Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the martial arts that is taught at our gym Long Island MMA and
Fitness Center located in Lindenhurst New York. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a self defense
system that focuses on grappling and is a major component of Mixed Martial Arts. BJJ is a
derived from the Japanese martial art of judo in the early 20th century.

The principle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based upon the ability of a weaker person to successfully defend
against a bigger, stronger person by using leverage, position and proper technique. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
training can be used for grappling competitions, mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self defense.
Live training or randori is a major component in BJJ, and a premium is placed on performance, especially
in competition, in relation to progress through the belt ranks (white, blue, purple, brown and black). One
of the major reasons for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s effectiveness is its emphasis on live training, allowing the
participants the opportunity to utilize their techniques against an unwilling opponent much like Boxing
or Wrestling. Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s focus on submissions without the use of strikes while

training allows practitioners to practice at full speed and with full power, resembling the effort
used in a real competition. Training methods include technique drills in which techniques are
practiced against a non-resisting partner, positional drilling where only a certain technique or sets
of techniques are used, and full sparring in which each opponent tries to submit their opponent
using any legal technique. Physical conditioning is also an important part of training at many

The origin of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu began with Mitsuyo Maeda who was one of Judo’s top
groundwork experts that Judo’s founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread
his art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving
demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, and various other martial artists
before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 1914.

Maeda was given the opportunity to travel to Brazil as part of a large Japanese immigration
colony. In Brazil he befriended Gastão Gracie, an influential businessman, who helped Maeda
get established. To show his gratitude, Maeda offered to teach Judo to Gastão’s oldest son,
Carlos Gracie. Carlos learned for a few years and eventually passed his knowledge to his

When the Gracie’s went to the United States to spread their art, they used the terms “Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu” and “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” to differentiate from the already present styles using similar-
sounding names.

Jiu Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s,
when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting
Championships (UFC), which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce
fought against often much-larger opponents who were practicing other styles, including boxing,
shoot-fighting, karate, judo and tae kwon do. It has since become a staple art for many MMA
fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground
fighting. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments continue to grow in popularity worldwide and have
given rise to no-gi submission grappling tournaments, such as the ADCC Submission Wrestling
World Championship.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Positions

Side control

The practitioner pins their opponent to the ground from the side of their body. The dominant
grappler is across the opponent with weight applied to the opponent’s chest. The opponent may
be further controlled by pressure on either side of their shoulders and hips from the practitioner’s
elbows, shoulders, and knees. A wide variety of submissions are initiated from Side control.

Full mount

The practitioner sits astride the opponent’s chest, controlling the opponent with their bodyweight
and hips. In the strongest form of this position the practitioner works their knees up under into
the arm pits to reduce arm movements, limiting their ability to move or counter the submission
attempts. Full Mount is mostly used to attack the arms or apply choke holds.

Back Mount

The practitioner attaches to the back of the opponent by wrapping their legs around and hooking
the opponent’s thighs with their heels. Simultaneously, the upper body is controlled by wrapping
the arms around the chest or neck of the opponent. This position is commonly used to apply
chokeholds, and counters much of the benefit an opponent may have from greater size or


In the Guard, the practitioner is on their back controlling an opponent with their legs. The
practitioner pushes and pulls with the legs or feet to upset the balance and limit the movements
of their opponent. This position comes into play often when an opponent manages to place the
practitioner upon his or her back and the practitioner seeks the best position possible to launch
counter-attacks. This is a very versatile position from which the BJJ practitioner can attempt to
sweep (reverse) the opponent, get back to the feet, or apply a variety of joint-locks as well as
various chokes.

The three main types of guard are Open, Closed, and Half. In closed guard, the bottom grappler
has their legs around the opponent’s trunk and has their ankles closed together to provide control
and a barrier to escaping the position. In the open guard, the legs are not hooked together and
the bottom grappler uses their legs or feet to push or pull in a more dynamic fashion. In the half
guard, one of the top grappler’s legs is being controlled by the bottom grappler’s legs.


The majority of submission holds can be grouped into two broad categories: joint locks and
chokes. Joint locks typically involve isolating an opponent’s limb and creating a lever with the
body position which will force the joint to move past its normal range of motion. Pressure is
increased in a controlled manner and released if the opponent cannot escape the hold and signals
defeat by submitting. Opponents can indicate submission verbally or they can tap out (tap the
opponent or the mat several times). Choke holds limit the blood to the brain and will ultimately
cause the recipient to pass out.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu kimono AKA Gi

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner’s uniform is similar to a judo kimono or gi, but often with
tighter cuffs on the pants and jacket. To be promoted in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the wearing of the Gi
while training is a requirement. Until recently there have been promotions in a “No-Gi” style of
Jiu Jitsu.

Belt Grading or Ranking

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ranking system awards a practitioner different colored belts to signify
increasing levels of technical knowledge and practical skill. For children under the age of 16
the belt ranking system is white, yellow, orange and green. For adults over the age of 16 the
belt ranking system is white, blue, purple brown and black belt. The amount of time it takes
to achieve the rank of black belt varies between the individual but the average time frame is
between 8 and 10 years with a consistent training schedule of 3 to 4 times per week.

If you are interested in learning the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu please stop down or contact Long
Island MMA and Fitness Center, we are conveniently located in Suffolk County, New York.