Because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – or as its more commonly known ‘BJJ’ – is a very new form of martial arts, there are a lot of misconceptions about what it is and how it is practiced.
Because of its inclusion in intense combat sports such as Mixed Martial Arts, as well as life-saving self-defense classes – you might have heard that it has something to do with weapons.
But what exactly does BJJ involve? Do you learn to train with weapons like knives?
If you’ve found yourself wondering about how BJJ works, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’re going to give you a quick overview of the martial art and explain away some of the common misconceptions about it!
We’ve also made sure to include a short FAQ that will help to explain some of the more common questions around this issue. Let’s get into it!
What Is BJJ?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a type of martial arts that focuses primarily on grappling – that is to say, using your body to overpower and control your opponent without throwing punches, kicks, knees, or elbows.
BJJ is all about learning to manipulate the body of your opponent to neutralize them and force them into difficult positions.
If you’re familiar with sports wrestling then this is a great comparison (and often the two overlap).
If you were to show up to a BJJ school you will learn the basics of defense, takedowns, and how to submit your opponent.
Since its creation in the early 1920s, it has completely changed the face of martial arts and is now one of the most important pillars to learn for Mixed Martial Arts fighters.
This is because it focuses on practical skills and often means untrained opponents are at a great disadvantage in sparring or within a real-life situation.
So Do You Train With Weapons In BJJ?
So now we come to the crux of our article!
If you’re wondering if weapons like knives have any involvement with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – the answer is a resounding no!
BJJ is a hand-to-hand sport that has nothing to do with weapons.
There are forms of BJJ that have been adapted to help with skill sets such as knife defense, though this is much more commonly taught in Krav Magar.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about hand-to-hand combat and how to control a person’s body.
It’s actually a much less effective martial art in a real-life situation when additional variables are added like knives or any other kind of weapons.
To explain this further, we’re going to go into the history of BJJ a little, and why it’s now a martial art that is exploding in popularity.
History Of BJJ
The origins of BJJ come from a variety of different practices including traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling.
There is one family name that is integral to the creation of BJJ, and that is the prestigious Gracie Family.
BJJ developed from techniques that were already well established in other martial arts, such as submission holds and ground fighting positions.
The Gracie family were the first to develop these techniques and create a real system that is the basis for a lot of the sport today.
Even though a lot of this early development happened in the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that the world began to recognize BJJ as a dominant and important martial art.
This is all because of the advent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
This was an event created to try and determine the best kind of fighting style, in a no-holds-bard fight.
Practitioners of different disciplines all came together to fight before an audience to see who would win.
Well, this is where the story gets interesting – because it was in the first four UFC events where the world saw for the first time the efficacy of BJJ.
Royce Gracie (who was much smaller and had limited striking experience) won three of these tournaments by using BJJ.
His opponents were unable to do much once he got them to the ground, and after this, it became clear that one would have to at least have a basic understanding of defensive tactics in order to defeat a BJJ practitioner in a fight.
So the popularity of BJJ began to surge as Mixed Martial Arts became a combat sport.
BJJ is one of the most integral parts of MMA, and is one of the first things that young fighters learn today.
This popularity increased further as the UFC transformed from its smaller, less regulated origins into the respected sport that it is today.
What You Learn At A BJJ School
BJJ has since increased in scope, with new positions, techniques, and metas being developed each year.
We’re going to quickly break down a few of the common areas of the martial art that you might come across.
Defensive Positions And Control
BJJ is all about trying to reach positions where you have more control and options than your opponent.
One of the most common positions that new students are taught is ‘guard’ whereupon you’re able to defend yourself from an opponent imposing their weight on you through use of your legs.
There are different types of guard (full, half) and from these positions, you will find yourself with lots of options.
There are also positions from top which involve controlling your opponent and trying to pass their guard.
Submissions are quick ways that you’ll be able to end a fight. They usually consisted of chokes and various limb locks.
These are all quite dangerous to your opponent if properly committed, so a lot of BJJ is about learning how to mitigate the risks and train safely with your partners!
So there you have it! BJJ is a martial art that involves manipulation and control of a person’s body, usually on the ground.
It doesn’t have anything to do with weapons, though it does carry over sometimes with practices such as self-defense.
We hope that this article has given you all of the information you wanted to know about BJJ and that you now know a bit more about this exciting and growing practice!