What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)? It's a grappling martial art that, at first glance, resembles a mix of judo and wrestling. Jiu Jitsu started in Japan, but became popular in Brazil after a Japanese immigrant in the early 20th century named Mitsuyo Maeda taught it to several local men including Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie who, in turn, taught it to their sons. BJJ became popular in the United States in the early 1990's after Helio Gracie's son, Royce Gracie, used jiu jitsu to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Since Royce Gracie's dominance in the early UFC's, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become an essential skill in Mixed Martial Arts.
BJJ is the most effective martial art for self defense. The reason is that it focuses on real life positions and situations and employs techniques that work against a resisting opponent or an attacker. One of the basic tenets of jiu jitsu is that once the techniques are learned, they can be used to defeat a larger and stronger opponent. This is because BJJ is based on technique and leverage as opposed to weight and strength. For the same reasons, jiu jitsu is also the best self defense martial art for women.