Which Martial Art is Best? Part 5: BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU

Our quest to find the world’s best martial art continues with an extremely popular and effective form of grappling: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

You can’t mention BJJ without almost immediately thinking of the legendary Gracie family. Several generations back, the Gracies learned about Judo from famous student Mitsuyo Maeda and eventually developed their own form of ground fighting – which eventually became BJJ.

Like Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on understanding an opponent’s body mechanics and using leverage to gain an upper hand. And, like judokas, BJJ practitioners can successfully engage opponents much larger or “stronger” than they are.

But BJJ differs from Judo in that it focuses more on submissions via chokes and joint locks and less on throws and takedowns. The best BJJ fighters in the world are masters of exploiting exposed limbs for submissions and using their hips to pass opponents’ guards on the ground; they can also mount offensive attacks even while pinned on their back – something fighters in few if any other disciplines can do.

Famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners: Royce Gracie, BJ Penn, Demian Maia

Royce Gracie is living proof that BJJ can defeat almost any individual fighting style on its own, as he regularly tapped out men 50-100 pounds heavier than him, including wrestlers, boxers and countless other fighters, during the early days of Ultimate Fighting. Demian Maia is the closest thing today to a modern Gracie, as he almost exclusively uses the grappling game to defeat opponents.

In the era of the modern martial artist – the mixed martial artist – the game is changing. Now that fighters can combine various standup and ground styles, BJJ can’t dominate and confuse opponents on its own the way it used to. Famous BJJ practitioner BJ Penn uses his flexibility to set up countless submissions but he also uses boxing to launch powerful standing attacks. It’s thus no coincidence that Maia is working on his striking to prepare for a UFC title match against Anderson Silva.

There’s no question that BJJ is among the best martial arts in the world today. But is it the best base for a fighter? I’m not so sure anymore. It doesn’t develop fighters’ striking ability at all, nor does it focus on fitness and endurance the way a grappling style like wrestling does.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

BJJ Club Toronto,  North York, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Vaughan, Woodbridge, York, York Region Ontario Canada.


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