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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is primarily a ground- fighting art. Most techniques involve both fighters on the mat. There is a heavy emphasis on positional strategy, which is about which fighter is on top, and where each person's legs are. Positions are stable situations, from which a large variety of techniques are available to both fighters.
The primary positions include:
|Guard||The person applying the guard is on the bottom with his back on the ground; his legs are wrapped around his opponent's hip (who is said to be "in the guard").|
|Side control||Chest-on-chest but without the legs being entangled.|
|Mount||On top of his opponent (who "is mounted"), sitting on his chest, with one leg on either side of his torso.|
|Back Mount||Behind his opponent, with his feet hooked around his opponent's hips and upper thighs.|
Specific techniques taught are designed either to improve one's position (for example, to "pass the guard", by going from being "in the guard" to getting around the opponent's legs, resulting in side control); or else as a finishing submissions. Most submissions are either chokes (cutting off the blood supply to the brain) or arm locks (hyperextending the elbow, or twisting the shoulder).
Belt ranks start at white belt and progress through blue, purple, brown, and then black. It generally takes about 2-3 years of training multiple times per week to be promoted to the next belt rank. All promotions will come through Royce Gracie. Rank is about the ability to apply jiu-jitsu techniques.
Most training has students wearing a heavy ("jiu-jitsu" or "judo") GI/ kimono, on a floor with padded mats. A typical class involves 30 minutes of warm ups and conditioning, 30 minutes of technique practice with a willing partner, and 30 minutes of free sparring training, against an opponent of equal skill who attempts to submit you.
Most of the training is done with all students on the mat. For example, training usually beings with both students facing each other from a kneeling position.