BJJ – Sport and self-defence combined

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (also known as BJJ or just jiu-jitsu) is a combat sport and a self-defence system focussed on grappling skills. The idea behind BJJ is to take the fight to the ground, control the opponent by securing a dominant position and forcing him to give up by applying a submission hold. Submission holds include attacks to all major joints of the human body (arm and leg locks) and a plethora of different chokes).

Historia – How did it all begin?

Historically Brazilian jiu-jitsu came in to being with the Gracie family in Brazil. The Gracies learnt Kodokan Judo from Mitsuyo Maeda at the beginning of the 20th century. BJJ or Gracie jiu-jitsu became highly popular during the vale tudo era (which later developed into Mixed Martial Arts), where competitors representing BJJ easily defeated the fighters from other combat sports like judo, wrestling, boxing or muay thai in no holds barred matches.

Since those days BJJ has evolved constantly in a sports atmosphere. Today it’s the most complex and technically advanced grappling sports in the world.

Smaller guys defeating bigger opponents

BJJ promotes the idea of a small person being able to defend themselves against larger and more powerful opponents. This is possible by learning how to distribute body weight properly, using the right techniques, leverages and wedges to control a larger opponent.

This is done mostly by transferring the fight to the ground where the body weight difference is not as significant as in the stand up. This means that ground-fighting is the most important aspect of jiu-jitsu, but in order to take the fight to the ground we also train takedowns , guard pulls and elements of self-defence.

One sport, two variants

Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes are separated into two main types: GI (in kimonos) and No-Gi (in rashguards and shorts). The difference between those two types is similar to the difference between wrestling and judo, but not as significant. In fact most athletes practice both, and are able to fight with grabbing the gi, or with controlling the human body without it.

The average BJJ training constitutes of a warm-up with the addition of coordination exercises, learning the techniques and drilling them, and sparrings – full fights or task training with fights constituting one aspect of the fight like for example: guard passing.

Atmosphere, passion and friendship

The most important aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the team. Training together and improving yourself in a pleasant environment helps people to relax after a hard day at work, meet new people and start lifelong friendships with people who share a hobby with you.

This is what motivates us at Akademia Fenix, BJJ Kraków.