Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was formed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting (Ne-Waza) fundamentals that were taught to Gracie family by master Mitsuyo Maeda. Brazilian jiu-jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices, and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge on to their families.
BJJ 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. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defense. 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, in relation to progress and ascension through its ranking system.
Since its inception in 1914, its parent art of Judo was separated from older systems of Japanese ju-jitsu by an important difference that was passed on to Brazilian jiu-jitsu: it is not solely a martial art: it is also a sport; a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people; and, ultimately, a way (Do) of life.
Jiu-Jitsu became internationally popular in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce fought against often much larger opponents who were practicing other styles, including boxing, shoot-fighting, muay thai, karate, wrestling, judo and tae kwon do. It has since become a staple discipline for many MMA fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting. Sport BJJ tournaments continue to grow in popularity worldwide and have given rise to no-gi submission grappling tournaments, such as the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. Other popular gi tournaments are the American Nationals, Pan Ams and Mundials.