Society Spotlight: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Quickly gaining traction as one of the most effective styles of fighting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stands apart from its counterparts due to its emphasis on technique that allows participants of all shapes and sizes to compete as equals. Society editor Mary Lumley sat down with Sean Maguinness, president of the BJJ society, to ask how he shares his passion for the sport and how students can get involved.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Sean, I’m a third year English student and I see myself as a particularly charming individual

Sean, this isnt a Tinder bio. What is BJJ?

It’s a grappling sport which was first used to win no rules (essentially anything goes) fighting contests. From then on, it transformed into a legitimate sport that revolves around taking down, controlling and submitting your opponent

How did you get into the sport?

When I was 16 I was playing on my estate and this guy started threatening to beat me up. I removed myself from the situation but that’s when I decided I should learn how to defend myself. We’re alright now

What’s the best thing about BJJ?

I love watching the transformation in people. Many people come in who were like I was when I first started: they have low confidence and are out of shape. The change you see in them mentally; the confidence that people get is amazing. It absolutely just transforms people.

What’s your favourite aspect of the society?

How friendly everyone is but also the balance between an inclusive atmosphere and a general desire to succeed.

What is your philosophy on discipline?

Liam, our coach, shared a great philosophy. There were students saying they found it hard to keep up certain things because they became less motivated. In response, he recommended that motivation is not an effective way to monitor habits; discipline is better because it’s based on consistency and not fluctuation.

The martial arts world is very male dominated. What would you say to a female thinking of getting involved?

Male domination is the wrong word, even though there’s a higher percentage of men, there isn’t a better martial art suited to women. This is because, in Jiu Jitsu, it’s specifically designed in favour of a smaller opponent with a physical disadvantage. For example, some of the Gracie’s (pioneers of the sport) have set up women’s self defence programmes. They’ve devised a lot of ways that women can effectively combat numerous dangerous situations they may find themselves in



Mary Lumley