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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that teaches a smaller person how to defend himself against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique. The Gracie family, the founders of BJJ, modified judo and traditional Japanese jujutsu to create the art. It contains stand-up maneuvers, but it is most famous for its devastating ground-fighting techniques. Gaining superior positioning—so one can apply the style’s numerous chokes, holds, locks and joint manipulations on an opponent—is the key in BJJ.

BJJ’s roots began in the early 1900s. Esai Maeda—the chief of a Japanese immigration colony who was assigned to Brazil—befriended Gastao Gracie. Maeda, a former jujutsu champion in Japan, taught the art to Gracie’s son, Carlos. In 1925, Carlos and his four brothers opened the first jiu-jitsu school in Brazil. Carlos’ younger brother, Helio, adjusted the techniques to suit his small frame, thereby creating Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In the early ’80s, Helio’s son, Rorion, planted the seeds of BJJ in the United States, where the art has become immensely popular.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s roots began in the early 1900s. Esai Maeda, the chief of a Japanese immigration colony who was assigned to Brazil, befriended Gastao Gracie. Maeda, a former jujutsu champion in Japan, taught the art to Gracie’s son, Carlos. In 1925, Carlos and his four brothers opened the first Jiu-Jitsu school in Brazil. Carlos’ younger brother, Helio, adjusted the techniques to suit his small frame, thereby creating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In the early ’80s, Helio’s son, Rorion, planted the seeds of BJJ in the United States, where the art has become immensely popular.

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  1. BJJ Technique Analysis: Five Sneaky Armbar Setups From Jean Jacques Machado, Rigan Machado and John B. Will

    BJJ Technique Analysis: Five Sneaky Armbar Setups From Jean Jacques Machado, Rigan Machado and John B. Will

    Submission grappling expert David Meyer shows you five armbar setups from Jean Jacques Machado, Rigan Machado and John B. Will!
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  2. Rickson Gracie: Classic Q&A With the Legend of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Part 2)

    Rickson Gracie: Classic Q&A With the Legend of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Part 2)

    The BJJ master and undefeated MMA competitor discusses the components of his daily training routine and answers questions about how his family’s fighting system has changed the martial arts world.
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  3. Rickson Gracie: Classic Q&A With the Legend of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Part 1)

    Rickson Gracie: Classic Q&A With the Legend of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Part 1)

    Undefeated in BJJ and MMA, Rickson Gracie talks about his fighting philosophy and his family’s archenemy — a Japanese mixed martial artist named Kazushi Sakuraba — in this Black Belt exclusive.
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  4. Jean Jacques Machado on the Pyramid Principle’s Role in BJJ Techniques, MMA Techniques and Submission Grappling

    Jean Jacques Machado on the Pyramid Principle’s Role in BJJ Techniques, MMA Techniques and Submission Grappling

    How does the gi factor into the timing, leverage and momentum considerations of Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques? What happens when submission grapplers and mixed martial artists train in uniforms? Jean Jacques Machado sounds off!
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  5. How BJJ Techniques Can Be Used in Self-Defense Moves: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master John Machado Demonstrates!

    How BJJ Techniques Can Be Used in Self-Defense Moves: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master John Machado Demonstrates!

    As more and more martial artists recognize the value of augmenting their self-defense skills with grappling, we at Black Belt thought an overview of the various categories of techniques was in order. So with help from BJJ techniques master John Machado, one of the top grappling authorities in the United
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  6. Ralek Gracie Shows You the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves That Defeated Kazushi Sakuraba

    Ralek Gracie Shows You the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves That Defeated Kazushi Sakuraba

    Kazushi Sakuraba was a legend for more than a decade. Don’t remember? Retrieve that Rubbermaid from your garage and pull out the November 2000 issue of Black Belt. Turn to Page 83 and read what MMA pundit Stephen Quadros wrote:

    Kazushi Sakuraba is the biggest name ever to come out of
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  7. Improve Your BJJ Game With 3 Wrestling Techniques

    Improve Your BJJ Game With 3 Wrestling Techniques

    Whether you call it “cross-training,” a “hybrid approach” or “mixed martial arts,” your goal is clear: to diversify your skills by adopting techniques from other styles of fighting. And to anyone with experience in the martial arts, your reasoning is equally clear: Because nothing is perfect, all systems of combat
    Read More »

  8. New Jean Jacques Machado Grappling DVDs Coming Soon! Set Will Feature Submission Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed-Martial Arts Techniques!

    New Jean Jacques Machado Grappling DVDs Coming Soon! Set Will Feature Submission Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed-Martial Arts Techniques!

    Based on their acclaimed best-selling book of the same name, Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos’ highly anticipated three-DVD set, The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques, serves as a martial arts multimedia companion wherein the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu masters demonstrate takedowns, chokes, holds and submissions in living color and
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  9. Gracie Immersion Camp Offers Martial Artists Crash Course in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

    Gracie Immersion Camp Offers Martial Artists Crash Course in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

    Martial artists looking to take a crash course in Brazilian jiu-jitsu need not look any further. The world’s most famous grappling family will host the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Immersion Camp 2012 from May 17 to May 20, 2011, in Destin, Florida.

    Each day starts with mat time during which the instructors will
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  10. Learn Two Closed-Guard Submissions From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Legend Jean Jacques Machado in New BJJ Video!

    Learn Two Closed-Guard Submissions From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Legend Jean Jacques Machado in New BJJ Video!

    In this exclusive Brazilian jiu-jitsu video filmed at Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado — former national and international grappling tournament champion, recent red-and-black-striped belt recipient (from Rickson Gracie), 2011 Black Belt Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year, and author of the best-selling The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 1: Gi and
    Read More »

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