BJJ Philosophy

Onna Bugeisha, the Female Martial Artist

Gentle like cotton, sharp as a sword Being a martial artist that happens to be female, I have always marveled at the stories of historical warriors that happened to be female, such as the Onna-Bugeisha (女武芸者) or Female Martial Artists in Japan. As a little girl I wore princess dresses but was concealing at least a few plastic or wooden weapons such as katanas and daggers (I mean, you never know what or who you meet [...]

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Road to black belt: the white fun

This is a series of posts on my personal journey towards being promoted to a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Romania’s jiu-jitsu pioneer, Tudor Mihaita. In the 12 years it took to get here, I’ve learned a lot, adjusted my expectations a great number of times, almost quit, got injured, got married, had a child, started teaching, and I am still here, on the mats, at least every other day. If you are a jiu-jitsu practitioner, maybe my [...]

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Is BJJ good for self defense?

Is BJJ good for self defense? A critique of the classical BJJ self defense strategy. Before answering this specific question, I must tell you a bit about myself and my experience with martial arts and aggression. I haven’t been in a fight since I was a child, somehow managing to successfully avoid confrontations. I have been picked on, though, but did not fight back, and after more than a decade of various martial arts experience I still think this is one [...]

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BJJ after sexual abuse

Recently, Jiu Jitsu Times revealed the results of their survey regarding sexual abuse in BJJ gyms. At the same time, in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s exposing, we read countless of accounts of women and men who are survivors of sexual abuse. #MeToo and #IHave movements show how real this problem is and that it not only “can” happen to anyone but unfortunately most likely already has. The first step to solving anything is to acknowledge that there is [...]

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Care about getting your purple belt

There is a lot of talk going on about belt promotions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which results in a whole range of potential discussion topics. In what follows, I will try to stick to one of the essentials, the time between promotions and, if you stick to it, the time it takes you to reach black belt. There is a lot of pride in the BJJ community when it comes to the effort involved in getting your black belt. While there [...]

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Jiu-jitsu and chess

We often see people comparing jiu-jitsu to chess and if you practice both, the analogies are inevitable. I have no freaking idea what’s on other people’s minds, but I can talk for myself. I haven’t seen published any deep article about this topic and this text won’t fulfill that aim either. These are just a couple of personal ideas about something many of us like and I hope it adds some lights to establish parallels between both sports. Though I’m [...]

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Why we roll

One of the reasons some people are so attracted to jiu-jitsu is the concept of roll. And by roll I just don’t mean sparring, but rolling. There is a subtle yet very important difference between these two ideas, which has to do with the fact that jiu-jitsu is, after all, a gentle art (“arte suave”). The beauty of jiu-jitsu in general, and of the roll in particular, is that although with potentially dangerous consequences (or submissions, as we all know [...]

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