UFC fights today.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu was created when Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie Japanese Jiu Jitsu in the early 1900s. Carlos then taught his brother Helio, who had a smaller frame and struggled with some of the techniques, forcing him to adapt.
Through practice and adaptation, Carlos and Helio developed Gracie Jiu Jitsu where leverage and technique took priority over strength.
Helio Gracie challenged wrestlers, boxers, and other martial artists throughout the years, and established his name in the martial arts world. The Gracies had many children and most were trained in Helio's style of Gracie Jiu Jitsu from a young age.
These next generation of Gracie fighters took Gracie Jiu Jitsu to a whole new level by moving to the US and promoting it on a worldwide scale.

Recent History
Rorion Gracie moved to California in the late 70s and started teaching Jiu Jitsu there. The connections he made in California led him to become the co founder of the UFC in the 90s and his brother Royce Gracie put Jiu Jitsu on the map by winning UFC 1, 2, and 4 against much bigger and stronger opponents. Jiu Jitsu spread like wildfire and it is currently the most sought after martial arts in the world by pro fighters, as well as anyone who wants to learn effective self defense. 


Why Train Jiu Jitsu?

  • It is one of the most effective, real life fighting systems on the planet. Most fights end up on the ground and training Jiu Jitsu focuses on getting your opponent down to the ground where you can effectively control them. The techniques you learn in class are 100 percent applicable in real life self defense situations. 

  • Anyone can train Jiu Jitsu. Women, men, and even young children of any age, any size and fitness level can train jiu jitsu due to the fact that it is a martial art designed for smaller and weaker people to be able to control and submit larger and stronger opponents. 

  • It's a great way to work out and get in shape. One of the great benefits of Jiu Jitsu is that it's a fun and effective way to get in shape. Constant drilling and rolling (rolling=sparring) sessions will have a positive impact on your body. A lot of people think they need to get in shape before trying out jiu jitsu, but the fact is, you can start jiu jitsu at any fitness level and with consistent training you will start noticing positive changes such weight loss, increase in flexibility, and an increase in strength to name a few.

  • Jiu Jitsu sharpens the mind and improves mental health. Aside from physical health benefits, Jiu Jitsu is also a great mental workout. Often called "a game of human chess",  Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that requires the use of strategizing and technique to beat your opponent. There are also mental health benefits that come with training Jiu Jitsu. The release of dopamine and endorphins that come from physical activity is responsible for improved mental well-being and can combat feelings of depression. Rolling in class, often times with larger and stronger opponents, forces the Jiu Jitsu practitioner to stop and focus on the moment, deal with fears and anxieties and learn to deal with situations effectively even under pressure. 

  • It is the most important base if you want to fight MMA. Most top MMA fighters have one thing in common and that is a strong Jiu Jitsu base. If you want to fight MMA, Jiu Jitsu will give you an instant advantage on the ground. It's a necessity and the best way to defend yourself against wrestlers and strikers and effectively finish the fight.

  • Jiu Jitsu builds character and promotes self improvement. It makes you stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. It teaches humility, the ability to learn from mistakes and improve on them. Jiu Jitsu is a life-long journey, whether you are a brand new white belt or a seasoned black belt, you can always learn something new and better yourself every single day. 

  • The skills you learn training Jiu Jitsu can be applied to daily life. Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that regularly puts many practitioners in situations outside of their comfort zone. Learning to use your mindset and skillset in uncomfortable situations improves confidence and helps you deal with challenges and struggles off the mats in real life. It teaches you to persevere in the face of hardship and helps you take control over your life. It also teaches you to seize opportunities, teaches you to stay focused and calm, teaches patience, helps you realize your strengths and weaknesses while providing a safe, non judgmental place to work on your weaknesses. Not only that, but you will make lifelong friends from all walks of life that help you get better every day. 

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