What is BJJ

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? (Also Known as BJJ)

Brazilian jiu-jitsu or BJJ has become more popular in the past decade. But what is BJJ?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling martial art, that focuses on ground fighting. It was developed around the 1920s and was modified mainly from judo. Brazilian jiu-jitsu does not include any punches or kicks. Today, BJJ is really popular and essential martial art for MMA.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be practiced either with gi or without a gi. More about the uniforms in BJJ in this post.

Let’s take a more comprehensive look at BJJ, and why it has became so popular.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu origins

Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed around the 1920s by the Gracie family and was mainly modified from judo. That is why Brazilian jiu-jitsu is also often referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu became popular in the mid-1990s when Royce Gracie won overwhelmingly all his opponents in the first, second, and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments.

Even though his opponents were bigger than him, his techniques forced them to take the fight to the ground, where he could apply a joint lock or a chokehold and make them submit.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu has a belt system, that includes 5 regular colors. More about how the belt system works in BJJ in this post.


What is the point of BJJ?

The point of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is to make your opponent submit by making a joint lock or a chokehold. BJJ focuses more on the technique and usage of levers, instead of brute force.

Because BJJ focuses more on the technique, it can be used effectively against bigger opponents as well. When you can use leverages and frames, strength is not the determining factor of the fight anymore.

More about how effective BJJ really is in this post.

If the fight starts standing, the first goal is to get the fight to the ground. After that, drain your opponents’ energy by using frames and finishing the fight off with a chokehold or joint lock.

BJJ has often referred also as chess on the mat. This comes from waiting for your opponent to make a mistake and exploiting it.

Unlike many other martial arts, BJJ focuses on technique. This makes it possible for a smaller guy to beat a bigger opponent by using proper technique.

Why is BJJ so popular?

BJJ is really popular for several reasons. First of all, it allows smaller people to defeat a bigger opponent with proper technique. Second, it has really polished reputation around martial arts and MMA.

Also, due to the popularity of BJJ, it’s really easy for new people to start practicing BJJ since there are so many gyms already around the world.

For people who are just looking into starting any martial art, BJJ might be the most logical option since there are so many gyms, and it might be the closest one to their home or workplace.

More about why BJJ is so popular in this post.

Some people also think BJJ is overrated, more about whether that is true or not in this post.

Is BJJ good for self-defense?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu can also be used for self-defense. Even though it’s not the best option for street fighting, it is way better than no martial arts experience at all.

The reason BJJ is only mediocre for self-defense is the lack of punches and kicks, that some other martial arts also focus on.

On the other hand, most of the street fights do end up on the ground, where BJJ will shine. I have written a few more in-depth posts about BJJ for self-defense and street fight. I also have it on the list of best martial arts for self-defense. Links to all the posts below:

Why BJJ Might Not Work in a Street Fight

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Good for Self Defense

5 Best Martial Arts for Self Defence (With Explanations)

Final thoughts

In conclusion: Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling martial art that focuses on ground fighting with takedowns to take the fight to the ground.

Let’s add a quick introduction video about what BJJ looks like. I am not the creator of this video, but I think it gives you a better image of what BJJ is than just written text.

It was originally modified from judo and the name Brazilian jiu-jitsu comes from its being developed in Brazil. BJJ also has some other known names such as mat chess and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Hopefully this clarified what BJJ is and what is the point of BJJ. If interested, I have a lot of other posts about BJJ and different martial arts on my site as well, check them out.

Also, for people who came here to wonder what does BJJ mean, it means Brazilian jiu-jitsu which is a grappling martial art.

Have a wonderful day!

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