Gina Carano has to strip down to make weight for her Elite XC fight. This also features the Kimbo vs. Shamrock shoving match. I also added some photos of the event.
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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It is a derivative of early 20th century Kodokan Judo, which was itself then a recently-developed system (founded in 1882), based on multiple schools (or Ryu) of Japanese jujutsu.
Like judo, it promotes the principle that smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique; applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat them. BJJ can be trained for self defense, sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. Sparring (commonly referred to as ‘rolling’) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition.
Jiu-Jitsu itself was developed in Japan during the Feudal period. It was originally an art designed for warfare, but after the abolition of the Feudal system in Japan, certain modifications needed to be made to the art in order to make it suitable for practice. During Feudal times, Jiu-Jitsu was also known as Yawara, Hakuda, Kogusoko, and an assortment of other names. The earliest recorded use of the word “jiu-jitsu” happens in 1532 and is coined by the Takenouchi Ryu (school). The history of the art during this time is uncertain because teachers kept everything secret to give their art a feeling of importance and then would change the stories of their art to suit their own needs.
After the Feudal period in Japan ended (Jiu-jitsu was no longer needed on the battlefield), a way to practice the art realistically was needed, which is why Jigoro Kano (1860–1938), a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu, developed his own system of Jiu-Jitsu in the late 1800′s, called Judo. Judo was helpful because it allowed practitioners the ability to try the art safely and realistically at the same time. Since its inception, judo was separated from jujutsu in its goals, philosophy, and training regime. Although there was great rivalry among jujutsu teachers, this was more than just Kano’s ambition to clearly individualize his art. To Kano, judo wasn’t solely a martial art: it was also a sport, a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people, and, ultimately, a way (Do) of life. To a very large extent, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has also encompassed these philosophies.
The art of Jiu Jitsu offically began with Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Combat in English), an expert Japanese judoka and member of the Kodokan. Maeda was one of five of the Kodokan’s top groundwork experts that Judo’s founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to spread his art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving “jiu-do” demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914.
It wasn’t until the sport art of Judo and the combat art of Jiu-Jitsu were introduced to the Gracie family in Brazil that the real art of Jiu-Jitsu would be brought to life again. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu (practiced as Judo) was introduced to the Gracie family in Brazil by Maeda.
Maeda met an influential businessman named Gastão Gracie who helped him get established. In 1916, his son Carlos Gracie, still a 14 year-old boy, watched a demonstration by Maeda at the Teatro da Paz and decided to learn the art. Maeda accepted Carlos as a student, and Carlos went on to become a great exponent of the art and ultimately, with his younger brother Hélio Gracie became the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In 1921, Gastão Gracie and his family moved to Rio de Janeiro. Carlos, then 17 years old, passed Maeda’s teachings on to his brothers Osvaldo, Gastão and Jorge. Hélio was too young and sick at that time to learn the art, and due to medical imposition was prohibited to take part in the training sessions. Despite that, Hélio learned from watching his brothers. He eventually overcame his health problems and is now considered by many as the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (though others, such as Carlson Gracie, have pointed to Carlos as the founder of the art).
Hélio competed in several submission judo competitions which mostly ended in a draw. One defeat (in Brazil in 1951) was by visiting Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura, whose surname the Gracies gave to the arm lock used to defeat Hélio.
The Gracie family continued to develop the system throughout the 20th century, often fighting vale tudo matches (precursors to modern MMA), during which it increased its focus on ground fighting and refined its techniques.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes ground fighting techniques and submission holds involving joint-locks and chokeholds also found in numerous other arts with or without ground fighting emphasis. The premise is that most of the advantage of a larger, stronger opponent comes from superior reach and more powerful strikes, both of which are somewhat negated when grappling on the ground.
BJJ permits a wide variety of techniques to take the fight to the ground after taking a grip. Once the opponent is on the ground, a number of maneuvers (and counter-maneuvers) are available to manipulate the opponent into a suitable position for the application of a submission technique. Achieving a dominant position on the ground is one of the hallmarks of the BJJ style, and includes effective use of the guard position to defend oneself from bottom, and passing the guard to dominate from top position with side control, mount, and back mount positions. This system of maneuvering and manipulation can be likened to a form of kinetic chess when utilized by two experienced practitioners. A submission hold is the equivalent of checkmate in the sport. However, it is possible for a combat situation to continue even after a proper submission is performed.
