If you’re a Miami resident looking to get into MMA, the best place to start is with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (usually abbreviated as BJJ) is an incredibly powerful and useful martial art and self defense system. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is preferred by many MMA fighters in Miami due both to its focus on ground fighting and its ability to minimize the size and strength of an opponent. BJJ is a descendant of judo which developed from the ideas of Helio Gracie. Gracie’s brother Carlos was a frail youth whose doctor told him he wasn’t physically strong enough to practice judo. Gracie’s BJJ was founded in order to allow a smaller, weaker person to defend against a larger opponent. The idea is that by bringing an opponent to the ground, one can maximize the force of their own techniques while minimizing an opponent’s longer reach and ability to strike.
While most MMA fighters in Miami will generally be roughly the same size and weight as their opponents, BJJ will help fighters to maximize their strength on the ground. The techniques of BJJ revolve around bringing an opponent to the ground and manipulating the opponent into a position where a submission technique can be applied.
After Helio’s development of BJJ, the Gracie family continued to develop the martial art throughout the 20th century, which included fighting matches, the precursors to today’s modern MMA, which focused on ground fighting and emphasized the competitive uses for BJJ techniques. In the 1990s, BJJ expert Royce Gracie fought in a number of martial arts tournaments, including many UFC tournaments, and went undefeated for almost seven years. Many of his opponents were much bigger and stronger than he was, and they included boxers, wrestlers, and practitioners of Judo, Karate and Tae Kwan Do. His victories increased BJJ’s profile world-wide, and made BJJ an essential part of modern MMA.
Anderson Silva, he holds the longest UFC winning streak in history, is a Black Belt in BJJ. Many other fighters who don’t specifically practice BJJ have cross-trained in the art, and Miami MMA fighters looking for new techniques would be well advised to learn about BJJ for ground fighting.
BJJ helped to inspire modern MMA, and still continues to have a huge influence on the sport today. Fighters such as the talented Joe Lauzon have shown MMA fans what the martial art is still capable of in a competitive setting. If you’re new to MMA, or an amateur MMA fighter in Miami looking to get better, BJJ offers an incredible set of techniques to make you both stronger and better able to utilize your strength.