Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (also known as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or simply BJJ) is a system of self-defense which is primarily a ground fighting/grappling art. It was developed by the famous Gracie family of Brazil by adapting techniques they had learned from a Japanese Jujitsu instructor Mitsuyo Maeda (Count Koma). The Gracies became famous by testing their art against martial artists around the world in actual fights, long before mixed martial arts events such as UFC became popular.
BJJ allows a physically weaker opponent the opportunity to defeat a larger opponent utilizing superior technique and skill. BJJ students are taught a wide variety of self-defense techniques, chokes, joint locks, takedowns, pins, escapes and reversals. These techniques are first learned in a controlled environment through drilling the techniques with a partner.
Once the student has an understanding of basic technique the techniques are tested/practiced during “live” grappling matches with a resisting partner. This allows BJJ students to become familiar with applying the techniques against an opponent who is resisting and trying to overpower them. This mimics what will occur in a real fight and better prepares students for the “feel” of real combat. Because BJJ can be practiced at close to 100% during every training session, students increase their grappling ability quickly and are able to put to use what they have learned in a relatively short amount of time.
The rank structure for BJJ is outlined below. All students begin at white belt and advance through the ranks of blue, purple, brown and black. The ranking system in BJJ is very different than most martial arts. In BJJ students are primarily tested and earn rank based on fighting skill. Just because a student comes to class and pays dues does not mean they will advance. The student must be capable of demonstrating their skill and fighting ability during “live” grappling matches and in competition if possible.
There is no set amount of time it may take to earn rank in BJJ. Typically, it will be approximately 10 years of consistent training before one is ready for a black belt in BJJ.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Ranking System
- White Belt
- Blue Belt
- Purple Belt
- Brown Belt
- Black Belt
If you are looking for a martial art that is practical, realistic, battlefield tested and a great workout then BJJ is for you!