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Sergio Penha’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy

HISTORY OF BRAZILIAN JUI-JITSU

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. The art was derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan judo in the early 20th century.

It teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique-most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self defense. Sparring (commonly referred to as ‘rolling’) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition, in relation to progress and ascension through the grades/belts.

ORIGIN

The art began with Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Coma in English), a member of the then-recently-founded Kodokan. Maeda was one of five of Judo’s top groundwork experts that Judo’s founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread his art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving “jiu-do” demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914.

Jiu-jitsu is known as more than just a system of fighting. Since its inception in 1882, its parent art of judo was separated from older systems of Japanese jujutsu by an important difference that was passed on to BJJ: it is not solely a martial art: it is also a sport; a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people; and, ultimately, a way (Do) of life.

Maeda had trained first in sumo as a teenager, and after the interest generated by stories about the success of judo at contests between judo and jujutsu that were occurring at the time, he changed from sumo to judo, becoming a student of Kano’s Kodokan judo. He was promoted to 7th dan in Kodokan judo the day before he died in 1941.

Gastao Gracie was a business partner of the American Circus in Belem. In 1916, Italian Argentine circus Queirolo Brothers staged shows there and presented Maeda. In 1917, Carlos Gracie, the eldest son of Gastao Gracie, watched a demonstration by Maeda at the Da Paz Theatre and decided to learn judo. Maeda accepted Carlos as a student and Carlos learned for a few years, eventually passing his knowledge on to his brothers.

At age fourteen, Helio Gracie, the youngest of the brothers, moved in with his older brothers who lived and taught Jiu-Jitsu in a house in Botafogo, a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. Following a doctor’s recommendations, Helio would spend the next few years being limited to watching his brothers teach as he was naturally frail.

One day, when Helio Gracie was 16 years old, a student showed up for class when Carlos was not around. Helio, who had memorized all the techniques from watching his brothers teach, offered to start the class. When the class was over, Carlos showed up and apologized for his delay. The student asked that Helio continue being his instructor. Over time, Helio Gracie gradually developed Gracie Jiu Jitsu as an adaptation from Judo, as he was unable to perform many Judo moves.

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Sergio Penha’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy

3904 Schiff Dr.,
Las Vegas, NV 89103
General: (702) 217-0870

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