Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was birthed from Brazilian culture; but what can be said about that culture? Here are some of our favourite idioms in Brazilian Portuguese that can begin to show you a picture of this colourful background:

On the importance of keeping mum:
“Why did the crocodile/alligator not get into heaven: because he has a big mouth!””Por que o crocodilo/jacare nao foi para o ceu? Porque ele tem uma boca muito grande.”

On being communal and inclusive:
The person in a group who doesn’t fit in as well or is a drag is called a “heavy bag”, a “mala”. If they’re really a drag, they’re a “heavy bag without a handle”, ”mala sem alsa”. The worst of all though is a suitcase without a handle, and without wheels “mal sem alsa e sem rodinha”

On taking care of business:
“Cada macaco no seu galho” means “Each monkey in your branch”. Everyone should care for their own job and stay out of other’s jobs.

On grudges and regret:
“Past waters don’t power mills” or “Águas passadas não movem moinhos” is a Brazilian idiom referring to the many water powered mills of old. It mean it is better to forget past situation which hurts you as ‘past water’ will give you no power.

Brazilian history remember:
“Vou lavar à égua” translates as “I’m going to wash the female horse”. This expressions means “to do well,” “to be successful,” or to “enjoy yourself.” It originated in the area of Minas Gerais during the gold boom. Horses and donkeys were used to haul the gold out of the mines and the gold dust would fall over the animals. Miners would then ‘wash the horse’ to get all of the gold dust off of them after they left the mine to have even more gold.

On talk verses actions:
“Cão que ladra não morde” “The dog that barks doesn’t bite” This refers to the idea that a person makes a lot of verbal threats is usually harmless, just like a dogs that barks a lot but won’t bite. It can also apply to a person who makes a lot of grand claims about themselves but in reality does very little.