Jiujitsu originated in Japan and was taught formally at the U.S.A.'s first Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Manhattan Beach, California. Brazilian Jiujitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has grown substantially over the years and today there are over 500 academies and training centers in the United States. Many top level professional athletes use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a preparation routine, including boxing champion Muhammad Ali, football pro Tom Brady and surfersicle champion Kimbo Slice. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts competition, features a large percentage of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners. All the top level fighters in mixed martial arts competition have learned a significant amount about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Today's modern practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu is much different than the first generation of practitioners who began the sport thinking only of winning by submitting their opponents. Today's modern practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu is looking not just to execute a submission hold, but to defend his or her person from being pinned or trapped, all the way to the ground and eventually to a dominant position. In doing so, the fighter can then attack his or her opponent using various techniques such as a takedown, a clinch hold, a throw, a rear naked choke or a submission hold. Learning to defend these attacks from a dominant position is the key to learning how to defeat an opponent during a match or on the street. Therefore, learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu first class is critical.
There are three main categories of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for women, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for men and Judo for children. In addition to the three major styles, there are several smaller styles such as Baguazil, Greco-Roman, Shoot fighting and traditional Japanese Karate. Each of these styles has developed its own specific features while maintaining the basic concept that including grappling, throws, joint locks and striking. The three main areas of focus for the sport include submission wrestling, ground fighting and guard. Women only present a slight advantage in the submission setting compared to men, but the advantage is very small in comparison to the other areas. Judo for children is an example of a relatively young sport with a very high degree of popularity.
The history of Jiujitsu can be traced back to ancient China when practitioners began using techniques from various martial arts for the purpose of self-defense. At the beginning of the 20th century, Japanese student's migrated to Brazil and trained with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu masters. Eventually, the style was officially called Jiu-Jitsu Vaiaphbara. Today, Jiu-Jitsu Vaiaphbara is the most popular version of the Jiu-Jitsu style in Brazil. Many schools and seminars are available for Jiu-Jitsu Vaiaphbara and for the Jiu-Jitsu Vaiheiras.
Jiu-Jitsu has become very popular in Brazil due to the large number of young people joining clubs and participating in tournaments. It is safe and effective martial arts that can be learned without the cost of a formal teacher training program. The biggest advantage of participating in Jiu-Jitsu classes is learning how to defend oneself against attacks from an attacker. The second biggest advantage of Jiu-Jitsu is learning how to adapt to an attack from another person. Jiu-Jitsu classes also teach students the importance of self-confidence and how to overcome negative behaviors such as smoking, drinking, or drugs. By participating in Jiu-Jitsu classes, one can learn how to raise awareness about themselves by overcoming negative thought processes such as these.
There are a variety of Jiujitsu academies that are located in different cities across Brazil. All Jiujitsu academies are made up of student students that have taken classes from different martial art academies. In some cases, Jiu-Jitsu classes at one academy will include the use of grappling and striking techniques from other academies or schools. This allows students to learn from instructors who specialize in Jiu-Jitsu and grappling and from different martial art styles.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association (ABSA) is the governing body for Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil. The Association was created in 1985 with the founding of the Barra Academy in Sogai. The Barra Academy is the biggest Jiu-Jitsu school in Southeastern Brazil. All children attending the Barra Academy have to be brought into the gym before they are allowed to start Jiu-Jitsu classes. Other important figures involved with Jiu-Jitsu include Dr. Leonardo de Sousa, Helio Gracie, Rogerio Cesar, Mitsuyo Maeda, and Carlos and Helio Gracie.