Human Chess: The Art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
A 150 pound man controlling a 250 pound man with ease, and without the use of weapons, strikes, or miracles. It happens nearly everyday at Rodrigo Resende BJJ Academy.
Welcome to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
Judo and BJJ isn’t about brute force, it is about control:
Kano Sensei (Dr. Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo), emphasized the concept of maximum efficiency. Judo techniques are not about brute force, but using your opponent’s moves and strength against him or her. Physical strength and size can matter, but technique and mental strength is the most vital factor in competition.
Grand Master Helio Gracie (the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu founder), just as Master Jigoro Kano, was not at all a big and strong man, and sharing the same concepts, Grand Master Helio was able to fight much bigger and stronger fighters using his style, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Since I am, after all, a Judoka and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide some additional reasons why your child will benefit specifically from these two related arts.
Your child will be well coordinated:
When you’re using your opponent’s moves against him or her, timing is everything. Many of the throws in Judo or BJJ will simply not work if you don’t time them correctly. Feet, hands, hips and head all need to move in fluid and exact timed motions to properly execute a technique. As your child practices he or she will learn more complex techniques and, in turn, will demonstrate better reflexes and coordination.
The mantra of Judo and BJJ is ‘practice makes perfect’ There is constant repetition in drills and practices with emphasis on details and rhythm. Throws are repeated over and over. Even while sparring or competing – where a Judoka shows how creatively he or she can apply their well-honed skills – there are still rules and protocols to be followed. All of this
teaches children to respect one another, their opponents and colleagues, and how to play games fair and square – lessons that follow them in their non-Martial Arts lives. It also teaches them the benefits of frequent practice, and the patience to get there.
Belts and Ranking:
Belts and ranking help build your child’s confidence and desire to succeed. Colored belts and stripes indicate the knowledge and skill level. The first graduation can be attained in as little as a few weeks and when the children obtain that first belt, it shows them that with the right effort, they can succeed. One belt is not always enough. Once a child passes one belt test he or she is already thinking about the next one. Belts are a great way to help children track their progress and motivate them to strive higher.
While many of the parents would consider Judo, BJJ or any martial arts for their sons, not nearly as many would consider it for their daughters. However Judo and BJJ are one of the few sports where both boys and girls can play together. Your daughter’s black belt will not be any easier for her to attain than your son’s black belt will be for him. It also gives brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another as well, not to mention the convenience of having all of your kids in one place at the same time.
One of my team mates while I was part of the Brazilian national team, Ketlyn Quadros, still compete on an international level, and she is an excellent Judo practitioner. In addition, a bronze Judo Olympic Medal in Beijing 2008(the first in women division for Judo Brazil), came from her. Other example is a current student Satricia Knake won a silver Medal at the 2011 BJJ World Championship. Maybe your daughter will also become an Olympic Judoka or a world class BJJ fighter some day. Maybe even the first women to bring a Judo Olympic medal to Canada? Well, with medal or not I can guarantee that she or he will carry the lessons learned on the mat for the rest of their lives.