A Brief History of Jiu Jitsu

It is widely believed that Jiu Jitsu originated in Japan by the medieval warriors of Japan - the Samurai. These were the Japanese equivalent to the European Knights. And like Knights the Samurai were men from noble families who dedicated their lives to the art(s) of war. The Samurai battled in armour with the conventional weapons of the time like swords, polearms, staff etc. Jiu Jitsu is an art that was compatible with fighting in armour and against armoured opponents. Thus Jiu Jitsu was developed to gain advantage over an opponent. This caused the development of Jiu Jitsu to include locking, throwing and pinning techniques as well as the more common place kicking and striking techniques of other martial arts. With the use of these techniques an unarmed Samurai could effectivley defend himself against an armed (or unarmed) opponent. It is also a very effective none lethal method to use. Nowadays Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has eclipsed the style becoming the main body for us in the west.

Competition Rules

(BJJ rules) Competitions contain no striking as this is submission/grappling style of fighting. It contains only holds. These holds primarily consist of three methods to force your opponent to submit, or give in:

a.   chokes - squeezing the throat to interrupt breathing.

b. strangles - squeezing the neck to reduce blood flow to the brain.

c.   joint locks - forcing a joint (wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee or ankle) past it's usual range of movement to induce pain.

Competitions can be won by scoring points, referees decision or forcing your opponent to submit. Points are scored as follows;

4 points – mount, back grab

3 points – passing the guard

2 points – take downs, sweeps and knee on the belly

-1, -2...  - penalties

1, 2, 3... – advantages

Main Governing Jiu Jitsu Organisations

BJJAGB British Jiu Jitsu Association Governing Body
USJJF United States Jiu Jitsu Federation
IBJJF International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation

Brief Techniques

As Jiu Jitsu is a grappling based martial art you won't learn any strikes here. However you will learn chokes, take downs, joint locks and other submission moves. Also learning how to defend and reverse those moves. A practitioner of Jiu Jitsu can win a match while fighting off his back which is why most MMA fighters have at least a basic understanding of the style.

British Grading

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