A Quick History of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) was introduced in Brazil by Mitsuo Maeda, a Jiu Jitsu student from Japan who immigrated in 1914. When Mitsuo got to Brazil, he was helped by the Gracie family who were also immigrants from Scotland. Mitsuo taught them the art, and in 1925 the Gracie family opened their own Jiu Jitsu academy. The academy started out with judo techniques that Mitsuo had taught them, and they had no rules.

During fights, they notice weaker opponents could make the stronger ones submit if they used the right techniques and that is how BJJ incorporated submission into their art. This meant the two parties contend and engage in a ground fight until one submits.

To empower the smaller and weaker opponent, BJJ incorporates the use of chokes and locks which force the bigger opponent to concede defeat. Carlos Gracie and his family took judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu, merged the two and transformed them into the now known Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Today BJJ is used as a health And fitness plan and also an act of empowerment. BJJ does not have any restriction regarding gender or age rather; it is an all-inclusive art. The art is intended for the small and weak physically so that they can defend themselves against the bigger and stronger opponents. Children and women are included because of their perceived physical vulnerability to empower them and strengthen their defense.

Research shows that 95% of fights end up on the ground, which is the strength of BJJ. All BJJ trainees are taught on how to get their opponents on the field and keep them there until they concede, the figures are a clear indication of the necessity of the art. BJJ also sharpens one’s mental agility, by quickly calculating your opponent’s moves and thinking of ways to counter-attack. The technique is known as the game of human chess; one has to think and strategize before making a move, sharpening the trainee’s mind. It is also a great workout, and the techniques keep on changing, these unpredictable changes keep trainees on their toes. Just like in any other sport or art Jiu Jitsu have their ust have techniques.’

BJJ has Eddie Bravo’s 10th planet Jiu Jitsu techniques which are used when an attack is unavoidable. These techniques are also applicable to mixed martial arts participants. There are four 10th planet Jiu Jitsu moves including the rubber guard, then the lockdown, followed by the truck and finally the twister. These techniques are quite useful to the grappling community, to make them all-rounded and great grapplers.

While there are many great minds who help evolve BJJ to the next level, in current day that mastermind can be widely regarded as John Danaher. His focus on leg locks and his young death squads of assassins are bringing a variety of leg lock submissions that even high level black belts have a hard time defending against. JOhn is a BJJ black belt holder and an instructor at Renzo academy in New York. Danaher was groomed by Renzo Gracie who was under Carlos Gracie junior going back to the inception of BJJ.

So whether you’re doing BJJ Hong Kong or BJJ in the United States or in Brazil, this beautiful art has become world popular at this point, and you can find multiple BJJ and Gracie gyms almost anywhere, which has revolutionized martial arts like never before.