Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu revolutionized in Brazil around 1914. Since then, it has been a popular combat sport. Despite the fame and recognition that MMA has today, there are many MMA fighters who practice BJJ. And it is not because of the trend but because of the actual benefits of BJJ.
BJJ is a submission grappling sport that pays attention to dominant techniques and positions. The factor of submissions is most important in it. You must have seen many MMA fighters winning fights via submissions, so you know one reason for their successful careers.
There are many examples in the MMA world where fighters specially learn BJJ techniques not only to excel in their fighting style but also to gain the elite physical conditions. Amanda Nunes, UFC’s Number 1 Pound-for-Pound fighter is a BJJ Black Belt under Daniel Valverde. Other fighters like Celso Vinicius is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt and a world class MMA fighter.
Recently an MMA Fighter, Demetrius Johnson expressed his views about learning BJJ. Demetrius Johnson is an American MMA fighter who is ONE Flyweight Champion. He was a famous fighter in the UFC, being a former UFC Flyweight Champion. After having a 27-3-1 MMA record, Johnson wants to try something new. He is already a Brown Belt in BJJ and now aims to get his Black Belt.
“Life’s too short not to explore different avenues, and it’s something that I want to do. It’s something I want to do. And I don’t want to do a lot of things. But that’s something I was like, no, I want to do it. I really want to get my black belt. I’m a brown belt now.”
He talked about it in a youtube video in his recent interview. Well not only do MMA fighters adapt BJJ techniques, other athletes are also interested in what BJJ has to offer. We have often seen and heard that practitioners with athletic backgrounds get fascinated by BJJ and later, they pursue it professionally. But here footballers learn BJJ techniques to develop strength conditioning. National Football Team’s American quarterback footballer, Tua Donny Tagovailoa openly accepted that he practices BJJ to gain strength so he can avoid unnecessary damage on the field.
“It’s actually a lot cooler than you think, learning how to fall. You continue to train it, work at it and it becomes second nature. You think it’s easy. Just don’t fall and hit your head. We use crash pads to land first. We’re trying to fall by tucking your chin … it’s about the technique to disburse your energy when you fall.”
There is a gigantic number of fighters and athletes who learn BJJ techniques to master how to defend themselves. BJJ is a gentle art that instructs both defensive and offensive techniques. But the main focus relies on the defensive techniques.
BJJ not only provides practitioners with brute strength and ground grappling but it also teaches a dominant standing game. And you won’t be surprised to know that many Hollywood actors practice BJJ. Hollywood superstar Tom Hardy and the Peaky Blinders star compete in BJJ. Meisha Tate, UFC’s former Bantamweight Champion is a Purple Belt in BJJ.
The great influx of different athletes having a diverse martial art background towards BJJ is mainly because of the leverages that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides. Only the BJJ workouts help practitioners to gain a proper shape. That is why BJJ is termed not only a sport but a complete workout. It works on practitioners’ physical and mental health. The goal of BJJ is not only to prepare fighters for competition but to incorporate the true essence of BJJ into their lives.
Anderson Silva is yet another MMA fighter, having a boxing background, who is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt. It is not wrong to say that BJJ is the new face of MMA.