Evolution of the Gentle Art

Evolution of the Gentle Art

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of grappling. The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been designed to let a smaller, weaker individual be able to defeat larger opponents with the use of timing, technique and leverage. With a distinct influence from Judo newaza (ground fighting), it was brought to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda. Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie were taught by Mitsuyo Maeda and from there Helio and his brothers devised a more efficient application of the their Japanese instructors techniques this is how Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was born.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu differs from Judo by concentrating more on joint locks and chokes in order to defeat their opponent. Modern judo only allows minimal time for Newaza while the modern sport format of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu allows a significantly longer amount of time on the ground.

Popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been significantly tied to Mixed Martial Arts. The UFC was designed by the Gracies to prove a point that they have the most dominant martial art available to date. Helio Gracie decided to pit Royce, his smaller son to prove that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a dominant martial art in contrast to other traditional and non traditional martial arts. Royce known only as a smaller man, he became the winner of the inaugural UFC. From this day on, this improved the overall popularity of Brazilian jiu jitsu. It has been practiced in North America and the rest of the world.

What makes Brazilian jiu jitsu so effective is the use of the body’s anatomy to submit an opponent. In MMA, it is one of the most integral disciplines that a fighter needs to learn. Nogueiras, Demian Maia, Jacare and Roger Gracie are among a few BJJ black belts who transitioned well in modern MMA.

Sport and Self Defense Debate

There have been a lot of changes in the sport of jiu jitsu. From the deep half guard to the now popular berimbolo, a great number of purists are arguing that this has delivered a different jiu jitsu from the original ideology of Brazilian jiu jitsu which was supposed to be for self defense and combat.

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation is the most recognized sanctioning body that organizes tournament matches worldwide. From the Mundials to the European to the Asian championships, these are all IBJJF sanctioned tournaments. From these tournaments come the world champions from year to year, considered to the best at the sport of jiu jitsu. Yearly, the IBJJF makes different rule changes to increase competitor safety, but what has been lost in some rule changes is the drive to submit your opponent. Because of the popularity of what is dubbed as modern jiu jitsu where players rake points in order to win matches. There have been some tournaments and single matches with submission only rules, some of these tournaments have no time limits and the matches could go on forever. Some organizations like Metamoris put a 20 minute time limit, if no submission occurs then it is considered a draw.

The sport of Brazilian jiu jitsu has improved and spiked in popularity in the last decade. Given the acceptance of modern MMA in today’s martial arts programs, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is expected to grow bigger in the coming years. Now, because of the recent announcement of the IBJJF that athletes will be tested for PED’s. Could this be the signal for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to be included in the Olympics? Or at least an attempt to add a sense of legitimacy and organization to a growing sport.

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