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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu



When was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu started..?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to America by a quiet, but personable Brazilian named Royce Gracie. He shocked the martial arts world by winning the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in an apparently effortless manner.

What the rest of the world didn’t know at the time was that the Gracie family had been developing this art for the past 75 years in the city of Rio de Janiero, in Brazil. What’s become known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) proved to be a commanding element in mixed-martial arts tournaments in the 1990

The public safety sector picked up on its success and now agencies such as the FBI, DEA, and LAPD, in addition to various elite groups of the military including the Army Rangers, Delta Force and Marines have included the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in their training programs.

The thing that makes it great for law enforcement is that it’s easy to learn, and you don’t have to be super athletic and it is effective. Most of the criminals have plenty of time to workout and get strong, a lot more time than you or me with a family and trying to make a honest living would have.

Benefits for Law Enforcement Personnel

The reality-based techniques and the emphasis on controlling the offender makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu perfect for law enforcement officers. The techniques put you into a position where your opponent cannot strike you, but you could, if you chose to.

This gives officers and public safety workers an option to increase the intensity of force. The techniques also allow a smaller officer to wear out a larger and more aggressive person. The techniques do not rely on pressure points for pain compliance.

The bulk of the techniques center on joint locks and carotid restraints. This means that the officer does not have to be stronger than the opponent, they only have to be stronger than the suspect’s weakest point – usually his elbow, shoulder, ankle or neck.

Many martial arts instructors tell their students to "never go to the ground" with an opponent because of the dangers. However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners aim for the exact outcome – to always take the fight to the ground. On the ground everything slows down and the opponent cannot generate much force behind his strikes.

Here are some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques you should know:

1. The Clinch

The most dangerous distance in any fight is kicking and punching range. Unfortunately, most of the interaction is done within punching range. The BJJ practitioner wants to either be all the way outside of hitting range or all the way inside of hitting range.

Most often, the BJJ practitioner will close the distance between himself and the opponent to the clinch, which controls the opponent and limits his punching and kicking ability. Often an attacker is surprised when you close with him instead of backing up which is what most people do when attacked.

To safely close the distance into the clinch, you must get your head against the opponent’s chest which puts you inside of his punching range, effectively neutralizing his punches.

Get your hands up to your forehead with your forearms protecting your face. Your fists are
tightly locked against your forehead and your elbows are leading forward, protecting your face against a punch.

Move into your opponent by leading with a leg check or a disturbing kick to his leg. As you close the distance, sweep your hands out like you are swimming, to block both of his biceps on each arm. Trap his arms by hooking your hands over his triceps and using your forearms to control his arms.

You have your forehead tight against his chest while hooking over the back of his triceps. By pulling in on his arms and pushing with your head against his chest, you exert equal tension, which limits his punching movement.

Now, complete the clinch by reaching around his back with one arm and moving to that side. Trap his other arm tightly under your armpit and protect your face by burying it in the biceps of his trapped arm.

Pinching your thighs on his leg closest to you limits his ability to turn and knee you to the groin.

You now have control of the opponent with one arm around his waist. With your other arm, trap his arm under your armpit and hold the back of his elbow and use it as a shield to protect your face.

Finally, you control his leg closest to you to limit his movement and to protect against a knee to the groin.

2. The Rear Takedown

Often, the next move from the clinch is the rear takedown, but this takedown can also be effective when used during a standard search with the subject against a wall or vehicle.

If the suspect begins to resist, clasp him around the waist from behind much like you did in the clinch with your head down to avoid any elbow targeted at your face.

Move your foot out to block his far foot (for example your right foot steps out to the right to block behind his right heel).

Sit down to drag the suspect to the ground, tripping him over your outstretched leg. He can’t catch his balance because you are blocking his foot from stepping back.

Roll on top of him for the mount.

3. The Kimura

Used as either a weapon-retention technique or an arm-lock when you have the opponent in your guard. This move is not named by the Gracies, but many BJJ circles call it the "Kimura" after a Japanese judo champion.


Grab the wrist of the hand reaching for your neck or your hips.

Sit up and reach all the way over his shoulder of the arm that you have trapped. You will have to scoot your hips back away from him to have enough room to reach over his shoulder.

Reach in between his arm and his ribs to grasp the wrist of your arm that has seized the suspect. This grip is sometimes called a "Figure 4".

Using the leverage of your feet on the ground and the Figure 4 grip you have on his arm, drive his head forward toward the ground as you scoot out to the same side which has the armlock.

Control the opponent by holding his arm tight to your chest so that it is bent in a shape like an ‘L’. One of your legs will be under the suspect. Place your other leg over him and cross your ankles to keep him from escaping.

You can find more BJJ techniques by clicking here