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What is bjjWhat is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that uses ground fighting and grappling to force an opponent to submit. Originally based on Japanese Jujutsu, “jiu Jitsu” is often called “gentle art” because it is so focused on technique. In Jiu-jitsu, we emphasize leverage and submissions to defend against a larger opponent.

Why is it called “Brazilian” jiu jitsu?

At Elite MMA, we practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ. This combines elements of Japanese Jujutsu with Judo. We are often asked why it is called “Brazilian” Jiu Jitsu. In the early 1900s, the Japanese government had a colony in Brazil. It was here in Belem, Brazil, that Japanese Mitsuyo Maeda met Carlos Gracie and instructed him in the art of judo. Carlos Gracie and his brother, Helio, would adopt this art and turn it into the modern sport that we know today, which we now call BJJ.

Want to learn more about how BJJ evolved over time? Check out our history of BJJ page.

What is the difference between MMA and BJJ?

We often get this question.  Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a general term for a fighting style that incorporates elements of many different fighting styles, including BJJ, wrestling, and kickboxing. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, however, places primary emphasis on defense, grappling, and control. Our BJJ classes will teach you how to use leverage to defeat a larger, stronger opponent. Mixed Martial Arts, however, will include elements of sports like Muay Thai or boxing, which have a heavier emphasis on striking rather than submission.

Do I need to wear a uniform?

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is common to wear a uniform called a Gi. The Gi is a big part of Jiu Jitsu- as you are allowed to grab cloth to help you with techniques, this is different from other Martial Arts where grabbing a uniform is frowned upon. Train in a Gi gives you more options for submissions and positional advancement than training without one.  There is a debate in the martial arts community whether it is better to practice with the Gi or with more contemporary workout clothes. At Elite MMA, we offer both Gi and No-Gi BJJ classes because we believe training both with a Gi and without a Gi is important. 

Jiu Jitsu with a Gi

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How do belts work in BJJ?

As with many other martial arts, beginners will start with a white belt. From there, students can advance up to a black belt, assuming you are 19 or over. At Elite, we regularly test our students and promote them through the belt system when they are ready to advance.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu offers a ton of benefits: it can helps improve your balance, flexibility and overall fitness. It is also an excellent form of self-defense. Whether you are brand new to martial arts or have experience in BJJ, we can offer a class to fit your needs. We have four convenient school locations throughout the Houston area, including Baytown, Greenway/Galleria, Kingwood, and Westheimer Road. To get started, schedule your free private lesson today!

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