BJJ is the acronym for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the martial art derivate from the original Jiu Jitsu from Japan. It grew in popularity in the mid 90’s with the Gracie Family and the first editions of UFC when MMA legend Royce Gracie won all his fights by submission showing the world the power and effectiveness of BJJ.
Since then a lot has changed in the mixed martial arts world, it went from being called “vale-tudo” to the well known MMA, UFC was bought from the Gracie Family by Dana White who transformed it into a multi-billion dollar business. The spotlight went from America to Japan, hence the Pride years, and back to America again. Gone are the days that so called street fighters had chance of winning a UFC fight, who doesn’t remember Tank Abbot?
What hasn’t changed is the need for a top MMA fighter to have good ground work and the best way to obtain that is still through BJJ. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can give the edge an MMA fighter needs to win a bout at any moment through a variety of submissions that range from simple arm bars to more complex triangle chokes and leg locks.
The best MMA fighters are the most complete, those that have powerful striking abilities, fast footwork, huge stamina levels and off course are good on the ground. Why the emphasis on ground work?
For the simple fact that most MMA fights end up going to the ground, being on top fighters can cane their opponent with punches, kicks and so on. To dominate an opponent on the ground a fighter will need to know grappling techniques that can be learned with BJJ training in special the no GI training sessions, also known as submission.
But BJJ is also good when a fighter is underneath their opponents, BJJ specialists can reverse the situation easily or simply attack from the guard position which is by far the preferred attack position of a BJJ specialist.
Since Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fights starts with both opponents standing up, BJJ fighters have also a wide range of takedowns up their sleeves, needless to say what a well applied takedown can do to an opponent.
Where to get top BJJ Training?
Years ago the best place to get top notch BJJ training would be in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, home of the legendary Gracie Family and the Grand Master Helio, who died in January 2009. Helio together with his brother Carlos Gracie created art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, internationally know as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Nowadays with so many high quality BJJ professors around the globe you can get top notch training in the four corners of the world. There are renowned world champions in Europe, America, UK, Australia and even in Abu Dhabi where one of the most important tournaments of the BJJ season is held.
To sum things up a good BJJ professor won’t be shy to his credentials and titles. So avoid those ones that say they’ve done this and that but have no evidence to prove it. Talking is cheap, remember?
But if you have the time and money to do it, I recommend you spend a couple of months in Brazil training with the best BJJ fighters on the planet.
Nowadays most of the gyms providing MMA training offer complete training sessions that includes stand-up and ground training. The most important thing to remember is to train safely and always make use of MMA equipment.