Jiu-Jitsu Explained by Henry Agallar
The term jiu-jitsu comes from two Japanese words, “jū,” which means “gentle,” and “jutsu,” which means “art.” Jiu-jitsu practitioner Henry Agallar says that the best way to understand this ancient “gentle” martial art is by taking a closer look at how it has evolved in Brazil.
Traditional jiu-jitsu emerged about 2,000 years ago in India as a way for traveling Buddhist monks to protect themselves on their travel. They used precise knowledge of leverage, angles, timing, and the human anatomy to subdue their opponents into non-violent submission without harming them. Instead of focusing on kicks and strikes, jiu-jitsu emphasizes grappling, choke holds, and immobilizing joints.
These methods arrived in Brazil in 1915 Henry Agallar notes, with a world-renowned Japanese judoka named Mitsuyo Maeda. At the time, judo and jiu-jitsu were regarded as the same martial art. However, three of Maeda-sensei’s Brazilian students, Luiz França and two brothers, Helio and Carlos Gracie, created jiu-jitsu as a separate specialty, improving old techniques and inventing new ones.
The new Brazilian variety of jiu-jitsu slowly spread to other countries. The first dojo for jiu-jitsu in the United States appeared about 1970, but it wasn’t until the 1990s, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brought jiu-jitsu to broad public attention.
The son of one of the originators of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Carlos Gracie, Jr., founded the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in 2002. They started an annual calendar of competitions worldwide, with many of the most important tournament held in the USA.
Henry Agullar Explains Why You Should Learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
The popularity of Brazilian jiu-jitsu isn’t accidental, Henry Agallar says. Here are his top 10 reasons you should learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a sport that is open to all body types and all levels of fitness. You can improve your fitness as you learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a useful tool for self-defense. Small fighters can subdue large fighters. Out-of-shape fighters can use their knowledge of choke holds, leveraging points, and joints to win against fitter opponents who don’t have jiu-jitsu skills.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu is methodical. What you see is what you do. It is easy for students to help each other.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu cultivates patience. You will need at least six months of consistent practice to begin to be able to use your jiu-jitsu skills competitively. Experts in jiu-jitsu have learned how to be patient.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu is intellectually stimulating. Every move has a counter move. As you train, you learn to think two and three moves ahead.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu builds character. You learn how to harness anger and anxiety into the service of your technique.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu helps your mental health. The physical exertion of the sport stimulates your brain and relieves depression. The ability to work through anger, anxiety, and aggression spills over into the rest of your life.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu is strenuous exercise. You may find yourself “too tired to stress out about the little things” in your life,
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu will help you sleep better and lower your blood pressure. As you feel more in control with your sport, you will feel more in control of your life.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu boosts confidence on multiple. Grappling with your opponent releases the hormone oxytocin. This makes you feel happy and gives you the emotional boost you need to do your best and come to expect you will do your best.
Henry Agallar says Brazilian jiu-jitsu is more than a sport. It can improve every aspect of living. You will learn to subdue all the opponents you face in your life.