Archive for the ‘Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)’ Category

Grappling News Update

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Mixed Martial Arts Expo Founder and President – Gerald Chopik – recently inked a deal that will bring one of the most prestigious Grappling tournaments in the world to MMA Expo Toronto and other Canadian cities throughout 2010.

The tournaments are a joint venture between MMA Expo and Abu Dhabi Combat Club. 

Fight Planet, a Hamilton-based MMA retailer will be the official sponsor of the new ADCC Canadian Qualifier Series.

Find out more about Grappling

Top 10 Differences Between BJJ and Judo

Friday, July 24th, 2009

After 30 years of doing anything – or anyone – continuously, one might find themselves at a crossroads, perhaps feeling that change is in order.  Some call this a mid-life crisis and as a result may get married, divorced, re-married, divorced again, commit a crime spree or just buy a white sports car.  At 45 years of age, I’d done most of the above.

But my case was different.  The crisis I was experiencing was a ‘Martial Arts Mid Life Crisis.’  Yes, 30 years of doing any martial art – Judo in this case – can do that to you. 

So I strayed and left my first martial art love for something new – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). 

Why BJJ?  I suppose the seed had been planted back in 1993 after witnessing my first UFC.  Watching Royce Gracie choke and armlock his way to victory using techniques familiar to and practiced by Judoka everywhere, but with funky names like the Kimura, Guard and Triangle Choke. 

Other reasons for choosing BJJ were to test my Judo skills against this fairly new art – 95% of which takes place on the ground – and to better learn how to fight off my back.

So, I joined a BJJ Club.  What follows are some first hand observations and noted differences between these 2 related, yet different, martial arts:

