Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 101: The Art of Ground Fighting

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that originated in Brazil in the early 20th century. It is a combat sport that focuses on ground fighting and grappling techniques. 

BJJ has gained worldwide popularity due to its effectiveness in real-life self-defense situations and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions. 

In this blog, we will explore the history, principles, techniques, and benefits of BJJ.

History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ was developed by the Gracie family in Brazil in the 1920s. The Gracies were a family of martial artists who studied various martial arts styles, including Judo, which they adapted and refined to create BJJ. 

The Gracies believed that size and strength were not the most important factors in a fight but rather technique and leverage. They developed a ground-fighting system that allowed a smaller, weaker opponent to defeat a larger, stronger opponent using leverage and submission holds.

In the 1990s, BJJ gained worldwide recognition when Royce Gracie won the first few Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tournaments. Royce, who weighed only 170 pounds, defeated much larger opponents using his BJJ skills. This put BJJ on the map as a highly effective martial art for self-defense and MMA.

Principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is based on the principles of leverage and technique. The goal is to use the opponent’s strength against them by manipulating their body position and balance. BJJ practitioners aim to take their opponents to the ground, where they can control and submit them using various techniques, such as chokes, joint locks, and pressure points.

BJJ also emphasizes the importance of positional control. This means a practitioner should always seek to gain and maintain a dominant position over their opponent, such as mount or back control. By doing so, they can control the pace and flow of the fight and prevent their opponent from escaping or mounting an offense.

Techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ techniques can be divided into two categories: standing and ground techniques. Standing techniques include takedowns and throws, which are used to bring the opponent to the ground. Ground techniques include submissions, sweeps, and escapes, which are used to control and defeat the opponent on the ground.

Some common BJJ techniques include the triangle choke, armbar, rear naked choke, and guillotine choke. These techniques are used to submit the opponent by applying pressure to their joints, cutting off their blood supply or airway, or causing them to tap out.

BJJ also includes many sweeps and escapes, allowing practitioners to reverse their position and gain control over their opponent. These techniques require high skill and timing, as they must be executed quickly and efficiently to be effective.

Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ offers a range of physical and mental benefits for practitioners. Physically, BJJ provides a full-body workout that improves strength, flexibility, endurance, and cardiovascular health. It also helps to develop coordination, balance, and agility and reduces stress and anxiety.

Mentally, BJJ helps to develop discipline, focus, and perseverance. It also teaches valuable life skills such as goal-setting, problem-solving, and teamwork. 

BJJ can also be a great way to build self-confidence and self-esteem as practitioners learn to overcome challenges and push themselves to their limits.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a highly effective martial art that offers a range of physical and mental benefits. It is based on the principles of leverage and technique and emphasizes the importance of positional control. 

BJJ techniques can be used for self-defense, sport, or fitness, and can be practiced by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you want to improve your physical fitness, learn self-defense, or compete in MMA, BJJ is a great choice.

Interested in learning the basics of BJJ for adults in Vancouver? Marcus Soares Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is here for you. Here, you will train with experienced partners who will allow your Jiu-Jitsu game to progress even faster. Contact us today to learn more.