Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art whose central theme is the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force a person to submit. Due to the fact that control is generally easier on the ground than in a standing position, much of the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is centered round the skill of taking an opponent down to the ground and wrestling for dominant control positions from where the opponent can be rendered harmless.nnTo control and overcome greater size, strength and aggression with lesser size and strength is the keynote of the sport. This is done by utilizing superior leverage, grip and position upon your opponent. Students of this marital art gain a deep understanding of the workings and limits of the human body.nnThis knowledge can be used to subdue and control an opponent with whatever level of severity the student chooses. The path to this knowledge is physically and mentally demanding. Students benefit from greatly increased physical fitness, problem-solving ability, self-knowledge of their body and mind and the many social benefits of working within a large group of like-minded fellow students as you learn and have fun together.nnMany students first learn about jiu jitsu through the great popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique is very prominent. It prides itself in being known as the “gentle art”, allowing a smaller, weaker person to use leverage and submissions (chokes, locks) to defend himself against a bigger opponent. With origins in Judo (Newaza) and Japanese Jujutsu, it has since been adapted and modified by Carlos Gracie and his family to become the martial art it is today.nnThe popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been on a steady rise over the years, thanks to the growing audience of MMA. Typical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu jargon such as “rear naked choke”, “armbar” and “guard” have even become common vocabulary even among non-practitioners. It is one of the most potent, real-life fighting systems on the planet. Anyone can practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Anyone: women, men, and even children as young as five years old can practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Because it is an art that is designed for a smaller, weaker practitioner to subdue much larger and stronger opponents, virtually anyone of any size, age or sex can practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is a martial art that sharpens the mind – Also known as the “game of human chess”, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners utilize a lot of strategy and technique in order to beat their opponents. In fact, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student will probably come across hundreds of techniques and concepts in just a few years of training. It is a great workout – One of the greatest benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is how your body changes without you realizing it. Constant drilling sessions and sparring will certainly have an effect on your body! Because you’ve become so focused on learning new techniques, you don’t realize how much weight you’ve lost or how much flexibility you’ve gained in the process. Any workout that doesn’t seem like one is definitely a plus. It builds character – There are days when you feel like you’re at the top of the world and then there are some days where you wonder why you even bothered to attend class. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exposes you to a roller coaster of emotions that not only makes you stronger physically but mentally and emotionally as well. You have to be ready to accept failure, learn from it and move on. Doing so determines how far you’ll succeed in the martial art. It promotes continuous self-improvement – Whether you are a black belt or a white belt, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches you to accept that you will never fully become a master of your martial art of choice. Not only are there hundreds of techniques out there but there are also new ones being discovered everyday. You then realize that the only way to improve is to continuously work on it everyday and remind yourself that you have a lot to learn. By taking it one step at a time and acknowledging your achievements, who knows how far you’ll go? The lessons you learn on the mat can be applied to your daily life – The more you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the more focused you become on the bigger picture; an important lesson you learn on the mats. Now, nothing can faze you. Whether it’s stress from work or being dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, you realize that some things aren’t worth beating yourself up over, giving you an edge over those who aren’t used to experiencing duress on a daily basis. Whether it’s to learn self-defense, the start of a new hobby or wishing to further your martial arts repertoire, there’s no doubt that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a beautiful art that is accessible to anyone. From its countless lessons to its physical benefits, it becomes clear: the more you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the more you realize that it is more than a martial art – it’s a lifestyle.