We’re now just days away from the Rio Olympic Games. With 39 different sports, there’s something for everyone.

One of the lesser known competitions is Judo. The martial art has close ties to another discipline that originated in the host country of Brazil.

 At McVicker Martial Arts in Terre Haute, students are introduced to the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The focuses are grappling and ground fighting. Judo is rooted in Jiu-Jitsu. But the techniques are a bit different.

“In Judo, they actually emphasize a little bit more on the throwing than in Jiu-Jitsu and you can win by a throw in judo. But in Jiu-Jitsu, you’re not allowed to,” Jack McVicker said, owner of McVicker Martial Arts.

Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts. It’s geared around grappling techniques such as choke-holds and arm locks.

“A lot of Judo people do train Jiu-Jitsu and a lot of Jiu-Jitsu people actually cross-train and do some Judo for their sports. They may like one more than the other but they actually go very well together. The rules are just a little bit different. It’d be like playing flag-football and playing tackle. They’re a little bit different but it’s still the game of football,” McVicker added.

In every sport, there must be a winner. In Jiu-Jitsu, you win if your opponent taps or if you have the most points, which are awarded through different moves and styles throughout the match. In Judo, the match could end a bit quicker.

“It’s called ‘osaekomi’. If they hold them down for 25 seconds, the match can be won in judo by a pin. Or by a throw. A full-throw where the majority of the back hits,” McVicker explained.

Jack McVicker’s students get involved with the sport of Jiu-Jitsu for several reasons: to learn self-defense, learn something new, or even to lose weight. Krista Ferando walked into Jack’s shop nine months ago for the first time.  Since then, she’s had quite the transformation.. losing 70 pounds!

“I didn’t want to go to the gym really. I was bored with trying to run and trying to lift weights. I googled ‘McVicker Martial Arts.’ I don’t even know why. I have a friend who’s in Jiu-Jitsu in Florida and I figured I’d give it a shot,” Krista said.

Now, she along with other classmates participate in nationwide competitions. All because of a decision she made nearly a year ago. And it’s safe to say, Jiu-Jitsu certainly levels the playing field among competitors.

“It’s all based on technique. So you can be 100 pounds and go up against somebody who’s 200 pounds and be able to beat them. It’s amazing,” Krista added.