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What Makes Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Different?

Posted: July 15, 2020

Although Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu originate from the same source, featuring the same submissions, sweeps, controls, and escapes, there is a difference between the two disciplines. The most notable being the difference in philosophies and teaching style.  

Read on for a brief history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the philosophy we follow here at Ellis Academy of Self Defence, and what the key difference is between Gracie and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


The Key Difference Between GJJ and BJJ

Your journey into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu should start with a clear understanding of the key difference between GJJ and BJJ.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is first and foremost, a system of self-defence. As a new student, your first goal is to be able to protect yourself, and ‘win’, in a real-life street fight situation. BJJ is taught almost exclusively as a recreational sport where students are matched against each other in terms of skill. Gracie is quite different in that the first objective is to be able to protect yourself in real life.

If you imagine a real-life confrontation, a potential attacker would often be bigger and stronger than you are, giving them an advantage. However, it’s highly unlikely they would possess any form of martial art skills. A well-trained Gracie student would have the advantage of skill and a clear framework of not only how to defend themselves, but to prevail. 


Why We Practice Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the style of martial arts practised by Ellis Academy of Self Defence students. We practice GJJ as we believe the philosophy, centred around self-defence is one of the best ways to build confidence and keep fit at the same time.

We are primarily a self-defence school, but we focus on the personal development aspect of martial arts and believe what you learn here at the academy can be applied to all aspects of life.

Also, let's be honest, in a world where bullying unfortunately happens and you can be the victim of an unprovoked attack, it is no bad thing to be prepared for these circumstances. Even if you never have to put your skills into practice, knowing you could is key to confidence.

We also find that GJJ is a suitable martial art for students of any age – we run classes for children, teens, and adults alike. this includes people from a variety of backgrounds, no matter their fitness level when they start with the art.

We pride ourselves on running inclusive programmes of incremental learning and skill development that students of any age and fitness level can embark on.


A Brief History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was first developed and modified in the 1920s by Brazilian brothers Carlos, Oswaldo, Gastao jr, George and Helio Gracie after Carlos Gracie took an interest in the practice and sought to be taught Judo by Mitsuyo Maeda in 1917. The brothers went on to develop their self-defence system which is what we know today as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

The Gracie Family are prominent in the world of martial arts and have shown success in combat sport competitions for over 80 years. in addition to a long history, the family are also known as the co-creators of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the largest MMA promotion company in the world.

GRACIEMAG wrote a great piece on the history of jiu-jitsu in if you’re interested in learning more in general about the practice and how GJJ came about.


Jiu-Jitsu Classes Near Me

Looking for a Jiu-Jitsu class near you? Our Redhill academy, founded in 2001, has provided hundreds of individuals with a road map to success based on self-defence, confidence, and goal-setting skills.

Our instructors are all certified black belts, qualified, and professionally trained to teach martial arts, including Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Sign up to try a class for free or give us a call on 01737761999 if you have any questions.

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