Nick Bova is well known in the martial arts world for his mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), in which he holds a black belt. As a former middleweight competitor, he was a finalist in the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, an annual tournament known as the largest BJJ event in the world.
What Is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that was first developed in Japan. The words mean “soft technique,” referring to specific strategies for self-defense against a stronger or better-armed opponent. The techniques involve grappling, throws, joint locks, and choke holds. Practitioners wear white gis and use a colored belt system similar to that of karate and other martial arts. Students learn katas, or forms, to practice specific techniques.
What Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
BJJ originated in the early 1900s when Japanese Jiu-Jitsu master Esai Maeda immigrated to Brazil and began teaching the oldest son of his friend Gastao Gracie. Carlos Gracie became the first practitioner of the Japanese martial art in Brazil, and he passed the teaching on to his younger brothers. Over time, the family modified the techniques they learned and focused on defense against a larger opponent. Their techniques emphasize leverage and positioning, especially in ground-fighting. BJJ is now a competitive sport that is popular around the world, especially in the U.S. and Australia, where Nick Bova Jiu-Jitsu competitor is from.
What Are Ground-Fighting Techniques?
Since standing techniques often require direct opposition to a much larger or taller opponent, BJJ relies more heavily on ground-fighting, where size differences are less important. The ground-fighting techniques include joint locks and choke holds, and students learn different strategies for evading or dominating an opponent on the ground.
What Are The Major Events In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Besides the World Professional Cup in the UAE, there are other tournaments held all over the world. The Pan American Championship, held in the U.S. since 1995, is the largest BJJ tournament in North America. The European Championship, held in Lisbon, Portugal since 2004, is considered the most prestigious tournament held in Europe. Perhaps the most famous tournament is the World Championship or Mundials. Originally held in Rio de Janeiro in 1996, the tournament has also taken place in California.