Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: David vs. Goliath
The combination of ancient Japanese traditions with modern combat techniques has been perfected in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, thus making it highly suitable for women and people of smaller stature.
It is relatively new in Europe but BJJ is based on ancient Japanese martial arts traditions. The Brazilian version of classic Jiu-Jitsu is currently emerging as a fashionable sport that goes even beyond mere athletic elements. It became popular in Europe after the controversial "Ultimate Fighting Tour" where various martial arts (mixed martial arts) compete against each other; but this has very little to do with BJJ.
Just the opposite: Special grappling techniques and precise positioning were developed specifically for physically weaker people in order to enable them to overpower opponents that are physically stronger. This attribute is what makes this martial art so interesting as a self-defence technique for women. The precise movements that must be performed with deep focus initially increase body awareness, then over time increase strength and flexibility. Strikes and kicks are taboo; it's all about grappling, throwing, and other specific techniques. The body is used as a single unit with the focus on situational awareness. Mental prowess is always required: Waiting for the right time, manoeuvring, and consideration are central elements. Not for nothing is BJJ compared to chess.
A classic training unit takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes. First a warm-up with a mixture of strength exercises and stretches, then technique training, in particular grips that are designed to persuade the opponent to give up. At the end of the lesson, the actual fighting takes place on a fenced-in, octagon-shaped area, usually on the floor. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters are characterized by their perfection and are known for their friendly conduct during competitions.
This version of classic Jiu-Jitsu was created in the 1920s through a friendship between an unbeaten, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu master and a Brazilian of Scottish descent, whose sons Carlos and Helio Grace – somewhat slight young men – developed this special technique to compete against physically superior opponents. Therefore, BJJ is also known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.