The majority of submission holds can be grouped into two broad categories: joint locks and chokes. Joint locks typically involve isolating an opponent’s limb and creating a lever with the body position which will force the joint to move past its normal range of motion. Pressure is increased in a controlled manner and released if the opponent cannot escape the hold and signals defeat by submitting. Opponents can indicate submission verbally or they can tap out (i.e. tap the opponent, the mat, or even themselves, several times.) A choke hold, disrupting the blood supply to the brain, can cause unconsciousness if the opponent does not submit soon enough.
While many joint locks are permitted, most competitions ban or restrict some or all joint locks involving the knees, ankles, and spine. The reason for this is that the angles of manipulation required to cause pain are nearly the same as those that would cause serious injury. Joint locks that require a twisting motion of the knee (called twisting knee locks or twisting knee bars, or techniques such as heel hooks, and toe holds) are usually banned in competitions because successfully completing the move nearly always results in permanent damage that requires surgery. Similarly, joint manipulations of the spine are typically barred due to the inherent danger of crushing or mis-aligning cervical vertebrae. Leglocks are allowed in varying degrees depending on skill level.
Chokes and strangles (commonly but somewhat incorrectly referred to as “air chokes” and “blood chokes” respectively) are a common form of submission. Chokes involve constriction of the windpipe (causing asphyxia.) Strangles involve constriction of the carotid artery (causing ischemia.)
Air chokes are less efficient than strangles and may result in damage to the opponent’s trachea, sometimes even resulting in death. By contrast, blood chokes (strangulations) cut the flow of blood to the opponent’s brain, causing a rapid loss of consciousness without damaging any internal structures.
The typical belts or ranks in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are as follows: White Belt, Blut Belt, Purple Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt, Red Belt (Mastery Level). Some schools use a stripe system for each belt level, indicating progress through that belt. However, not all schools award stripes, or award them consistently, so the number of stripes a person has is not necessarily a good measure of their accomplishments or time in training. When they are used, it is standard for a student to receive four stripes before being promoted to the next rank.
Black belts can receive degrees, up to 9th degree, for as long as they train or teach the art. At 7th degree, the black belt is replaced by an alternately red and black belt. At 9th and 10th degree, the belt becomes solid red. Only the founding Gracie Brothers Helio, Carlos, and their brothers will ever have the 10th degree red belt. The Gracie family members who are 9th degrees belt holders are Carlson Gracie, Reylson Gracie, Relson Gracie, Reyson Gracie, and Rorion Gracie.
The standards for grading and belt promotions vary between schools, but the widely accepted measures of a person’s skill and rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are:
Technical knowledge is judged by the number of techniques a person can perform, and the level of skill with which he performs them in sparring and competition. This allows for smaller and older practitioners to be recognized for their knowledge though they may not be the strongest fighters in the school.
BJJ differs in some aspects from other martial arts in the criteria for grade promotion, which is almost exclusively based on practical expertise in randori (free sparring, or rolling) and championship results. Apparently in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, less emphasis is given to theoretical and background knowledge. Rarely is any formal test undertaken for the grading, which is based mainly in observation at every-day practice sessions.
There is a vast difference in how often belt progression takes place, and the requirements for the progression. A blue belt will typically take 1-3 years to earn, depending on the amount of time the student puts in, and how quickly they learn. A purple belt can take 3-6 years to earn. More traditional schools and especially Gracie-affiliated schools believe that black belt cannot be achieved in under 8 to 10 years, while some schools allow students to achieve black belt more quickly.
BJJ in Mixed Martial Arts
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has quickly become one of the most popular arts used to compete in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. This is largely due to the success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. BJJ has been entrenched in the UFC dating back to the very first event, UFC 1.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (later renamed UFC 1: The Beginning) was the first mixed martial arts (MMA) event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, occurring at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993.
UFC 1 used an eight-man tournament format, with the winner receiving $50,000. The tournament had no weight classes or weight limits. The matches had 5 minute time limits with unlimited rounds; therefore no judges were necessary. Competitors only won by submission, knockout, or throwing in the towel. Royce Gracie won the competition ultimately beating 3 opponents including the famed MMA star Ken Shamrock.
Sources: Wikipedia.org, Shenwu.com, Jiu-Jitsu.net
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