What Does BJJ Stand For? (Origins and History Explained)

The most common meaning for BJJ is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this is a distinct style of martial art that is an efficient form of combat that is also popular as a form of self-defense.

BJJ has a strong focus on grappling and fighting on the ground and derives from Kodokan Judo which is a similar style of ground fighting.

What Does BJJ Stand For?

BJJ has amassed a wide following for its promotion of the concept that anyone has the ability to beat anyone no matter how big or small, or strong or weak.

This is done through achieving leverage within combat through the use of proper techniques. These techniques are defined by the use of joint locking, holds, and throws. 

While BJJ is a popular form of self-defense training, it is also a competitive sport with it having its own competitions but also commonly appearing within MMA competitions as well due to its versatility.

Jiu-Jitsu as a fighting style is seen as a more gentle fighting style compared to others with focus placed on incapacitating the opponent instead of carrying out strong strikes.

The original Jiu-Jitsu is believed to have been practiced by Buddhist monks for use as a form of self-defense and these influences can be recognized in almost all types of Jiu-Jitsu.

While the fighting style has some origins in India, it gained proper traction in Japan where it developed into what it has become today

Once Jiu-Jitsu gained popularity in Japan its masters began training and competing worldwide when a Jiu-Jitsu master named Esai Maeda Koma competed in Brazil in 1914.

This is when Carlos Gracie and his brothers were first introduced to Jiu-Jitsu, who then started practicing it themselves and subsequently adapting it until it became BJJ.

BJJ is a very popular form of martial arts and self-defense and has been practiced for over a century now due to its accessibility and efficacy.

If you are interested in learning about BJJ, or just want to know more about it, the rest of this article will cover why BJJ is so popular as well as informed you on some of its key principles. If you want to learn why BJJ is so widespread, keep reading!

BJJ Is One Of The Most Effective Forms Of Combat Training

With BJJ having such a strong focus on groundwork, this set of skills can become very useful when it comes to unplanned fights or self-defense situations.

It is very likely that in a street combat scenario people will end up on the ground and taking control of this will lead you to be able to beat your opponent and not get harmed. 

In BJJ there is a strong focus on dominating combat using groundwork as well as practicing proper self-defense in groundwork scenarios.

The sparring that is used in practice for this will help prepare you for if you end up in a fight in a similar situation to this.

BJJ Is A Very Effective Secondary Skill Set To Other Forms Of Martial Arts

While a lot of people can solely dedicate themselves to BJJ and be very effective martial artists by doing this, a lot of other fighters pick up BJJ as a second line of defense if initial striking does not have the desired results.

So if you are already trained in a more offensive form of martial arts, then picking up a more defensive a reactive form of martial arts like BJJ is recommended to compensate for areas not covered in your primary practice. 

This is part of the reason why BJJ is so popular in MMA circles for how effectively it can be interwoven with other fighting techniques and how it gives a great foundation for groundwork skills.

BJJ Is Designed With Accessibility In Mind

BJJ was specifically adapted from Jiu-Jitsu by Carlos Gracie and with family due to their shorter builds and wanting to make a more accessible fighting style for more unconventional fighter body types.

A lot of forms of combat will give people an advantage if they have a certain build, but BJJ works to subvert and equalize the field by putting everyone at a similar level. 

There is an expectation that is foundational to BJJ that you have the capability to beat anyone if you have mastered the right techniques, but to not underestimate anyone to think that they will be an easy opponent to beat for you do not know what they know.

BJJ Improves Strategic And Calm Thinking In Combat Scenarios

BJJ is also known as ‘a game of human chess’ due to the level of strategy required in official fights to gain the upper hand.

Competing with BJJ requires a lot of quick thinking and reactions as well as understanding what your opponent could do next and what you can do to counter this. 

These skills make it much less likely that you will freeze in real combat scenarios and you will be able to react confidently and know what move is best.

These skills can also be translated seamlessly into other elements of life helping with personal development.

BJJ Is An Effective Workout

BJJ is an unconventional but effective form of working out for the way it utilizes your body. BJJ will have you moving your body in ways you probably did not know it could and will also help strengthen your body throughout this process.

On top of the techniques that you are learning, if you persist your body will end up stronger and more flexible through this process.

If you do not enjoy repetitive menial working out but still want to remain healthy, a type of martial arts training like BJJ is a great choice.


So now you know that BJJ is ‘Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’ and this is a form of Jiu-Jitsu that has been established for over a century and is popular for its open accessibility and the foundational groundwork skills it will help build!

Christopher Anderson
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