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What is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu? Is it an art? Is it a sport? Is it a self-defense system? The truth is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is all three. It is an art in that it is a means of self-expression. It is a sport in that many of the practitioners compete in tournaments with set rules It is a self defense system in that no other art in the world has proven more effective in one on one, unarmed, no rules fighting both in the ring and on the streets.

In order to explain a little about the concepts of this art we must break down its elements. A fight takes place in basically two ranges. These ranges are striking range (punching and kicking) and grappling range (grabbing and tying up). Practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu generally believe that, because of its design, the human body is most naturally employed in a fight when it is grabbing. They believe that it is much more natural to grapple than to strike. These theories are supported by the fact that most people with or without previous experience in the martial arts generally are able to learn ground grappling tremendously faster than any type of stand up fighting. Also most fights in the street (about 90%) wind up tied up on the ground. These theories are also supported by the numerous victories in no rules fights by grapplers against people who prefer to punch and kick (There are many examples of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters with 1 year of experience defeating in no rules fights fighters of other arts with 10 or more years of experience).

 

The general strategy of the Jiu-Jitsu fighter when facing an unarmed opponent is as follows:

1)     Safely close the distance between you and your opponent:

This involves getting too close to the opponent to be effectively hit, and then tying up with them

2) Take down or throw the opponent:
This is, simply put, getting the opponent on the ground by whatever means necessary.

3) End the fight by finishing the opponent on the ground:
This is working for dominant position (This does not always mean top position.) and then applying a finishing hold which either attacks a joint or chokes the opponent or striking (if the position so allows) until the opponent is no longer a threat.

Note: Many people, who train striking based arts and neglect the ground fighting aspect of combat (and who have never been in a fight with a skilled grappler of any style) suffer from the illusion that it is easy to keep a person trying to close the distance from doing so. (Royce Gracie, whose family developed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has done a great deal to help disillusion many of the martial artists in the United States by demonstrating the fallacy of this assumption with his victories against some of the top strikers in the world in the first four Ultimate Fighting Championships.)

 Why this art is different from other styles:

This art is different from most other martial arts in that it is very realistic in its training. Here are some of the main reasons why it's different and why this art is so effective.

1) We train with the assumption that our opponent will most likely be larger, stronger, and know how to fight. This is opposed to many martial arts, which assume the attacker will not be skilled at fighting.

2) We fight exactly the way we train. We practice our techniques exactly the way we do them in a fight. This is opposed to many martial arts styles which spend hours and hours practicing forms which scarcely resemble what the person's body will be doing in an actual fight.

3) We test everything we do by spending a great deal of time sparring under varying conditions against people with different types of training and different body styles. We spar realistically in our club (full contact) and have rarely had a serious injury. We also test our abilities in competitions (both tournament Jiu Jitsu and no rules). This is opposed to martial artists who say that it is too dangerous to spar or spar realistically. So they don't.

4) We are a progressive club. We are always willing to incorporate techniques, which come from other schools or styles into our classes.

It is not our goal to speak against any other style or system of martial art. We are only against those ideas, which lurk in the minds of many people today that give false ideas about what is reality. But for the reasons given above we feel that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most effective fighting arts in the world.