Even though it has been around for many years, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was made famous in the United States by Royce Gracie in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Many people weren't all that familiar with the style until Gracie entered the UFC and continued to dominate fighters of all styles and weight classes one after the other. Once people began to see how quickly Gracie could defeat an opponent, they quickly became interested in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
As many now know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an art that is utilized with ground grappling, with very little stand up skills involved. A majority of the techniques used with the martial art are executed on the ground. The techniques involve very little strength from the stylist, as most of them are all about the technique behind the move. With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylists that weight 100 lbs or less can quickly put a submission lock on someone who is 2 - 3 times their weight and size.
Even though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is great for tournament fighting, isn't so great against multiple attackers. With one on one fights it is very dominant, although if you are against multiple attackers it will be very hard to pull off one of the choke holds or arm locks. You simply won't have the time to do it, as the other attackers will be trying to take your head off.
From the ground, utilizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the stylist will have many options that he can utilize. He can pull off choke holds, arm locks, leg locks, and dozens of other techniques that can take someone out of the picture in a matter of seconds. When the stylist is on his back with the opponent on top of him he has the guard, which is where he wraps his legs around the attacker. From the guard position, the stylist can execute dozens of techniques - even though it may appear that he doesn't stand a chance.
The mount, side control, and back mount are primary positions, along with the guard. The mount position is where the stylist is mounted on top of the attacker on the ground - a position where he can punch or execute a submission hold. With side control, the stylist is laying on the opponent's chest, a position where he can easily execute an arm lock. Back mount is among the most dangerous positions - where the stylist is on the opponents back and really do some damage if the opponent has no Jiu-Jitsu experience.
With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the ranks start out at white belt, then move on to blue, purple, brown, and the highest color - black belt. To move through the ranks it takes a lot of practice and dedication, usually around 2 - 3 years per belt. Once a student reaches the black belt, he is capable of teaching other students what he knows. It takes a long time to reach this point, more than 10 years - although it is well worth it.