What is BJJ?

When potential new students walk into my Downtown Vancouver Martial Arts studio, they’ll often ask what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is. If you’ve never seen BJJ, it’s hard to see how you would wind up with a big sweaty guy trapped between your legs or why you would be scooting around on your butt. So, I’m going to break Vancouver BJJ down to it core elements for you.

BJJ is a Martial Art

A Martial Art is basically fighting. Fighting in a manner that is intelligent, logical and efficient.  And to fight means to cause injury. Trauma or injury can be caused when a blunt object like a fist or a shin contacts some part of my body with high force and high impact. This is called striking. Injury can also occur if my opponent controls a series of my limbs and manipulates them so that my joints move beyond their range of motion. This is called grappling.

Two Types of Martial Arts: Striking and Grappling

Martial Arts,  whether it’s Boxing, Hapkido, Judo or Taekwondo, can be divided into two types: Striking or Grappling. For both striking and grappling, contact has to be made in order for injury to occur. The key difference is time. Striking has a short time of contact.  If the contact for striking was held for a long time, the punch would turn into a push. Grappling has a long period of contact.

BJJ is a Form of Grappling

Grappling includes holds, joint locks, chokes and throws.  For any of these techniques to work, we need to assert control to the limb or body part, manipulate it into the correct position and then apply force.  This is a lengthy process in comparison to striking. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a Grappling art that exists when you have fallen down and you’re sitting on your butt or you’re laying down and your attacker is standing or kneeling over you. For example, say you are in a street fight and you fell, finding yourself laying on the ground. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would come into play to help you stay safe and hopefully escape and survive the altercation.

Core Principle of BJJ: Give Your Attacker Your Legs

A principle to always keep in mind is that you are always trying to stay away from your attacker’s legs and you are always trying to give them your legs. Keep this principle in mind, and you’ll immediately begin to understand BJJ. There’s many different positions, methods, and reasons for staying away from someone’s legs. Aside from the positional complexity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the brilliance of the art comes from the simple solution it provides for a complex problem. If you are being attacked.  And you find yourself on the ground, give your attacker your legs. Giving your attacker your legs when you are on the ground is the core essence of Vancouver BJJ.

About InFighting Training Centers

InFighting Training Centers offers Fitness and Martial Arts classes in Burnaby and Vancouver, including BJJ, Kickboxing, Fitness Bootcamp and Kids Martial Arts. We promise to work diligently to create opportunities for our clients and students to grow, improve their level of fitness and feel great about their time at the gym. Ritchie Yip, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Head Instructor, InFighting Martial Arts, Downtown Vancouver

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