The Jiu-Jitsu art was once only a method of self defense intended to defend and protect oneself from an attacker. With so many practitioners learning techniques and modifying strategies to fit their game, the art is rapidly evolving.
Ancient jiu-jitsu styles can be tracked as far back as Alexander the Great, but it was in Japan where the foundation of this combat-fighting art surfaced, specifically among the samurai’s. The agreement is that the first stages of the the name “Jiu-Jitsu” (The Gentle Art) became to be known and branded as an art form used for self-defense. As years went by and the art form evolved, it was in Brazil that Jiu-Jitsu experienced a huge boom by its attributes and family followings.
Jiu-Jitsu today has evolved into an art that is not only utilized for self-defense, but has also grown as a chosen sport like soccer, baseball, football, etc. As with any sport, competition has found to be beneficial in instilling team pride and a sense of community within the discipline. In tournaments, you find families cheering on their respective teams, parents enjoying a bowl of açaí following a competition and a vast of Instagram photos illustrating their many victories and lessons learned.
Traditionally, Gi’s were worn in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions. However, since its inception in the USA , Jiu-Jitsu has also adopted the use of NoGi due to the many wrestling and submission/grappling competitions. The other side of Jiu-Jitsu is the MMA Jiu-Jitsu, recognized by all MMA fighters as the foundation to their arsenal. MMA Jiu-Jitsu has a different approach from traditional Jiu-Jitsu, as it focuses less on points and more on control and submission.
Whatever your “cup of jiu-jitsu tea” is (MMA or competition Jiu-Jitsu, self-defense, Gi or NoGi), many are drawn to the art for varying reasons. It is a spiritual, emotional and physical journey. The connections between teammates, self-growth during sparring sessions or competitions, and improved techniques, all become addictive, as is the never-ending quest for wisdom. Oss!