What does BJJ mean?
BJJ is an abbreviation for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that teaches people how to control and defeat opponents without striking. The term BJJ is typically used by people familiar with the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is also commonly used in the UFC to describe the ground based fighting that may take place during a bout. The shortened term BJJ may also be used by people who train in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Other terms to describe BJJ include Jiu Jitsu, submission wrestling, and grappling.
The terms BJJ and Jiu Jitsu are often used interchangeably. This can be confusing as there are a number of different forms of Jiu Jitsu. However BJJ is the most common form that is practiced today.
The martial art of BJJ evolved from Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Judo after the martial artist Mitsuyo Maeda traveled to Brazil in the early 19th century. During his time in Brazil he taught the martial art of Jiu Jitsu to Carlos Gracie and Luiz Fanca. Carlos Gracie in turn taught the martial art to his younger brothers Oswaldo, Gastao, George and Helio Gracie. Their version of Jiu Jitsu was then passed onto their own sons who helped spread it to the United States and beyond.
The martial art exploded in popularity when Royce Gracie used it effectively to dominate much larger opponents in an MMA match at one of the first UFC events in 1993. BJJ went on to become a requirement for anyone interested in competing successfully in MMA. Today the art of BJJ is often referenced when describing the ground positions and submissions that are often displayed in the UFC. The UFC color commentator and well know Podcast host Joe Rogan is a BJJ blackbelt and regularly describes the benefit that he has received as a result of training in BJJ.