“Jiujitsu is for everyone,” is a well-known phrase within the Jiujitsu community, but a new chronicle of this martial art’s adaptive side shows that it’s far from just a slogan. The popularity of jiujitsu as a whole has increased over the past few years, and along with that, more and more people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities have joined the community as athletes and competitors. Para Jiu-Jitsu Magazine has arrived to record the wave of interest in the sport. A brainchild of graphic designer, Brazilian Jiujitsu purple belt and T5 complete paraplegic Maximiliano “Max” Ulloa, Para Jiu-Jitsu Magazine is just his latest attempt to inspire the newly injured to get involved in the sport while supporting the burgeoning para-jiujitsu scene and the athletes who are already a part of it.
Ulloa says that Jiujitsu changed his life, both in recovering from an injury before his SCI and adapting to life afterward. “It helped me learn how to use what I had left and how to use my energy more effectively in my daily life, and I want to pass on the benefits of the art to as many people with limitations as I can,” he says.
Jiujitsu has caught on among wheelchair users in particular because as a ground-fighting style, your legs don’t necessarily have to factor into the action. “With the knowledge of jiujitsu and using leverage, I am able to control an attacker and even submit them with only a third of my body function,” says Ulloa.
The mechanics of jiujitsu offer a relatively low chance of injury, while also making it one of the few sports where a separate para version of competition isn’t always necessary for level play. Training with and competing against nondisabled athletes is routine for all para jiujitsu players. However, increased participation from fighters with limitations has given rise to para-only tournaments and divisions where athletes are divided by disability type and belt level.
For the first year of its production, he’s offering Para Jiu-jitsu Magazine as a free digital download to anyone who wants to check it out. You only need to enter your email address and create an account for access.