Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Morgan Davis, Editor

 

“If you want to be a lion, you must train with lions,” said Carlos Gracie sr., one of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s most influential masters. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an ancient art, the masters of the art’s history are intertwined, and Club MMA teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to a new generation.

Jiu Jitsu literally translates to soft art. This style of martial arts is characterized by grappling and using your opponent’s force against them. While the exact origins of Jiu Jitsu are hard to pinpoint, it was well established in Japan by the 17th-century. During this time, clans fought regularly and the warrior class, known as samurai, honed their combat skills. Jiu Jitsu was a complement to sword fighting, offering a way to fight armored enemies. It was soon brought to Brazil, making it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The traditional uniform for the art is a Gi and a belt. A Gi is a 3-to-5-pound cotton robe and matching pants. Many other styles share the Gi, such as Karate, Judo, and Aikido. Traditional colors are white and blue, but Jiu Jitsu allows black Gis as well. The belts differ depending on your rank and experience. For adults, the belt order is white, blue, purple, brown and black. For kids it is white, grey and white, solid grey, grey and black, yellow and white, solid yellow, yellow and black, orange and white, solid orange, orange and black, green and white, solid green, and green and black. Each belt has 4 stripes before every belt promotion and promotions are quarterly, but only if the instructor thinks the student is ready to move forward.

Club MMA is a gym that helps kids and adults gain confidence and self-defense through Jiu Jitsu. It was founded in 2008 by Jeff Robinson, a 2nd degree blackbelt under David Meyer and John Will. Classes are 2 times a week, 45 minutes each. Hannah Nieporte, an eighth grader and a white belt, said, “Each class goes by a certain routine depending on what we’re learning. But in general, we have warm-ups, learn a new move, practice it, learn another new move, practice it, and then spar.” Mr. Joel Lippolis, Coach and a blue belt, also said, “Every class is fairly different.  Some classes are focused on self-defense, while others on offensive strikes.” The favorite part of the gym varies from student to student. Natalie Hoover, a seventh grader and a grey belt, said her favorite part is the student and coach relationships.  She said, “I am extremely close with my coaches and my teammates.” Nieporte said, “My favorite part is getting to learn all these ways to defend yourself if you get into a bad situation. That, and getting to let out most of my anger.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an ancient art, the masters of the art’s history are intertwined, and Club MMA teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to a new generation. “If you ask me what belt I am today, I’ll tell you that I’m a white belt that never gave up.” said Jean Jacques Machado.