1. Lineage: Judo was developed in Japan by Jigoro Kano in the late 1800’s, a variation of Jujitsu.    As its namesake implies, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) was developed and modified in Brazil by the Gracie brothers after having being taught Judo.
2. Uniform: Judoka wear heavy weave Gi’s (kimonos) tied by a belt and with no undergarments (save underwear – hopefully); BJJ practitioners tend to wear a single weave and much lighter Gi that is tied by a belt.  They also tend to wear funky form fitting and shiny undergarments called rash guards that can be worn under the Gi.  For lack of a better term, they’re cool. Furthermore, BJJ practitioners adorn and accessorize their Gi’s with color-coordinated patches and logos, usually representing clubs, affiliations and/or both.  Lastly, BJJ can be practised with a Gi or no Gi; a big plus for those interested in MMA and Self-Defense.
3. Fighting Styles: Traditional Judo clubs focus on throws and takedowns which are scored accordingly in shiai (tournaments).  For example, a perfect throw, one that demonstrates control, power and impetus can score a perfect point, the equivalent of a knockout punch.  A perfect throw (Ippon) is the ultimate goal of most Judoka.  One can also win on the ground via a submission (choke, arm lock) and/or hold down.  Most Judo Clubs will focus 70-80 percent (or more) of their training on throws with the balance on ground work.  Conversely, BJJ practitioners spend about 80-90 percent (or more) on the ground.  Throws and takedowns are secondary and are scored as such.  The ultimate goal in BJJ competition is a submission.
4. Tempo: For advanced BJJ competitors – blue to black belt – matches can run from 6 to 10 minutes with the majority of the contest taking placing on the ground/grappling.  The average Judo match – for advanced and beginners – runs 5 minutes, with the majority of the contest taking place standing up.  Unlike BJJ, if a Judo contest does go to the ground, fighters are given very little time to work a hold down or submission and if there is no immediate progression, fighters are quickly brought back to the standing position.  As well, a lull in action from either fighter results in penalties. As a result of shorter matches and penalties for inactivity, Judo fights tend to be faster paced and more frenetic. BJJ fights tend to have a slower tempo as fighters work on the ground to gain position, control and eventually, submissions.  Extended durations may also result in a slower and more deliberate pace during BJJ matches, in large part to conserve energy and to set an opponent up for a submission.
5. Terminology: Steeped in Japanese tradition, Judo throws and techniques have Japanese origins and names.  For example, the fireman’s carry (a common wrestling takedown) is known as ‘kata-guruma’ in Judo.  Another common wrestling takedown – the double leg takedown – is known as ‘morote-gari’ in Judo. The rear naked choke is known as ‘hadaka jime.’  BJJ, on the other hand, has exotic and descriptive names that roll off the tongue and pique the imagination.  For example, ‘peruvian neck tie,’ ‘omoplata,’ ‘nonoplata,’ ‘gogoplata’ and more. Other techniques have been anglicized and named so that the average person can easily visualize them, even those with no martial arts background.  For example, the ‘guillotine choke,’ ‘clock choke,’ ‘collar choke,’ ‘spin around armbar,’ ‘guard to arm lock no gi.’ These terms, for lack of a better term, just sound cool. 
6. Belt Gradings: Judoka begin at white belt and from there, progress to yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and eventually black belt.  At each level, students are required to know a certain number of throws, hold downs, chokes, and arm locks to advance.  For black belt, it is necessary to perform ‘kata’ which are also known as forms.  Prior to being eligible for a black belt and performing ‘kata,’ a Judoka must first  compete and accumulate a certain amount of  points by entering tournaments and winning fights.  Depending on how they win and the rank of the person(s) they beat, they are awarded points.  The process is very formal. An enthusiastic Judoka that practices 3-4 times per week and that competes should be able to attain their first degree black belt within 4-5 years.  Like Judo, BJJ uses a belt grading system, but that is where the similarity ends.  BJJ practitioners start as white belts and progress to blue, purple, brown and black belt.  After attaining each belt, stripes may also be awarded to signify progress and levels of competence.  Rather than forms, belt gradings are informal and conservative in nature: belts are awarded at the instructor’s discretion and seem to be heavily influenced by attendance, progress and time spent on the mat.  That said, a BJJ practitioner may remain at the same belt level for years at a time.  An enthusiastic and avid BJJ practitioner should be able to attain their black belt within 8-9 years.  An exceptional student, perhaps sooner.
7. Honorifics: Seniority and respect play a large role in Judo.  Senior students and/or instructors are referred to as ‘Sempai’ and are the equivalent of mentors while ‘Kohai’ are the equivalent of  trainees.  In Judo, the term ‘Sensei’ is usually reserved for 3rd degree black belts and up, but may be used by colored belts when addressing any black belt.  The term is used in reference to those that have achieved a certain level of mastery and maturity.  In BJJ, the equivalent of Sensei is Professor and is only used when addressing black belts.   The term ‘professor’ has a scholarly overtone and again, is one that the average person can easily identify with. 
8. Profit vs Non-Profit: As a rule, Judo Clubs are run as non-profit and can often be found in community center’s and/or rented out spaces.  It’s rare to find a Judo Club as a standalone storefront/entity.  Unlike Judo, BJJ is for profit and charges accordingly; charging what Judo clubs ought to be charging.
9. Conduct: Judo tends to be formal in its on-the-mat interactions.  For example, it is proper etiquette to bow before entering and after leaving the dojo mat area.  It is also proper etiquette to bow to your partner before and after a randori (freestyle practice or sparring) and/or ne-waza (ground work/grappling) practice session.  BJJ clubs are less formal and as a rule, emphasize camaraderie more so than formality.  For example, prior to and following a practice session (rolling), participants will shake or slap hands.  Should one partner submit the other during a rolling session, they will break and shake or slap hands.  At the end of the BJJ class, everyone is acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts with hand shakes, hand slaps and partial hugs.
Note: this is the behavior demonstrated at the BJJ club that yours truly belongs to and, as a result, can not be verified as common practice among all BJJ clubs.
10. Perception: Although an Olympic sport, practiced world-wide and over 100 years old, Judo has an image problem.  In general, the Judo community has no idea how to market itself.  Rather than embracing a resurgence in Martial Arts vis-a-vis MMA and the UFC, Judo seems to have turned a blind eye to the opportunity, preferring to suffer in silence.   Sadly, if Judo were an animal, it would be on the endangered species list.  On the other hand, BJJ is flourishing. It is marketed as a form of self-defense and a staple to any serious mixed-martial artists game.  No doubt helped in large part by the UFC, Royce Gracie’s MMA legacy and the continued success of BJJ practitioners in mixed martial arts.

