History of Jiu-Jitsu
Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that was the predecessor of judo and involves grappling and ground fighting strikes and weaponry. Jiu Jitsu, the martial art had previous original presence and can be traced back more than 2,000 years. According to the concepts of Jiu-Jitsu, a smaller or weaker person can defend himself against a larger or stronger enemy with leverage and proper applications of joint locks and choke holds.
The martial art is estimated to have emerged in India long before the time of Jesus Christ. Ancient Indian monks formulated these exercises to defend themselves from regular barbarian attacks. As some of these monks migrated to China, they carried these techniques with them. The martial art evolved within China before spreading to Japan.
Maeda taught the martial art to his friend Gastao Gracie’s eldest son Carlos Gracie, who in turn taught the techniques to his four brothers. In 1925, the Gracie brothers opened the first ever academy teaching JIU JITSU in Brazil….NOT BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU… JUST JIU JITSU.
For the Gracie brothers, Jiu-Jitsu was more of a passion than an occupation. Among the brothers, Helio Gracie was instrumental in bringing revolutionary changes in the martial art. By emphasizing on leverage, he made Jiu-jitsu adaptable to short people and formulated techniques that would give the shorter ones an advantage. He went on to become one of the world’s best fighters, including the accomplishment of being a part the longest fight – 3 hours and 45 minutes non-stop – against Japan’s greatest fighter, Masahiko Kimura, in a historic battle.
Helio Gracie also set up the first Jiu-Jitsu federation in 1967, with the system of colored belts prevalent today. It was around this time that a split happened in the Gracie family between Helio and Carlos. The brothers chose their own methods of practicing the martial art even though there was not too much change in the core techniques. In 1993, Carlos Jr. founded the Confederacao Brasiliera, which is today is among the most active martial arts organsations in the world. This federation was instrumental in establishing the IBJJF Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships…from which many many others have followed. Because of the rise in popularity of the Sport/Competition format and of course the U.F.C many practitioners started the move away from the original concept of Self Defence.
The Gracie Academy in Torrance California, still follow Grand Master Helio Gracie principals and methodology of primarily a Self Defence art.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu was carried far and wide across the family tree, passing from one generation to another. With Brazilian instructors spreading the martial art across the world, Jiu-Jitsu is now used for many purposes including military, sports, competition, and self defence.It came into prominence internationally during the early 1990s, when Royce Gracie won the fourth Ultimate Fighting Championship. In the match he fought against champions who were experts in other martial arts disciplines including Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai. Since then it became known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as it was introduced to the world from Brazil.( But originated in Japan). It has played an increasingly important role in Mixed Martial Arts training and competitions, which now frequently require skill and prowess in ground fighting to win.