Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art that was mastered by the Gracie family in Brazil. BJJ focuses on using multiple dominating positions, submission techniques, wrestling, and judo techniques in order to successfully get an opponent to the ground and immobilize them, thus rendering the opponent defenseless. This type of control gives a much smaller or weaker person the ability to control a much larger and/or stronger person. By utilizing superior leverage, grip, and positioning, students quickly learn the workings of the human body and how to control it.
The activity, skills, and knowledge learned from training BJJ quickly increases your level of physical fitness and mental awareness. Although BJJ is commonly learned of by popular mixed martial arts (MMA) events, BJJ can be trained at all classes to learn an interesting art, to get a physical and mental work out, for self-defense purposes, for sport grappling competitions, or MMA.
Jiu Jitsu, which translates to "gentle art," is the oldest form of martial art. Originating in India more than 2,000 years before Christ, Jiu Jitsu was created by monks who could not use any type of weapons to defend their lives against barbarian attacks. It became the first martial art style after spreading through China and eventually taking root and becoming elaborated upon in Japan The samurai clans in Japan adopted Jiu Jitsu as their own traditional style to defeat an opponent regardless of the situation, whether it was striking, throwing, or grappling. With the passing years, they split the techniques and developed other martial arts styles, such as Judo, Akido, Karate, etc.
In 1914, Japanese Jiu Jitsu champion Esai Maeda migrated to Brazil where he played an instrumental role in establishing a Japanese immigrant community. His efforts were aided by Gastão Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician of Scottish descent. As an expression of his gratitude for Gracie's assistance, Maeda taught the Brazilian's oldest son Carlos the essential secrets of the ancient martial arts technique. Carlos then taught Maeda's techniques to his four brothers, and they opened the first Jiu Jitsu academy in Brazil in 1925.
For the Gracie brothers, teaching this gentle art was more than an occupation -- it was their passion. Carlos and his brothers changed the techniques in such a way that it completely altered the Jiu Jitsu principles. Adopting the basic rules of Jiu Jitsu while introducing the application of leverage to the art to make it possible for a smaller opponent to defeat a larger one, modifying and enhancing these basic techniques to make them effective for a person regardless of his or her stature thus began the development of a new and more effective martial art: Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Carlos and his brothers' style and techniques of Jiu Jitsu are now internationally recognized and practiced all over the world as the martial art of "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu."
Carlos Gracie Jr.