What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Why?

Many people have asked me what I do. They’ve said “I don’t understand” and “I don’t get it.” I’ve been asked what this sport is and I’ve been asked why I do it, so I’m going to explain what I do, why I do it, and I’m going to give a quick lesson on some terminology.


BJJ: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Martial Art: Any of several arts of combat and self defense that are widely practiced as sport

Grappling: A contest in which participant attempt to wrestle with each other by gripping and clutching each other, typically happens on the ground on a mat

Striking: Come in forcible contact or collision with (Ex. punching, kicking, elbowing, kneeing)

Joint Lock: isolating a particular joint and leveraging it in an attempt to force the joint to move past its normal range of motion. Joint locks normally involve varying degrees of pain

Chokehold: A tight grip around a person’s neck, used to restrain them by restricting breathing and blood flow

Submit: To yield or surrender to another force or person. In BJJ you typically submit while being choked to avoid passing out or while in a joint lock to avoid something being broke.

Rolling: Live grappling between BJJ practitioner’s as they try to submit each other

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

In my opinion, it’s the best sport out there, but that doesn’t explain much. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ for short is the name of my sport.  I’ve often said, “It’s kind of like what they do in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)  when it goes to the ground, but without striking.”  I’ve also said, “It’s like wrestling, but with chokeholds and joint locks.” Both of these things are true, but unless you are familiar with those things or the terminology it wouldn’t give you the full picture.  The official definition according to Wikipedia is that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu “is a martial art, combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting.” So, I guess the best way to describe BJJ is a combat (or fighting) sport where two opponents go against each other physically on the ground, in order to try and control their opponent and submit them with a chokehold or joint lock.

Why I do it 

There are many reasons why I do BJJ. To start, it’s fun. I have always loved competition and challenges. BJJ is both of those things. It’s the most mentally and physically challenging thing I’ve ever done. Mentally, it has brought me to new levels of thinking and problem solving. Physically, it has tested my body in every way possible. It quickly whipped me into shape and motivated me to work on my cardio, strength, flexibility, and eating habits on top of technique. Brazilian Jiu Jiitsu allows me to test myself physically and mentally against an opponent one on one. I think this is incredible because it gives me the opportunity to truly see what my body can do and what I’m capable of. It is also amazing self defense. BJJ has allowed me to be more comfortable and feel much safer in many situations because I know that I can protect myself. It has also made me more aware of my surroundings.

Although I can’t describe it as thoroughly as I wish, I hope this has helped you to understand something that is a huge part of my life and I hope you understand better why I do it.



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