The Fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

by | Jul 26, 2023 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Martial Arts, Technique, Training

There are two types of martial arts. Those with rules and points that are well-suited to formal competitions. And those that are useful in a street fight.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is definitely the latter. At Innisfil Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (IBJJ), we coach a functional BJJ style based on three fundamental principles:

  1. You have to be able to overpower opponents who are bigger and stronger
  2. You have to be able to fight no matter how tired you are 
  3. You have to be able to defend yourself even if your opponent is striking

In short, our BJJ classes teach a martial art that’s uniquely tailored to a self-defence setting, giving you the edge in every situation and equipping you with moves that don’t just rely on strength and power.

Using BJJ when faced with a bigger, more powerful opponent

The best BJJ fighters are sneaky. They use every trick in the book to get the jump on bigger opponents, using their brain as much as their body to level the playing field against stronger fighters.

The idea is to keep your opponent guessing so he doesn’t know what to expect next. You can do this a number of ways including initiating false timing, using gravity to unbalance them, and feinting a move before switching it up to something else.

Leverage is also key when fighting someone bigger. We look at how you’re connecting with your opponent, and how you’re manipulating your space. Generally speaking, when you’re on top in a fight, you want to take your opponent’s space away. When you’re on the bottom, you want to create more space for yourself through good frames (creating a shield that allows you to take weight without getting crushed).

Fighting when tired

You might have mastered a move, but can you do it twenty times in a row without getting tired? Feeling fatigued in a fight makes you sloppy, increases the chances of getting hurt, and almost guarantees that you’re not going to win. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Helio Grace set the record for the longest fight in the history of BJJ – it ended when he knocked out his opponent after 3 hours and 43 minutes. At that point, you can’t rely on stamina. Power, strength and speed diminish the longer a fight goes on. They also wane as you age. What you’re left with is technique.

The moves you make in a fight should conserve your energy rather than waste it. For example, we tell our students: don’t move your opponent, move yourself. It takes less energy to move your own body than to try and force an unyielding (and often heavier) body somewhere it doesn’t want to go. 

Defending against strikes

Effective self-defence means learning how to take a hit. If you don’t train for strikes, you’ll be confused and surprised when it happens in the middle of a fight (and it will happen). 

We encourage our students how to strike, and how to be on the receiving end of a strike. Even the kids. Our coaches are extremely experienced and safety-conscious, they know it’s better to deal with hits in the safe and controlled environment of our gym, than to be caught off guard in another setting. 

One of our most fundamental techniques in class is the Guard position. This gets your opponent on the ground where you can use your legs to control their body. It’s a defensive position that allows you to stop them striking – you use their punches to draw them in and then immobilize them.

Integrating the BJJ fundamentals

We build the above fundamentals into every single one of our classes, integrating them in a way that teaches students the ‘why’ of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as the ‘how’. 

This sets our students apart from fighters who are only interested in cruising through their belts or showboating. Our BJJ is functional fitness at its finest – a martial art that teaches you agility, coordination, balance, and situational awareness so you can be ready for all life’s challenges, physical or mental.

Contact Coach PK to find out more, or check out our classes page – we welcome students of all ages and abilities. Get started today, book your free introductory session for an initial consultation and tour of our gym.

Looking for a martial arts studio in Innisfil and the surrounding area? Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu offers professional Brazilian Jiujitsu training with a range of BJJ classes for all ages and abilities. Contact our coaches today to get started! 

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Join the fun at your friendly neighbourhood Brazilian Jiujitsu club!

We offer a FREE initial consultation to meet our coaches and get to know our studio with no obligation. If you are interested in a class or have any questions, please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

Class attendance is by appointment only.


Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu

990 Innisfil Beach Road

Innisfil, ON



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