Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art system that focuses on grappling and ground combat. BJJ was brought around early in the 20th century by Kodokan Judo ground fighting (Ne-Waza). The rudiments were taught to Luiz França and Carlos Gracie by Mitsuyo Maeda in Brazil. BJJ eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practice, and revision from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge on to their extended family and then those willing to learn in Brazil.
BJJ promotes a concept that a weaker, smaller person can effectively protect themselves against a stronger or bigger attacker by using leverage and proper technique. This was accomplished by throwing or taking your attacker to the ground, placed into a specific position, with applied joint manipulation, and even by choking the aggressor who may be bigger then you. BJJ these days are used for personal development, a form of recreation sport activity, or for a primary source of self defense. BJJ is commonly popular for those interested in sport grappling (gi & no-gi) tournaments and even for those who train in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Sparring in the BJJ world is commonly referred to as rolling. Rolling in BJJ is paramount, as with drilling techniques for training. Quality is placed on technical ability and performance on the mat, especially in competitions, in relation to progress and ascension through the system of hierarchy for ranking and belt grading. The average person that trains BJJ generally is not concerned with how fast they are graded, as emphasis generally is focused more on the quality of your journey. A common quote in BJJ is, “that it’s not a race, but a marathon reflective of your life.” Enjoying your journey is the most important. Sometimes during training things can get a little tempered and out of hand. BJJ can be very physically and mentally demanding. There is a famous saying within the culture of handed down by a famous BJJ family, the Machado’s, “Leave Your Ego at the Door.” which can be ratified with every long term practitioner. It takes an average of 10 to 15 years for the average Joe BJJ practitioner to obtain a legitimate black belt. You cannot pretend to know BJJ.
Overall, BJJ is not exclusively a martial art, it is also a competitive sport, a method for encouraging physical improvement and helps build character among in young people. It is a way of life.