What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has proven itself to be one of the most effective martial arts. It uses grappling techniques to perform leverage based joint locks and chokes to incapacitate an opponent. One of the reasons that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has proven itself to be so effective is that its techniques are based on leverage principals and, thus, require little strength or athleticism to perform. This makes it possible for a smaller, weaker competitor to defeat a much larger, stronger opponent.

Jiu-Jitsu dates back to Feudal Japan. The Samurai practiced an art called Jujutsu as a means of defeating an armed and armored opponent using only small weapons or no weapons at all. In the late 1800’s, Jigoro Kano reorganized and codified Jujutsu into a more practical sport based art called Judo. One of Kano’s students, Mitsuyo Maeda, left Japan in 1904 to prove the dominance of Judo to the world. He traveled to many countries accepting challenges from other martial artists and fighters. He, eventually, arrived in Brazil in 1914.

In 1917, Carlos Gracie viewed a demonstration Maeda was performing. Carlos was so impressed, that he decided to learn Judo under Maeda’s tutelage. He studied with Maeda for years and, eventually, opened his own martial arts school. Carlos had four younger brothers that would frequently attend classes. One of whom, Helio Gracie, was not allowed to participate due to his size and fragility.

However, when Carlos was running late for a class, one day, Helio took it upon himself to teach in Carlos’s absence. The student was so impressed with Helio’s knowledge that he requested to have Helio teach his lessons, in the future. The more Helio taught, the more he realized that many of Judo’s techniques required a lot of strength. Helio could not perform these techniques, due to his size and stature, and began to modify them. He wanted to be sure that the techniques he taught could be effective regardless of the size or strength of the practitioner. This was the beginning of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The Gracie Brothers had the utmost confidence in their art. They followed in Maeda’s footsteps and began issuing open challenges to prove the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They participated in Vale Tudo (anything goes) tournaments and would even have challenge matches at their school. They passed on their knowledge to their sons, who took it upon themselves to share Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the world.

Helio’s son, Rorion Gracie, along with Art Davie and John Milius, organized the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, in 1993. More commonly known, now, as the UFC, The purpose of the event was to see which martial art would be most effective in actual combat. The organizers brought in some of the world’s best fighters. Their ranks included Boxers, Shoot Boxers, Tae Kwon Do practitioners, Karate specialists, Kickboxers, and Savateurs. Another of Helio’s sons, Royce Gracie, was chosen to represent the family’s art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the no holds barred tournament. Royce, despite being the smallest competitor in the tournament, was victorious, showing the world the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Beginner BJJ Classes

Our beginners’ program is based on the curriculum designed by our head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, Collin Murray. He designed this curriculum specifically to accommodate people of all sizes and fitness levels. The curriculum immerses the students in the fundamental principles and techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, all while improving fitness and building confidence. Our refined instructional methods allow our classes to be detailed enough for even high level competitors to benefit greatly from the in-depth technique reviews and drills, while still being simple enough for the most inexperienced practitioner to quickly grasp and perform the techniques taught.

Advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Our Advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes expose more experienced students to the most cutting edge Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. These classes provide in depth detail on grappling strategies for both sport BJJ as well as MMA. Students will receive an introduction to the rules and strategies of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition and instruction that will greatly expound on the repertoire of moves and positions introduced in the beginner’s curriculum. The primary focus of these classes is “rolling”, a form of sparring unique to grappling martial arts. “Rolling” is one of the few forms of sparring that allows students to practice their techniques at 100% resistance without fear of injury. It is one of the main reasons for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s extreme effectiveness.

No Gi Grappling

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is typically performed in a uniform called a gi. Many of the techniques are based upon manipulating this uniform to control an opponent and perform chokes. However, for self-defense or cage fighting, this uniform cannot be relied upon. Our No Gi Grappling class teaches how to adjust the techniques taught in our traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class to be used in an environment without this uniform. Our classes teach our students how to combine the principals learned in our Beginners’ BJJ class with more advanced submissions and control positions taken from multiple No Gi grappling arts, such as Sambo and Catch Wrestling.