History of Gracie (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu

The history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dates back to the battlefields of feudal Japan. Jiu-Jitsu, translated as ‘the gentle art,’ is the oldest of the martial arts. The terms softness, yielding, pliability, and subtlety are often times used when describing Jiu-Jitsu. Its origins date back to the ancient samurai. They used the techniques on the battlefield when they had no other weapons. Striking was not effective against the samurai armor. However, with techniques such as joint locks, they were able to demobilize their enemies.

After several hundred years, the style was simplified to include only the effective techniques that could be safely practiced in realistic situations. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo champion Mitsuo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Combat in English) traveled to Brazil in 1914 to help establish a Japanese immigration colony. Maeda was one of the top groundwork experts that were sent overseas to spread Judo’s founder Kano Jigoro’s art to the world.

The Gracie family helped Maeda get established in Brazil and, as a show of gratitude, he taught his ancient self-defense techniques to Carlos Gracie. Carlos then taught Maeda’s techniques to his brothers Oswaldo, Gastao, Jorge and Helio. In 1925 they opened their first Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After several decades the Gracie family was able to hone these techniques by perfecting the leverages and eliminating ineffective moves . Helio Gracie, the weakest and lightest of the brothers, specifically adapted Jiu-Jitsu to work against significantly heavier and stronger opponents. Later, the Gracie family tested their variation of Jiu-Jitsu by competing in the ring against the most popular martial art styles out there.

Come be a part of the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and join us for a free week of classes and learn first hand why Jiu-Jitsu is the world’s most effective martial art. Call 801-561-2535.

Helio and Carlos - History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu