Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, commonly referred to as BJJ, is a martial art that has been proven to be one of the most effective combat systems in a one on one situation, in the world.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu was formed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting fundamentals that were taught to Carlos Gracie by Mitsuyo Maeda in the early 1900's. Carlos Gracie and the Gracie Family are known as the Founders and Creators of Modern Jiu Jitsu (Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). Brazilian jiu-jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices, and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge on to their extended family.
BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by taking the fight to the ground using proper technique and leverage and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent.
BJJ training is predominantly used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defence. Sparring (or "rolling" as it is commonly referred to) and live drilling plays a major role in training as it is a well-recognised benefit of grappling arts that you can effectively spar and train at very near a hundred percent capability without severely damaging yourself and your opponent.
The competition BJJ scene is a very active and vibrant affair and is generally open to competitors of all levels. With the acceptance of your instructor you can get a match at pretty much all ages, weights and belt levels and it is a great way for a grappler to fulfil a need for physical competition.