Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) is a martial arts form that focuses on ground fighting and grappling. Grappling is the controlling of an opponent through the use of different holds, not by striking the opponent. The sport developed from Kodokan Judo and Japanese Jujutsu. Many people today, are quite enthralled with this sport, especially the people from Oklahoma City.
The basic idea behind Gracie Jiu-jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is that a smaller person is not at a disadvantage when in competition with a larger person. The emphasis is not on strength, but on using leverage and technique. The emphasis is on holds, such as chokeholds and joint locks. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu can be learned as an individual martial art, as part of self-defense training, and as part of a mixed martial arts regimen.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu became popular in the martial arts community in the 1990’s when the fighter, Royce Gracie, won the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) several times. Gracie was an expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he used these techniques when fighting larger opponents who tried to use boxing, judo, tae kwon do and wrestling techniques against him. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was then also called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, after Royce Gracie, and from then on it has been an important weapon in the mixed martial artists arsenal.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu uses a variety of submission holds, usually characterized by chokeholds and joint locks. The idea behind this style of fighting is that an opponent’s energy can be diffused and he can ultimately be beaten if his advantage comes from superior height or strength. Those advantages are neutralized when the fight is taken to the ground. Once a take down has occurred, the fighter wants to try to attain a dominant position. Once this position is attained, it’s then that the submission holds can be applied. Joint locks are common Gracie Jiu-Jitsu moves.
A joint lock isolates a particular joint and presses the limb to force the joint to extend past its normal range of motion. Pressure on the joint is increased and the opponent either escapes the joint lock or submits and is defeated. A fighter signals submission either verbally or by “tapping out”, where he will tap the opponent or the mat several times. Many joint locks are permitted in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, but in many instances, the ankles, knees, and the spine are protected. In order to cause pain through joint locking those joints, an angle would have to be created to great as to potentially break the joint. Joint locks are the most common form of submission hold.
A compression lock is a less common version of submission hold. This is where a muscle is pressed against a large bone in order to cause pain. This typically involves the shin or the wrist. Often, these locks are not allowed in competition because of the possibility of ripping the muscle. Chokeholds are commonly used in competition to constrict the opponent’s windpipe.
Strangle holds constrict the blood flow through the carotid artery. Air chokeholds can cause damage to the trachea and all chokeholds should not be done unless in an unsupervised situation. If you live in the Oklahoma City area, and are interested in learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu you can check out Lovoto’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They offer a 30 day free trial program on any of the mixed martial arts programs.