Leandro Issa, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, shares some notes on the ground-fighting technique that is so effective in mixed martial arts.

Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) should ask Leandro Issa's last five opponents. The BJJ world champion, and instructor with Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, has put every single one of them into a choke, or hold, which has forced them to 'submit' and admit defeat. No wonder BJJ has been described as the 'single most effective martial art to use in mixed martial arts (MMA)'.
Whereas combat sports like boxing and Muay Thai are all about landing a strike, BJJ is all about securing a submission. This makes it much easier to practise with a training partner because as soon as the submission is close to being completed, one person will give a pre- agreed signal, such as a tap, and the other person will instantly release their hold.

Although it is known as the gentle martial art, BJJ can be devastatingly effective in an MMA fight as any fighter unfortunate enough to have been submitted by an expert practitioner such as Issa will testify. If you don't know your guillotines from their gogoplatas, or their key locks from their kimuras (hint: they're all different submission moves used in BJJ), the Evolve MMA instructor took time out from his training camp to explain a bit about the sport and why BJJ exponents like himself have been so successful in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).


Why is BJJ associated with MMA?
Issa: MMA started in Brazil. It used to be called Vale Tudo (Anything Goes). Brazilian Jiu Jitsu proved to be the dominant martial art for one-on-one fights. Since 1993, when MMA officially became a real sport with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), BJJ has been one of the foundations of MMA. It is known as the best martial art on the ground.

Is there much risk of injury doing BJJ?
Not really. It is as safe as other high-energy sports like football, basketball or badminton. As with any sport, injuries can happen but they are very rare in BJJ.

Does BJJ help with fitness and weight loss?
BJJ is perfect for fitness and weight loss. It really burns a lot of fat and calories while also getting you super fit and healthy.

Can anyone practise BJJ?
Our youngest student (at Evolve MMA) is 6-years-old and our oldest is 64-years old. It 's a great way to live a healthy lifestyle and it does not matter if you are fit or not.

Can BJJ be useful in a self-defence situation?
Yes, of course. BJJ is very effective in real life for one-on-one situations. 100 per cent of BJJ moves are proven in real life in street fights.

The video below demonstrates some self-defence moves using BJJ, as demonstrated by Rafael 'Gordinho' Lima from Evolve MMA.