BJJ

What Is Invisible Jiu-Jitsu?

What Is Invisible Jiu-Jitsu?

Rickson Gracie took the principles of Jiu-Jitsu and developed his own approach, which he called Invisible Jiu-Jitsu. His style of Jiu-Jitsu was focused on using subtle movements and precise techniques to control an opponent, rather than relying on brute strength.

1. Understanding the Concept of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is not a completely new set of techniques, but rather a different way of approaching Jiu-Jitsu. It involves subtle adjustments to your body position and movements that make it harder for your opponent to see what you are doing and react accordingly.


The idea is to make your movements more efficient and effective by minimizing the amount of energy and effort needed to execute them. Some of the key principles of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu include maintaining good posture, balance, and base, using your body weight and leverage effectively, and maintaining constant pressure on your opponent.

2. History Behind invisible Jiu-Jitsu

The origins of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu can be traced back to the early days of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, as the sport progressed, a new generation of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners began to emerge who placed a greater emphasis on the importance of technique and efficiency. Among these practitioners was Rickson Gracie, who is widely credited with introducing the concept of invisible Jiu-Jitsu to the world of grappling.

“So the effectiveness increases, and the relaxation and the amount of effort decreases—that gives you the sense of the invisible power you should have in every position. So the search for the invisible is basically the search for diminishing effort and maximizing results. And it has to be invisible because it Is something you have to feel between choking somebody like this (he may tap, but it Is a lot of effort); it's different from choking somebody with your chest, which reduces the effort and gives more effect”.

(Rickson Gracie)

Master Rickson Gracie who is a 9th-degree BJJ Red Belt began to develop his approach to Jiu-Jitsu in the 1980s when he was still a young competitor. He was heavily influenced by his father, Master Helio Gracie, who had developed a unique style of Jiu-Jitsu based on leverage and efficient movement.

2.1. The Role of Rickson Gracie

Rickson Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend and member of the famous Gracie family, is credited with introducing the concept of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu to the world of grappling. According to Rickson Gracie, Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is all about using subtle and efficient movements to control your opponent without relying on brute force.

“The regular jiu-jitsu is the same jiu-jitsu—there's no two Jiu-Jitsus—but the thing is: the invisible jiu-jitsu, you don't show; you feel. So, when I talk about invisible jiu-jitsu, it's when you have the perception of how you can be relaxed, how you can be in control of a situation by shifting maybe a little bit of your weight distribution. And you're gonna say, 'Wow! Such a difference based on— That's it? Just this little thing gave me so much effect!”.

(Rickson Gracie)

So, how exactly did Rickson Gracie introduce the concept of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu to the Jiu-Jitsu community? One key way was through his innovative teaching style. Rather than focusing solely on techniques, Rickson Gracie emphasized the importance of mindset and philosophy in Jiu-Jitsu. He encouraged his students to focus on the principles of efficiency, and control and to develop a deep understanding of the mechanics of grappling.

3. Invisible Jiu-Jitsu - Techniques

3.1. Guard Passing

Guard passing is a key aspect of Jiu-Jitsu, and Invisible Jiu-Jitsu techniques can help make your guard passing more effective. One technique involves using your hips to create space between you and your opponent, which can make it harder for them to maintain their guard. Another technique involves using your body weight and leverage to pass your opponent’s guard, rather than relying solely on speed and strength.

3.2. Framing - Creating a Barrier

Framing involves using your arms and legs to create a barrier between you and your opponent, which can help you maintain distance and control. In Invisible Jiu-Jitsu, framing is used in a more subtle way, with practitioners using small adjustments to their body position to maintain pressure on their opponent while minimizing the amount of energy they expend.

3.3. Using Your Own Body Weight

One technique specifically involves using your body weight and leverages to apply more pressure to your opponent's joints or neck, rather than relying solely on strength. Another technique involves using small adjustments to your body position to maintain control of your opponent while you apply the submission.

3.4. Shifting Your Angles

Mount position is the best stance to shift your angle so that you can dominate your opponent. You must put your weight on your opponent’s hands and then try to shift your angle. Your opponent won’t be able to hold you for a long time and you will further dominate him. You can bring your chest close to your opponent's and that is how you can shift your angles and make him go submissive.

3.5. Controlling the Back

Back control is a dominant position in Jiu-Jitsu, and Invisible Jiu-Jitsu techniques can help you maintain control of your opponent's back while minimizing the amount of energy you expend. One technique involves using subtle adjustments to your body position to maintain constant pressure on your opponent, while another technique involves using your legs to control your opponent's hips and prevent them from escaping.

4. The Benefits of Practicing Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

  • The main advantage of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is that it can help you conserve energy.
  • It reduces the risk of injury. By using more efficient and effective techniques, you can avoid unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints.
  • In addition, practicing Invisible Jiu-Jitsu can help you become a more well-rounded Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.
  • By focusing on the subtle details of your movements and body position, you can develop a deeper understanding of the mechanics of Jiu-Jitsu and improve your overall technique.

“The invisible aspect of jiu-jitsu for me is by far the greatest and the most interesting. Because it is not based on what I see. It is based on how I feel. That’s why it is invisible. It’s not about seeing. You may see the same guard position, but you feel different if you put pressure here, if you lie a little more here. That’s what I try to promote! It’s the capacity once you have to develop your own sensitivity for what is invisible.”

(Rickson Gracie)

5. How to Incorporate Invisible Jiu-Jitsu into Your Training Routine

To incorporate Invisible Jiu-Jitsu into your training routine, you can seek out instructors or training partners who are familiar with the concept. You can also look for instructional videos or online resources that focus specifically on Invisible Jiu-Jitsu techniques and principles.


Another key aspect of incorporating Invisible Jiu-Jitsu into your training routine is to practice regularly and consistently. This means taking the time to focus on the details of your movements and body position and being mindful of your energy expenditure and overall efficiency.

6. Common Misconceptions About Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

One common misconception about Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is that it involves completely new or revolutionary techniques. In reality, many of the concepts and movements used in Invisible Jiu-Jitsu have been around for years, but are simply not emphasized enough in traditional Jiu-Jitsu training.


Another misconception is that Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is only useful for advanced practitioners or competitors. In fact, the principles and techniques of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu can be applied by practitioners of all levels and can help improve your BJJ game.

7. FAQs

7.1. How Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is Different From Traditional Jiu-Jitsu?

Invisible Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes efficiency and technique over brute strength and uses subtle movements and adjustments to control an opponent, rather than relying on large, flashy movements.

7.2. Is Invisible Jiu-Jitsu Easy to Learn?

Like any style of Jiu-Jitsu, mastering Invisible Jiu-Jitsu takes time and dedication. However, the principles of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu are based on simple, efficient movements that are accessible to practitioners of all skill levels.

8. Conclusion

The founder of Invisible Jiu-Jitsu, Rickson Gracie, is the one who brought a revolution to BJJ. He incorporated the technique of using your own body weight to gain the dominant position without letting your opponent know your move. It involves techniques such as passing guard, shifting angles, and controlling the back while using your body as leverage.


Photo credit: @ricksongraciejj

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