Faixa Rua/Roll Supreme banner

Monday, 23 September 2013

Jiu-Jitsu for everyone?

So the current Gracie Barra motto is "Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone" and although I think mottos of any sort are a bit cheesy I do agree with the sentiment... mostly.

I think jiu-jitsu should be open to everyone no matter of their background, age, sex, ethnicity, size etc and I do my best to make my classes friendly environments (so does my instructor and the rest of our affiliate clubs). BUT it has to be real jiu-jitsu for everyone, not compromised training in order to gain/retain students.

People have to remember that jiu-jitsu is fighting. It's often argued it's not a fight because there is no striking, but if that's the case boxing isn't fighting either because there is no grappling... a silly argument. Fighting comes in many forms and it's always tough. Jiu-jitsu isn't easy, you get beaten up and you are constantly put in uncomfortable positions. There are lots of minor injuries and you are always challenged physically and mentally every class. Any effort to remove these things or diminish them will also remove the essence of jiu-jitsu (the ability to fight).

Training should be as safe as possible, but you can't remove all danger in a full-contact sparring session. And you have to spar hard to learn proper jiu-jitsu. Drilling and light rolling (an extension of drilling not an alternative to hard sparring) are important to the learning process but you have to test your skills against an opponent in training who is resisting fully and 100% trying to get the better of you. I also think this sort of training environment encourages a much better team spirit and friendliness between team members.

There is no need to rear naked choke a newcomer across their chin (I save that for coloured belts and pro-MMA fighters, haha) but they are going to get tapped out a lot when they start, just like everyone else did. They are going to be sore the next day and probably be covered in bruises, but that is the result of a jiu-jitsu class. If they like it then they will be welcome to training every class but if they don't, then there is no jiu-jitsu for them and I make no apologies for that.


  1. Nice post! The ideas and insights are very impressive. Jiu-jitsu is indeed more than just mere martial arts. This is like a religion to me. Jiu-jitsu focuses not just on the physical aspect but on the social, mental and spiritual aspects as well. Thanks.


  2. Good post, An old instructor always went on about jiujitsu being the gentle art and there being no need to use strength... he was 100kg and always used it.. Its also not always gentle.. Its fighting for sure avalible to all but enjoyed by only a few...

    1. Yes, exactly, accessible to all I hope, but for sure not gonna be something everyone enjoys.