How to Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Of the various martial arts and combat sports, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often favored because of its techniques that allow weaker and smaller fighters to take on stronger and bigger opponents. This martial art teaches how to successfully defend oneself from an attacker without killing him or her. Evolve Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Fort Worth, has helped explain the most important preparations to make before getting started in the martial art.
A Brief History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu traces its roots to Japan. Evolve Daily, an online resource for martial arts and combat sports, explains that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a modification of ancient Jiu Jitsu, a system of defense developed for Japanese samurai in the event that they found themselves without their horse or weapons. This martial art focused on chokes, locks and grappling—moves that were not impossible to make in their heavy samurai armor.
After much evolution from Japanese Jiu Jitsu to Judo, this form of martial arts made its way to Brazil when martial artist Matsuo Maeda taught Judo to Carlos Gracie. Gracie eventually passed on his knowledge to his brothers until the youngest Gracie, Helio, modified the techniques to allow any fighter of any size or strength be able to take down a much bigger or stronger opponent. This would then become the foundation of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that we know now.
How to Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Choose a Training Program
You can choose to take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on your own or in a training center. When choosing a training program, check the trainer’s and training center’s credentials and reputation. It is important that you not only learn the proper techniques but that you are also in the safe hands of an experienced and reputable instructor.
Learning on your own or training under an instructor both have their own advantages and disadvantages that you need to recognize. If you wish to self-learn, Jiu Jitsu Legacy recommends 10 handbooks for beginners, including “Zen Jiu Jitsu”, “Jiu Jitsu University” and “Mastering the 21 Immutable Principles of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Ultimate Handbook for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Students”. The Internet is also a treasure trove of online resources, with YouTube as the primary go-to for instructional videos.
Choose a Good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training School
Before making a decision of which training school to enroll at, it is best to search around and make a list of the pros and cons of each center in your area. Take advantage of the free trials that training centers offer so that you get a feel of the place and can observe if you’re comfortable with the instructors’ teaching style. You can also interview current students about what they like and dislike about the training school.
Enroll in a Class that Fits Your Schedule
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes often run for an hour to three hours a day. You will most likely stick to your program if you enroll in a class that fits your schedule, habits and lifestyle instead of having to adjust your routine to accommodate your class. For example, if you’re a morning person who enjoys getting a workout before heading to the office, morning classes will be perfect for you.
Get a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi
A gi is the uniform that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters wear in training and competitions. It is vital that you have a gi not because it makes you look good and professional, but because it provides comfort when performing different stances and techniques. When purchasing a Jiu Jitsu gi, remember to get it in your size, because anything smaller or bigger defeats the purpose of wearing the outfit.
Purchase Protective Gear
Wearing a protective gear helps ensure your safety as you begin your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. While some may argue that Jiu Jitsu techniques, when employed precisely and accurately, will not beat up your opponent’s body, it should always be taken into consideration that students, especially beginners, may not always perfectly execute each move and routine.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter and author Stephan Kesting wrote a guide to grappling gear for beginners who wish to keep their bodies protected in training and tournaments. His number one recommendation for protective gear is a mouth guard, as he has observed that it is always the head, including the mouth area, that gets “banged up” in classes and competitions.
Have a Zen Mindset
An impatient mind has no room in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as this brings about aggression and sloppy movements. As you embark on your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey, remember to keep a Zen mindset and not rush through your training. As did all the BJJ experts before you, you will start with a white belt, work yourself through all other belt colors until you reach black belt, the highest level of all martial arts.
Every Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student learns at his own pace; some learn fast while some learn slow, but the key is to stick with the program with full determination, focus and diligence.