Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was forged through decades of Vale Tudo competition. These brutal ‘no holds barred’ contests often had no rules or time limit and were immensely popular in 20th century Brazil.

After generations of facing representatives from other styles and proving the art’s effectiveness, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community began to turn its attention inwards. The creation of the modern BJJ competition format provided a safe environment for Jiu Jitsu practitioners to compete with each other without the need to risk it all in ‘no holds barred’ matches.
Since the early 2000's the sport aspect of the art has grown in importance within the community becoming the main and sometimes the only focus of many Jiu Jitsu schools.
While it can not be denied that the modern sport in its various forms has been the catalyst for a huge and on going evolution of both technique and tactics within Jiu Jitsu, we must not forget that this is an environment of our own creation.
What if there are no rules?
What if the opponent can punch or headbutt you?
What about knees, stomps or soccer kicks while on the ground?
How do you close the distance, clinch and takedown an aggressive and competent striker?

These techniques and tactics are the fundamental skills of Jiu Jitsu as a fighting art and remain an integral part of Rickson Gracie’s approach to Jiu Jitsu.

An underlying principle of Gracie Jiu Jitsu is that all techniques should be effective not only for all practitioners but also regardless of rule set and with minimal adaptation. The need to be functional in any context encourages the practitioner to focus on the efficient application of the basics.

Rickson Gracie has dedicated his life to improving the efficiency of those basics. While teaching he demonstrates a deep understanding of the principles and concepts behind the techniques, such as base, leverage, weight distribution and connection. The precise application of these principles can often be so slight that it needs to be felt to be appreciated. This fits perfectly with his holistic approach to the art. Rickson emphasises the importance of remaining relaxed and calm under pressure. In this way, the practitioner can be sensitive to the movements of the opponent, to flow with them rather than resist. The goal is not to do Jiu Jitsu but to feel Jiu Jitsu.

At BJJ Leiden we are dedicated to building a solid foundation for each practitioner based around the fundamental techniques and concepts as taught by Rickson Gracie, upon which the student is free to build a personal game that benefits from and utilizes the techniques and tactics of the arts most modern developments.