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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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by Brendan Wan (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer who enjoys travel & culture.Enjoy more writings from me by visiting my blog at
Published July 21st 2011
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial arts style that was developed in Brazil by the Gracie brothers, Helio and Carlos Gracie. It is a sub-style of the traditional Japanese art of jujitsu, and is widely known for its effective groundwork techniques, grappling and submission locks. It emphasizes that a smaller and weaker practitioner is able to successfully overcome their bigger and stronger opponent by utilizing proper leverage technique.

The origins of BJJ can be traced back to a well travelled Japanese Judo exponent and successful wrestler, Mitsuyo Maeda. After many years of travelling, Maeda eventually settled down in Para, Brazil where he became involved with assisting Japanese immigrants adapt to their new way of life. Maeda would befriend influential businessman Gastão Gracie, who helped Maeda get established in Brazil. As a sign of gratitude, Maeda offered to teach Judo to Gastão's son, Carlos, who would then pass his knowledge onto his brother Helio.
It was Helio who would prove to be the most influential in BJJ's development. Originally a fragile and weak child, Helio adapted the often physically-demanding Judo techniques to his own physical stature by utilizing the power of leverage against an opponent, thus establishing the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

These days, BJJ seems to be synonymous with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The art came to be internationally recognized when Royce Gracie, the youngest son of Helio, won the first UCF tournament. Royce's success in the UFC proved the importance of ground techniques, an aspect which is absent in most styles of martial arts. As a result, modern MMA fighters combine their standing techniques with the effectiveness of BJJ groundwork.

There are difference and similarities between the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Traditional Japanese Jujitsu. The simple difference between the two arts is BJJ offers more variety in ground work techniques, where as Japanese Jujitsu offers more variety with standing techniques. To really understand the difference, one must fully emerge themselves with the history and development of the two arts. Due to the difference in philosophies and beliefs, one cannot really say that one art is more effective than the other. Both arts depend on the practitioner and the situation.
Listed below are a few select schools that primarily teach Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Melbourne.

The Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Australia

The Carlson Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy is located at Prahran and operated by Ben Hall, the only representative of the Carlson Gracie Team in Australia. Carlson Gracie is the eldest son of Carlos Gracie, one of the founding fathers of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Ben Hall trained under Carlson's son, Carlson Jr, at the original Carlson Gracie Academy in Copacabana, Brazil.

The Nexus Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Located in Coburg North, Nexus Gracie is operated by Murat Karadenizli, one of Australia's top grapplers in the Pan Pacific region. Nexus Gracie is the only school in Australia to be affiliated with 8th degree BJJ black belt, Pedro Sauer – considered to be 'the most technical instructor in the world'.
Pedro Sauer is a student of Rickson Gracie, the second eldest son of Helio Gracie.
This Academy offers small sized class, with low teacher to student ratios, enabling students to receive comprehensive lessons on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Ground Zero

Just situated along Little Bourke St, Ground Zero is operated by the very experienced Rob Williams. Rob Williams obtained his BJJ black belt from Relson Gracie, son of Helio, and has trained with various martial arts experts, including members of the Gracie Family, from around the globe.
Ground Zero offers a spacious environment for students to study BJJ and also utilizes other martial arts disciplines with their Muay Thai classes and Judo classes. A Women's BJJ class is also available at Ground Zero, providing female practitioners a friendly and comfortable training atmosphere.
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Why? Be fit and healthy and understand the science of ground work
When: Check with individual academies
Where: In and around Melbourne
Cost: Depends on class type and academy
Thanks interesting. I would love to learn a form of self defence that really works, but doesnt turn me into someone violent or aggressive. Do you have any ideas as to the best place to learn such things.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Saturday, 23rd of July @ 03:26 am
Its hard to say Jody because there are so many styles out there, you really have to go to a few and pick what suits you. If you want, i do have previous articles about martial arts and other styles, so just read and see what interest you. Also, I will continue to write more about other styles in the future so be sure to tune in. Thanks for the comment Jody
By Brendan Wan - senior reviewer
Saturday, 23rd of July @ 09:10 am
Rob Williams did not receive his black belt from Relson Gracie. He received it from Bruno Pano in Sydney.
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 6th of December @ 11:04 am
I'm 29 year old female who wants to start a good jiu-jitsu class in Melbourne. I have no idea where to go. I would prefer an all female class.... Any ideas or good classes around Melbourne CBD or south eastern suburbs?
By Anonymous
Saturday, 31st of December @ 02:42 am
I'm really keen to start up classes as well on a regular basis that is, I've tried one class and can see why people get so addicted to the sport! It's effective and yet so much fun! Cia Paulista Australia is beginning Girls Only BJJ (womens only) classes, they did a really good job at the pan pacs that just passed and are a very tight team, always organising in house events. I've heard the class will be a closed door class to make women feel more at ease and will be taught by a female instructor. They are located on King St. I know I'll be checking it out.
By Anonymous
Monday, 19th of November @ 08:48 pm
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