What Are Jiu-Jitsu Moves?


Quick Answer

Japanese jiu-jitsu emphasizes moves like throws, chokes, joint-locking and kicking. White belts begin by learning front punches, parries, wrist escapes and kicks. During the 1900s, Carlos and Helio Gracie developed a Brazilian variant that demonstrated the effectiveness of ground-fighting. Its techniques focus on escapes, counters and take-downs.

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Full Answer

Jiu-jitsu developed in Japan between the eighth and 16th centuries, and its style became refined through the constant eruption of civil wars. Originally designed for attacking armed and armored opponents, jiu-jitsu had to be modified during peacetime to be suitable for competition instead of battle. Students were also no longer forced to recover from injuries between practice sessions and therefore improved their skills rapidly and began to further refine the style.

Jiu-jitsu forms the basis of many different martial arts, including aikido, karate and judo, but these techniques do not emphasize groundwork. During the 1900s, a jiu-jitsu master named Esai Maeda traveled to Brazil, where he befriended Gastão Gracie and taught his son Carlos jiu-jitsu. Carlos' younger brother Helio modified the techniques to suit his smaller frame, creating modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Helio's son, Royce, introduced the style to America when he participated in five UFC tournaments. Although Brazilian jiu-jitsu contains standing poses, its main objective is to gain superior positioning to apply chokes, holds and joint manipulations on an opponent.

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