What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

BJJ is a martial arts system that has its roots in early Judo.  Early Kano Jiu Jitsu, which would later be called Judo was spread to Brazil by Japanese judoka Mitsuyo Maeda, where it was taught to the Gracie family, among others.  The Gracie family adopted and refined the techniques, with more emphasis on the ground techniques.  BJJ now focuses not only on takedowns, and positional dominance, but joint manipulations and chokes as well. It is a grappling based art and uses very few strikes, but rather relies on patience and control to win and/or defuse situations.

Is it a sport or a martial art?

Like Judo and other martial arts, there is a sportive aspect of BJJ as well.  There are tournaments all over the world.  However, it's roots are in self-defense.

What makes it different?

One feature that makes BJJ practitioners stand out is the "guard" position.  It allows practitioners to continue to fight even if they are on their backs.  It is also based on principles of maximum efficiency and leverage.  It is designed to allow smaller, weaker practitioners survive, and eventually defeat larger opponents.  It does not rely on strength, but rather leverage and technique.

What do I need to get started?

An open mind, determination and willingness to learn new things.  Grappling is foreign to many people, even though it is a part of every culture on earth.  You will also need a BJJ gi, or kimono.  Mouth piece, rash guard, head gear (ear protection) and groin protector are optional.

Why should I try it?

The training at the Forge is a great physical work out that will improve your cardio, flexibility and muscle tone.  It is a great way to get in shape, lose weight, and learn something that might save your life.  It is also a great intellectual pursuit that you can study for the rest of your life without getting bored.  It challenges you both mentally and physically.  It tests your character and allows you to examine and polish your spirit.  It is full of camaraderie, and bonding, and you will join an international brother and sisterhood.  As you are getting fit, you are also learning a very functional martial art.

Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team                          Pagosa Springs, Colorado

450 Lewis St.- Top Floor                                    (970) 403-6238