Thursday, September 14, 2017

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not a traditional martial art. Adapted by the Gracie family from the Japanese art of Judo, it eschews most of the rituals associated with the older arts and focuses on techniques that are proven to work on resisting opponents. Over the years it has become extremely focused on groundwork (where a competitor is on his/her back, with the other on top.

Being awarded belts is also a different process in BJJ as compared to most other martial arts, with each belt generally taking at least 1-2 years to be awarded, and sometimes much longer. There are also age restrictions on belts, with upper belts only being awarded after the age of 16.

Most BJJ competitions are segregated by age, sex and skill level, but sometimes organizers will leave it open for competitors of any size, age, and skill to enter and compete against each other. These events provide a fascinating display of contrasting techniques and strategies.

Teenage blue belt beats Jiu-Jitsu black belt
Teenage blue belt beats Jiu-Jitsu black belt

For those of us that train in a martial art they also provide an insight into what techniques might work against a larger opponent. Extremely relevant for a self-defense situation as there are no weight divisions on the streets.

Check out this clip of a 17-year-old blue belt competing against an adult black belt in a BJHJ competition. Watch how the young player focuses on speed, mobility, and flexibility, while the older, larger man utilizes pressure, strength, and stability. There is plenty for us all to learn from.

Note: this competition was conducted under the IBJJF scoring system, where 2 points are awarded for a ‘sweep’ ( a reversal from guard), 2 points for a takedown, 3 points for a guard pass, 4 points for the mount, and 4 for taking the back. No strikes are allowed, and if a submission occurs it automatically ends the contest.

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