Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position and using joint-locks and chokeholds to force an opponent to submit or give up.

BJJ encourages free sparring against a live, resisting opponent (also know as “rolling”). Practitioners therefore have the opportunity to test and develop their skills under realistic conditions, while minimizing the risk of injury.

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 hold of your opponent. 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 BJJ, and includes effectively manipulating one’s body to defend from bottom position then moving into a dominate position from top. This system of maneuvering and manipulation can be likened to a form of kinetic chess when utilized by two experienced practitioners. The submission hold is the equivalent of checkmate.

The majority of submission holds can be grouped into two broad categories: joint locks and chokeholds. 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, generally referred to as hyperextension. 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, with a free hand). A choke hold, disrupting the blood supply to the brain, can cause unconsciousness if the opponent does not submit soon enough. A less common type of submission hold is a compression, where the muscle of an opponent is compressed against a hard, large bone (commonly, the shin or wrist), which causes significant discomfort to the opponent. This type of lock often also hyper-extends the joint in the opposite direction. Chokes are a common form of submission. Chokes typically involve constriction of the carotid artery. This type of choke cuts the flow of blood to the opponent’s brain, which causes a rapid loss of consciousness without damaging any internal structures. Being “choked-out” in this way is relatively safe so long as the choke is released soon enough after unconsciousness. However, it should not be practiced unsupervised.


Training methods include technique drills in which techniques are practiced against a non-resisting partner; isolation sparring where only a certain technique or sets of techniques are used against full resistance; and full sparring in which each opponent tries to submit their opponent using any permitted technique. Physical and cardiovascular conditioning is also an important part of training, as BJJ is a physically demanding sport.



Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, generally of similar weight, fight each other with only their fists. Some of the fundamental techniques in boxing involve stance (the placement of the feet and the alignment of the torso for purposes of setting up offensive punching and defensive tactics), punches (the four basic punches include the jab, straight, hook, and uppercut), defenses (maneuvers, such as foot work or movement, used to evade punches), and guards (the positioning of the hands and forearms for purposes of defending against an opponent’s attack). As boxers master these individual techniques they begin to acquire or develop a style. In boxing, however, no two fighters’ styles are identical because a boxer’s style evolves as he or she applies the fundamental techniques learned in practice and then performs them in a manner that best suits his or her abilities and preferences.

Boxers learn to throw the different punch types in rapid succession to form combinations. Since boxing involves strong repetitive punching, precautions must be taken to protect the hand. Combat Fitness does not allow boxers to train and spar without hand/wrist wraps and 16 ounce boxing gloves. Hand wraps are used to secure the structures in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt impact.

Boxers practice their skills on various types of punching bags. Some bags are designed for speed for purposes of honing reflexes and repetitive punching skills, while other larger bags are used to practice power punching and body blows. But, there’s so much more to effective boxing than just power. There’s timing, rhythm, accuracy, range, etc. All extremely important, and all developed through focus work. This focused work is accomplished with the use of hand-held pads called “focus mitts”.

Focus mitt work creates a moving target. Only a moving target forces you to pursue the target, while learning how to form your attack around, and to capitalize on, your opponent’s directional movement. In addition, focus mitts are a critical tool for training the essential technique of maintaining an offensive strategy by throwing effective punches while simultaneously defending against counterattacks through coverage and movement. The use of focus mitts provides a dynamic training environment which is entirely different from any other training method. There is no other apparatus which develops the right offensive/defensive habits for the standing and striking exchange.

In addition to these distinctive pieces of equipment, boxers also utilize more general-use training equipment to develop power, strength, speed, agility, and superb cardio-vascular endurance. Common training equipment includes jump rope, and medicine balls. Boxing training is quite safe thanks to the equipment, and sophisticated bag and pad training.

Although formal boxing bouts often can be dynamic and fast paced, the manner and method of striking one’s opponent is heavily regulated and controlled. Boxers are prohibited from hitting with any part of the hand and/or arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder, or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, or the inside, back, or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the neck or head (called a “rabbit-punch”) or the kidneys. They also are prohibited from holding, tripping, pushing, or wrestling.