What is Jiu Jitsu?

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What is Jiu Jitsu?
Jiu Jitsu is a type of martial art and self-defense technique that originated in Brazil but with Japanese influence. This martial art or sport is said to have evolved from other self-defense techniques and involves grappling and ground-fighting. Kodokan judo was the Japanese martial art that influenced much of Jiu Jitsu moves. In most parts of the world, other than Brazil, Jiu Jitsu is referred to as “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu”.

The birth of Jiu Jitsu is attributed to Mitsuyo Maeda. He was then a martial art student of Jigoro Kano, who was known to have a different style of Judo, another form of martial arts. Kano’s style was considered different from standard Judo with roots in Japan and so was earlier known as some branch of Jiu Jitsu. Maeda was tasked by Kano to help spread his own Judo techniques and eventually reached Brazil. Upon reaching Brazil, Maeda was able to meet a young Carlos Gracie, whom he taught about his martial art technique. Several years later, Gracie was able to put up a Jiu Jitsu school in Brazil and the rest became history. Much of Jiu Jitsu followers also attribute the techniques of today to Gracie and the rest of his family.

Since much of Jiu Jitsu involves ground techniques and grappling, this particular sport gives confidence to smaller fighters when dealing with bigger opponents. As a self-defense technique, the moves involved in Jiu Jitsu are designed to be able to defend against much bigger opponents. Moves such as joint-locking and chokeholds are some important techniques in handling bigger opponents. But the main move of Jiu Jitsu focuses on ground fighting with the main target of getting the opponent pushed to the ground. In this way, larger opponents may be neutralized easily with various holding and grappling techniques. Bigger opponents would obviously have an advantage when two fighters are standing up with the bigger opponent having the farther hand reach and having the chance of a very powerful strike.

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One Response

  1. Jay

    May 21, 2018 5:10 pm

    This is so NOT true! Jiu-jitsu is a JAPANESE martial art that has been practiced in Japan for almost 1000 years! Jigiro Kano was a jiu-jitsu practitioner who created his own style of martial art (Judo) to compensate for the fact that he had trouble with bigger opponents. Your article is correct that “Brazilian Jiu-jitsu” is derived from Kodokan Judo, but it is very misleading to say that Jiu-jitsu, “in other parts if the world” is referred to as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It is referred as such to differentiate Brazilian Jiu-jitsu from the original Jiu-jitsu that has been practiced in Japan for centuries before even Kano was born. Jiu-jitsu is a stand up art form of martial arts that was passed down by the ancient samurais , while Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is Judo’s Newaza (ground techniques).


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