In essence, both Judo and BJJ are great sports/martial arts and forms of self-defense that have a lot to offer both purists and mixed martial artists alike.  Now, if Judo can learn from the BJJ brain trust, it just may have a fighting chance of surviving the coming decades.  In the meantime, I’ve temporarily traded in my Judo black belt for a BJJ white belt and am enjoying every minute of it.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) – Toronto, Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada

Women’s Grappling Camp August 23-29 ~ Toronto, Ontario

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Following the sure to be successful ‘Grapple Girls Women’s Open Grappling Tournament on August 22nd’ will be the second annual ‘Women’s Grappling Camp.’ [Now say that three times fast]

Held from August 23-29, it will take place at MECCA MMA in Toronto, Ontario and feature world-class female grappler’s such as Felicia Oh, Emily Kwok, Val Worthington and Krista Scott-Dixon.

Fore more information, visit www.womensgrappling.org

Grappling  – Toronto, Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada.

Grapple Girls Women’s Open Grappling Tournament 2009

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Taking place in Toronto, Ontario on August 22nd is the first ever – but surely not the last – ‘Grapple Girls Women’s Open Grappling Tournament 2009.’ 

The event aims to raise the profile of women in sport; more specifically, female Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) artists and Grapplers.

Formed by female grapplers from various Toronto-based BJJ and Grappling Arts Academies, the Tournament committee plans to run a grappling-centric event that is both professional and politic-free  ~ sorry guys 🙁

The organizers are “committed to making this not only the best-run women’s grappling event, but the best-run grappling event anywhere.”

The event will feature some of the biggest names in women’s Grappling and BJJ in North America and, in keeping with the spirit of the event, proceeds generated will go to non-profit women’s organizations.

For more information, contact ggopen@womensgrappling.org.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) – Toronto, Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada

Upcoming Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Tournaments in Ontario

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) competitors and enthusiasts should have a busy fall season with 2 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments on the docket – ‘The Bravado BJJ Open’ and ‘The Provincial BJJ Championships’.  The specifics are as follows:

September 2009 ~ Bravado BJJ Open
• Gi Only Event
• Junior and Adult Divisions
• Held at Turner Fenton High School, 7935 Kennedy Road South, Brampton, Ontario
• Hosted by Bravado Jiu-Jitsu Academy
• For details, contact Mr. Tony Isaacs at bjjfighter@rogers.com

November 2009 ~ BJJ Provincial Championships
• Gi on Saturday; No Gi on Sunday
• Juniors, Adults and Master Divisions
• Location: TBD
• Hosted by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Ontario
• Contact: TBD

Check Ontario BJJ for more information on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) tournaments and events in and around Toronto and Ontario.

Martial Arts Club Directory Serving the communities of Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada

Toronto Jiu Jitsu Classic

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) enthusiasts and competitors should keep Sunday August 9th open for the ‘Toronto Jiu Jitsu Classic.’

Presented by the organizers of The Copa Ontario, the tournament will be held  at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.

Divisions include: Juniors, Men, Women 16/17 year old Blue and White Belts and Adults (men and women’s) White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black Belts.

The tournament is ‘Pre-Registration’ only.   For more information, visit or contact www.copaontario.org.

Martial Arts Club Directory Serving the communities of Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada

GRANDMASTER BARRETO INTERNATIONAL BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU OPEN – TORONTO

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

For those about to roll, it’s time to get ready for the ‘Ontario Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Open’ held this Sunday June 7th at The International Centre (across from the Toronto International Airport) and just part of what you can expect to see at Toronto’s 4th Annual Mixed Martial Arts Expo.

Governed by the same rules as the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association and attended by Grand Master Barreto himself (BJJ 9th Degree Red Belt), this event could arguably be the greatest show on mats – atleast for this weekend.

Competitors will range from 7 years old and up and will come from a variety of backgrounds including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Traditional Jujitsu, Submission Grappling, Amateur Wrestling and Judo.

Note: Weight categories have been modifed slightly to reflect the Ontario region.

Click here for more information.

Martial Arts Club Directory Serving the communities of Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga,  Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, North York, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, York, York Region Ontario Canada