What is BJJ?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling (no striking) martial art adapted from Japanese jiu-jitsu, judo, and even a little bit of wrestling. BJJ focuses on body positioning and leverage to control and submit your opponent. Learn more about BJJ as a martial art on our Jiu Jitsu program page and Renzo Gracie Academy’s BJJ page. More on the history and development of BJJ is discussed in this article written by Easton’s own Mike DiTraglia.
What BJJ is Not
Jiu-jitsu is not about board-breaking ceremonies or waving your arms around as some form of pageantry. The jiu-jitsu gym is a place to learn and test your technique against another non-cooperating opponent in order to find out what best works in a real-life self-defense situation. Beyond its practical applications in a street fight however, jiu-jitsu is truly a way of life. To get a better idea, check out this video of a BJJ legend Marcelo Garcia in action!
BJJ as a Spiritual Practice
True practice of BJJ is the diligent search for imperfections in oneself and working toward removing them. It is giving yourself over to this higher power and trusting that the technique will triumph over speed, size, and strength. When a person separates from the ego, it makes unity with something else possible. For this reason, it is best to approach BJJ with an open mind.
BJJ Simulates Life’s Struggles and Prepares You for Success
Jiu jitsu is not only an escape from the soul-crushing demands of the world, but an allegory for them. It teaches that no one is going to do the work for you and that often, even if you try your best, you are still going to fail. It is this cold, hard fact that keeps most people from doing what they truly want to do and succeeding at it. Jiu jitsu teaches us that it is okay to fall, as it is just part of the learning process. What’s important is that we take note of these failings then make proper adjustments.
BJJ as a Community
Jiu-jitsu is extremely taxing on the body and mind, but like all worthwhile activities, very rewarding. Because of this, a network of support is necessary for almost anyone wanting to stay on their jiu-jitsu path. Fellow jiu-jitsu practitioners have shared similar struggles on their journey, and because of this they seek to guide and educate fellow gym members, as well as simply be a friend to someone in need.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about self-improvement. It teaches us that every occurrence, no matter how seemingly disastrous, can be looked at as an opportunity. Just because someone grabbed my leg for a single leg doesn’t mean I can’t reach down and go for the kimura. As Alexander Graham Bell once stated, “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”