Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today. This sport is also called mixed martial arts and is usually abbreviated to MMA. As a sport, BJJ is simply versatile because it incorporates elements of wrestling, grappling and ground fighting. It was developed by Brazil-based masters like Carlos and Helio Gracie and it is a very popular sport in Brazil. However, the popularity of BJJ is not restricted to Brazil. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is almost a global sport these days because there are practitioners of this sport in different parts of the globe.
Ethics of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Unlike boxing and wrestling where size and brawn are vital to success, BJJ promotes the concept of a smaller and weaker person prevailing against a bigger and stronger opponent by using leverage and superior technique. Fighters in BJJ can use choke holds, joint-locks, and superior grappling skills to win matches. This sport places a premium on performance, physical fitness, and technique. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be used to build character, discipline and physical fitness in young people.
Understanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
In BJJ, the typical tournament is categorized into matches between fighters in the same weight class or belt rank. The ranks in this sport are divided into colors. These colors are white, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and black. In most cases, lighter colors denote lower ranks while darker colors denote higher ranks. This is why the highest rank is the black belt while the lowest rank is the white belt. The competitors wear an outfit called a “gi” and the fight takes place on a padded mat. Fighters try to win by attempting takedowns, throws, and submissions. Fighters can also win if they apply the right hold on their opponents. The referee is the final authority in BJJ matches and he can disqualify any fighter that breaks the rules of the game.
Rules of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
In BJJ, a match does not usually end in a draw. Fighters can win matches by points or submissions. Fighters can also win matches by having a superior advantage position. In some cases, the fight may be decided by a disqualification. In this case, the disqualified fighter has adjudged the loser and the other one is declared the winner. The referee has the right to stop the fight if one of the fighters is in danger of serious injury. The coach of any of the combatants can also throw in the towel to signify that his ward has lost the match. The referee may decide that one fighter cannot continue fighting and end the match in favor of the other fighter. In the case of a submission, a fighter can simply “tap out” and the match will be ended by the referee. A tap out happens when a fighter taps the other with his palm or taps the mat. In cases where the fighter cannot tap with his hand, he can tap with his feet or tell the referee verbally that he wants to surrender. In most cases, the tap out happens when one of the fighters is in a dangerous position such as the choke hold or a joint lock.
Common Moves and Holds in BJJ
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about the right moves and technique. Some of the most common moves in this sport are the mount, the take-down, and the sweep. Fighters get points for every well-executed move and the fighter with the most points will win the match if it ends without a submission.
Hygiene in BJJ
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a clean sport. For this reason, fighters are expected to observe the following standards of hygiene. The gi (fighter’s uniform) must be washed and properly dried. If possible, the uniform should be ironed and must not have any unpleasant odors. Toe nails and finger nails must be cut short and should be clean. Competitors may keep long hair but the hair should not interfere with the opponent or the fighter during the match.
Safety Concerns in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
BJJ is a combat sport and for this reason, the risk of injury during matches is always present. However, this sport is relatively safe because the focus is on technique and not on brute strength. According to statistics from the UFC and other MMA regulatory bodies, BJJ has an injury rate of 9.2-38.6 for every 1000 athlete exposures. This is much lower than the rates for judo, boxing, and Taekwondo. Injuries in BJJ usually affect the joints and hardly affect the head because it is a grappling and not a striking sport.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor
It is impossible to talk about BJJ without mentioning Conor McGregor. McGregor is one of the big names of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has achieved a lot in the sport. He is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017. Some experts consider this fight a vindication of BJJ but the truth is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not need a boxing match to achieve vindication and popular acceptance. It is already one of the most popular sports in the world and it is growing every day of the week.