3 Famous Brazilian Martial Arts Types

Do you know how many martial arts Brazil has? Brazilian martial arts is a very interesting topic  because there are several well know martial arts that originates from the Brazilian part of the world. Besides the usual suspect there are also a few Brazilian martial arts types that has flown under the radar. When combined all of the Brazilian martial arts is unique and should be learned if you desires to. Here are 3 of the most famous Brazilian fighting style:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Martial Arts

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a branch of martial arts that was derived from the Japanese martial arts known as Judo. It was first developed by the great Helio Gracie. Judo as a martial art emphasizes the ability to slam people on the ground effortlessly, where as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on how to fight on the ground. BJJ is a Brazilian martial arts that is based on making the opponent submits by all means necessary. BJJ has played a great part in the development of another martial arts such as MMA, the Brazilian martial arts family known as the Gracies has been able to show the world the effectiveness of BJJ on the very first few UFC events.

Should you learn BJJ?

Yes. BJJ is one of the most widespread martial art today. It will be hard NOT to find a BJJ gym in most cities in the world. BJJ is also known to be the martial arts for everybody, because it has a low entry requirement, you do not have to be an athlete to learn BJJ. Many people that are not athletic can learn BJJ and be athletic afterwards. There is no reason to not do BJJ.

Luta Livre and Vale Tudo Brazilian Martial Arts

Luta livre is a bit similar to BJJ because it is mostly consisted of grappling self defense techniques, however BJJ is known to use a gi when training where Luta Livre does not. This difference is rooted deeper than just a matter of training uniforms. Luta livre and BJJ has been involved in many confrontations and brawls because BJJ is considered to be a martial art for the wealthy (Due to the use of gi) where luta livre is the opposite. Despite their conflict both martial arts bloomed and we can find both very easily in Brazil. Watch this video to learn more about the conflict between the two.

Considered by many as Brazilian karate. Vale tudo is basically Mixed Martial Arts but the origins of the former was from televised fighting events in Brazil back in 1960s. As the name implies Vale Tudo is a combination of all martial arts where you can strike, grapple, etc. Basically MMA as we know it today.

Should you learn Luta Livre or Vale Tudo?

Depends on your condition. Luta Livre, Vale Tudo, and MMA all has a high entry requirement, you have to be fit and athletic because to excel in the art you have to be able to spar. If you are an unathletic person with no background in martial arts then you should look into joining “less” demanding martial arts such as Boxing or BJJ THEN join MMA when you have developed certain level of fitness, martial arts techniques, and mental toughness.

Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts

If you have played Tekken then you’ll probably know what Capoeira is. Capoeira is a martial art that is influenced heavily by dance and music. There are different kinds of capoeira but most of them are just a bit different compared to the other. Maculele is also similar to Capoeira because it is a martial art that involves dancing & music, the only difference is Maculele incorporates weapons in their martial arts techniques

Should you learn Capoeira?

In this day and age simplicity and effectiveness seems to be the normal, and that is why in my opinion you should not learn Capoeira. Because for starters, it does not have any element of grappling in their martial arts techniques. Which means you will not know how to defend yourself in close combat. And be honest do you want to dance when in a street fight? I don’t think so, instead you should learn BJJ or MMA.


The choice of what martial arts you should learn is up to you. These 3 Brazilian martial arts showed you the varieties that each individual martial arts could benefit you. BJJ is more focused on ground fighting where as MMA is all around fighting, if you prefer to approach martial arts as “art” then capoeira might be your thing. What should you choose?

The best Brazilian martial arts system is the one that you value the most. Each person has their own needs and each martial arts could give them what they desires, but only if the person knows what they are looking for in the first place. Hopefully this article could give you more insight about the Brazilian martial arts system