a visual introduction to bjj for my friends

30 09 2009

Oftentimes when I meet up with old friends (especially dancers), they ask me, “Soooo…you still doing that martial arts thing? What is it? Ninjitsu or something? Cage fighting, right?”

Despite my best efforts to explain my hobby of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my friends don’t really “get” it. Most still have no idea what it is, and those that do vaguely understand it, can’t figure out what I see in it. “Why do you like getting beat up?” “Why do you like rolling around with sweaty dudes?” “Where’d you get that shiner?” 

So I dug up some videos that should serve as a good introduction for the uninitiated: one is more of a demonstration, and the other shows a very close, competitive, sporting match between two legendary grapplers. I hope these vids convey the intellectual, artistic, and athletic merits of BJJ. They say it’s very much a chess game, where your strategy, creativity, and your understanding of physics will help you more than your brute strength. “Knowing” may be half the battle for G.I. Joe, but it’s like 75% of the battle for BJJ, and I like that.

Here’s Roy Dean demonstrating some super-smooth, flowing combos:

And here’s Roger Gracie and Xande Ribeiro throwing down in the 2005 Abu Dhabi Combat Club absolute division semi-finals (Roger went on to win the whole thing):

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