“Lifestyle Sports”

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Art formed from Kokodan Judo a grappling combat style. Created by the Gracie family in the 1920’s. Its concept aims to prove that a smaller opponent can successfully defend themselves against a much larger opponent through a variety of techniques such as joint submissions and chokes. Carlos and Helio Gracie are heralded as the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu having developed their own take on styles and techniques learned from traditional Judo and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu which have been around since the late 1800’s. The ranking system for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are as follows, there can also be yellow, green or orange belts in children’s classes. From white belt to brown belt progression, by applying correct techniques and completing assignments by the grading coach can range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the coach and how extensive the grading process is. To achieve a Black belt which is the most prestigious honour can take up to 5 years or more, there are different degrees of Black belt the highest being a 9th degree, which can take up to 20 years to achieve, so for the majority who take part in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu it becomes an absolutely huge part of their life and an obsession

Jiu-Jitsu players can take part in the sport for competition, there are European open championships and also massive World competitions where some of the greatest practitioners from around the world compete, such as the Eddie Bravo invitational or the Metamorphose invitational in Abu Dhabi, a lot of people compete for physical fitness it is full contact grappling so it is one of the most strenuous exercises you could physically do.    for the most part, people who take part in the support it becomes a lifestyle as the path to progression for belts can take a number of years. From personal experience it is a fantastic way to keep in shape but also to challenge yourself, also it is a great equaliser between men and women. A non-experienced, white belt male could “roll” (which is what they call to spar with someone in Jiu_Jitsu) with a Blue belt female and they would be thrown around like a rag doll and submitted in a discipline like Jiu-Jitsu brute strength with no technique will get you absolutely nowhere.

It is one of the most strenuous exercises I have ever taken part in, I have played football for 18 years and it is like a walk in the park in comparison, but it is not only the fitness it is also the huge sense of accomplishment you feel whilst partaking. The feeling of working for a submission and finally catching your sparring partner, altering their limbs in a way makes them submit is an indescribable feeling. And to any budding practitioners who may need the push to finally try it out, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

– Phil


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