What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – also known as BJJ or Jits – is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defence system that focuses especially on ground fighting and grappling techniques.

Grappling and ground fighting styles are defined as any style or mix of styles that comprises techniques that rely on grabbing and controlling the opponent using body leverage. Styles that can be qualified as grappling martial arts are Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, Submission Wrestling and Olympic Wrestling, among others.


The goal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grappling techniques is to improve your position during a contest.  Supremacy and positional dominance is achieved through throws, take downs, pins and submissions, as opposed to “striking” martial arts that focus on knocking out and/or hurting the opponent. The end goal is to achieve a point of complete positional dominace over your opponent by forcing your him/her to submit to your supremancy over him. This typically indicated by your opponent surrendering to you by way of tapping.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training can be used for sport grappling tournaments, mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, self-defence and general fitness and wellbeing.

In the Rio Grappling Club schools, we are focused mainly in the grappling styles. We believe them to be more refined and less dangerous to one’s health than the striking ones. As a matter of fact, one can train in a safer way if sparring on grappling, without coming back home with bruises, injuries and black eyes caused by intentional blows.

No martial art is totally free from accidental injuries, though, but grappling styles tend to minimize them by smart training and use of mats and other protection and prevention from excessive force during sparring.

Some striking styles avoid contact as a way to prevent injuries but this water down their effectiveness as martial arts.

Martial arts were designed in the past to prepare one for real combat, but nowadays this need is a lot smaller than in the past due to the evolution of our societies and the effectiveness of the weapons available as no martial art can turn someone bullet proof, so more and more the martial arts are becoming sports where combat is performed under a set of rules that can vary greatly from style to style.

In the Rio Grappling Club, we train extensively Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and its variation without Gi as well as Judo and Olympic Wrestling as we believe those styles blend together very nicely and complement each other in our pursuit of excellence.


The benefits of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are far reaching and will touch every aspect of your life. Being confronted with grappling techniques, pins and escapes forces the practitioner to think clearly and quickly under stressful conditions. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will nurture your independent thinking faculties and will support your fighting spirit.

Through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will begin to understand yourself, on and off the mats, in ways you never imagined. You will test your limits and become the best you can be.

At the Rio Grappling Club, you are a part of an extended family. The Rio Grappling Club is currently one of the biggest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu affiliations in the world. It is also the biggest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu network in Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa.

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