Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a self-defence martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of controlling one's opponent, gaining a dominant position and using a number of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds (Newaza).
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was first developed and modified in the 1920s by Brazilian brothers Carlos, Oswaldo, Gastão Jr, George and Hélio Gracie after Carlos Gracie was taught traditional Kodokan Judo by a travelling Japanese judoka (Mitsuyo Maeda) in 1917, later going on to develop their own self defence system named Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ eventually came to be its own defined combat sport through the innovations, practices, and adaptation of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, with governing bodies such as the IBJJF working worldwide, becoming an essential martial art for MMA.
BJJ teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent by using leverage and weight distribution to take the fight to the ground and then using submissions to defeat them. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments and in self-defence situations. Sparring, commonly referred to as "rolling" within the BJJ community, and live drilling play a major role in training and the practitioner's development. BJJ is considered a martial art, a sport, a method of promoting physical fitness and building character, and a way of life.