Role of Portuguese Language in Preserving the Authenticity and Integrity of BJJ


Portuguese is the official language of nine countries among which Portugal and Brazil are the most famous ones. It ranks as the fifth most spoken language in the world. It is one of the romance languages due to which you will find many Portuguese literary books. According to UNESCO, Portuguese is the “international communication language”.

Though Portuguese is a very famous language, you will hear it mostly in Brazil. Portuguese has a direct relation with the Brazilian martial art, BJJ. Also, you will find 187 million out of 270 million Portuguese speakers in Brazil only. The reason is because this language is very religiously connected with Brazilian sport. In this short read, we will explain the role of Portuguese in the prevention of the real values of the sacred and gentle art.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, short for BJJ, is a submission grappling combat sport. It includes ground grappling and submission techniques that provide leverage to gain control over your opponent. This form of martial art is all about angles, pressure and timing. Though the art has been very revolutionized, practitioners like to play it in an old school way. The way that was designed by the forefathers of the sport, the Gracies.

The BJJ ranking system consists of belts such as white, blue, purple, brown and black. White is the lowest one while black is the highest one. A BJJ black belt is a person who has mastered the art and is completely aware of all the techniques and their variations. Black belts can apply any techniques as they are famous as the master of the art.

Preserving the Historical Narrative of BJJ

Despite revolutions in the art and the inculcation of BJJ in international championships such as ONE, Bellator, ONEFC, UFC and many more, practitioners like to engage in it the traditional way. And one of the things that needs preservation when it comes to BJJ is its language, which is Portuguese.

BJJ has Japanese roots. It descended from Japan to Brazil when Conde Kama, the inventor of BJJ, reached Brazil. Many concepts and the names of techniques are in Portuguese which represent the influence of Portuguese on the martial art. One can say that Portuguese is an identity of BJJ. This is why you will find the use of professional Portuguese translation services. People from different linguistic backgrounds seek Portuguese translation to learn the language in order to understand BJJ terminologies.

It is Portuguese that keeps technical precision in the martial art. It inculcates the need of Portuguese translation services that translate the Portuguese terms of the foreign audience and makes it understandable for the whole world. It is the fame of BJJ that it has reached big championships such as UFC where BJJ practitioners take part.

Role of Portuguese in Preserving the Integrity and Status of BJJ

In other words, Portuguese is the language of BJJ. The way this language describes the terms and concepts of BJJ, no other language can. Portuguese helps instructors in maintaining consistency in the transmission of knowledge.

These days, BJJ is gaining familiarity in the western civilization, especially in English speaking countries. This introduces the need for English translation services as people are not aware of the native Portuguese language.

It is Portuguese that has still linked BJJ to its original sources for example, there are many techniques that are still with the Portuguese name. For example, omoplata and the berimbolo choke. When practitioners from around the world enter the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, they require professional English translation services as English is the international medium of communication.

Gracie and American Jiu-Jitsu

There are basically two types of BJJ that are known today, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The main difference between the two is that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu contains the old principle of Gracies while the American Jiu-Jitsu is an international form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu mainly relies on the use of the Portuguese language while American Jiu-Jitsu uses English language as their medium.

Keeping the Portuguese language makes the original concepts of BJJ intact. 

Final Words

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very loved sport in Brazil. It is played by a majority of people and is Brazil’s national sport. Portuguese language plays a vital role in the preservation  of BJJ because of the presence of new schools of thought. As we know Portuguese has a direct link with the gentle art, BJJ, it is one of the reasons that today BJJ is still a traditional art.