Most martial arts promise an ability to be able to successfully defend oneself after a certain amount of time. However, some of these martial arts rely on inhumane and violent tactics to subdue the attacker. They can also require an extreme amount of space in order to successfully build up the power needed to defeat someone. Even extreme sports like body building, where an opponent is larger, stronger, and possibly simply in better shape fall in the face of Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu technique involves a consistent battle. For every move there is a counter. For every counter move there is another counter. The possibilities are endless with Jiu jitsu. In Jiu Jitsu, part of the technique taught is how to defeat other fighting styles, everything from Krav Maga, wrestling, and Taekwondo / Tae Kwon Do. Once those styles have been taken out of their comfort zone they are useless. A Taekwondo / Tae Kwon Do kicker doesn’t know what to do when someone takes him or her down to the ground like most altercations end up. In Jiu Jitsu, you train standing and ground tactics in order to be the most effective from any position. Training also includes being in poor positions and moving to better ones, once again through technique.
Many martial arts style sports are very high impact. They quickly wear out joints, cause extreme muscle fatigue and have a high injury rate. Jiu Jitsu does not. It is all body workout, combining cardiovascular exercises with strength training. However, Jiu Jitsu is more of a self-controlled sport. If a particular position is uncomfortable then most likely that will not be something you train often.
It is also more technique based, requiring it’s students to use their mind more than their body. With proper technique, muscle strength does not come into play. Instead, competitors and teammates flow through different positions each attempting to outmaneuver the other.
The sport is one of the few that allow the elderly and disabled to successfully train. In fact the creator—Hẻlio Gracie—continued to roll regularly into his nineties. Our own instructor, Eduardo Gaviao, is beginning to advance in years and rolls on a regular basis. Though he is not what we consider old, he is much older than the highly energetic young twenty something men who train other martial arts style.