Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a relatively modern, and highly effective, grappling art. A derivate of Kodokan judo, its main focus in on groundfighting and on the idea that a smaller, weaker person can defend themselves against a bigger, stronger opponent, by taking the fight to the ground – in a way that nullifies the advantage that a heavier assailant would have in terms of momentum and inertia during a stand-up exchange – and then dominate the fight through superior positioning and submissions (e.g. strangles, chokeholds, and jointlocks).
BJJ is a fascinating martial art in itself and also a great complement to both judo and wrestling (at Shinbudo, as in most other clubs, bjj is taught both with and without the gi). Many jiujiteros find its more relaxed ruleset, and informal yet respectful environment, particularly liberating. What’s more, kids are natural groundfighters. You will have no doubt seen your kids having tons of fun rolling around with their dad, mum, siblings, and little friends! BJJ provides a structured path to learning ground grappling positions (the art emphasizing control and ‘positioning before submissions’) from an early age. Most of the Gracie family members, men and women, have started their first BJJ classes at the age of 3 or 4, so the Gracie system of teaching kids is tested and popular across age groups and genders.
In our club, BJJ is taught with safety and technical development as key priorities, and kids under the age of 12 are not taught submissions, learning instead through playing, drilling techniques, and ‘rolling’ (the bjj sparring equivalent to judo’s randori). Even though the emphasis of the sport is on groundfighting, we do not neglect takedowns and throws (we are a grappling club after all and most of us cross train in judo and wrestling), and our coach Mabast being one of the finest Carlson Gracie products, you will be taught a highly effective, pressure based, style of BJJ, and, as a result, your top game will be just as developed and well rounded as your bottom game.
Equipment – for your first few classes, a judogi (white, preferably) and a rashguard or t-shirt will be absolutely fine. If you decide to compete in the sport you will need to buy a proper, rule compliant, BJJ gi and rashguard/shorts. Our coach will be happy to advise you.