Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or (BJJ) is a martial art of Japanese origin that uses levers, torsions and pressure in order to take an opponent to the ground and dominate them. The, jiū in Japanese means ‘gentleness,’ and jitsu means ‘art,’ ‘technique.’ Hence the literal translation by which it’s also known, the ‘gentle art.’
The origin, as with almost all ancient martial arts, cannot be pinpointed precisely. What is known is that its environment of development and refinement were the schools of the samurai, the warriors of feudal Japan.
Its creation derives from the fact that, in the battlefield or during any confrontation, a samurai could wind up without his swords of spears, at which point he would be weapon-less. As the samurai wore armor, the takedowns and torsions began gaining ground due to their efficiency.
Enter Mitsuyo Maeda, a.k.a. Count Koma, The martial art gained new dimensions when a celebrated instructor from the Kodokan Japanese school decided to travel the world and prove the efficiency of his choke and armlocks against opponents of all sizes and styles. Maeda traveled to the U.S. in 1904.
The Japanese techniques had many noteworthy admirers on American soil. In 1914, the valiant 5-foot-5, 68kg fighter landed in Brazil to settle down and change the sport’s history.
In 1917 a teenager named Carlos Gracie (1902–1994) saw for the first time, in Belém, a display by the Japanese man who was capable of dominating and submitting the area’s giants. Carlos and Helio Gracie spread Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, developing a powerful network of academies and even promoting the gentle art through vale-tudo challenges.
Fast forward to present day. Royce Gracie, Born December 12, 1966) a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, a UFC Hall of Famer, and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is considered by UFC fans to be the most influential figure in the history of modern MMA.
Gracie gained fame for his success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Dominating his opponents with incredible takedowns, arm bars, and chokes. Gracie popularized Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and revolutionized mixed martial arts with his results contributing to the movement towards grappling and cross-training in the sport.
Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is practiced by thousands of people worldwide. For Self Defense, sport, and to stay in shape. There are many local tournaments as well as World Championships. Are you ready to start your journey?
We invite you to join us at Deland Florida’s Premier Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy Gator Family BJJ for a FREE TRIAL. Call today to reserve your spot. 386-801-0877 or Click Here. We are located at 1760 S. Woodland Blvd. Deland, Fl.
About the author;
Wallace “Gator” Bailey is the Owner/Instructor at Gator Family Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Deland, Fl. A proud member of the Robson Moura Jiu-jitsu Association.