This History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) – From Rio to California and Beyond

The history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a rather storied one that dates back well into the early part of the 20th century. Actually, the art’s lineage extends further back than that. The parent art of Kodokan Judo and in particular, the ground grappling component of the art. One top practitioner of the art in Japan was a judoka and traditional jiu jitsu master named Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda was expelled from the Kodokan for prizefighting and ended up traveling the world. He ended up in Brazil which had a large Japanese population. Maeda taught several students his form of ground grappling self defense. One such student was a man named Carlos Gracie. Gracie would become a stellar practitioner and would teach his brothers. Most notably, he taught his brother Helio the art.

Despite being small in stature, Helio became an excellent and popular practitioner. While he was known for winning challenge matches against bigger and tougher opponents, he was also known for his commitment towards promoting the health and spiritual benefits of the art. Helio would teach his children the art and all of them achieved great success in their own right. The oldest son, Rorion, had a lifelong dream to export this new form of jiu jitsu to the United States. He did exactly that and did so in a manner that exceeded all expectations.

Rorion Gracie moved to the United States in the late 1970s and started to teach his family’s form of jiu jitsu. Contrary to what some may believe, the path to the top was a slow one. Rorion needed to work scores of odd jobs in order to support himself, including working as an exra for television and film productions, while also teaching his art to those willing to learn. And, quite honestly, many people in the martial arts looked down on grappling. This is why it was tough to sell some on the success of the system.

Minor skirmishes and challenge matches helped establish the effectiveness of the art. Rorion did have a well publicized win over kickboxing champ Ralph Allegra. This helped further the popularity of the art in the US. Rorion would soon bring his brother Royce and Rickson to the US as well as his cousins the Machado Bros to southern California where they all started to teach the art. However, it was their involvement in challenge matches that drew the most attention.

Rorion eventually launched “The Gracie Challenge” which was a $100,000 challenge to martial artists to defeat any Gracie brother. Promoted heavily in the martial arts magazines, these challenge bouts greatly enhanced the popularity of the art. This would lead to the development of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on PPV which was a commercialized arena event that brought the Gracie Challenge to its greatest stage. Royce Gracie was the rep in the bouts and he easily defeated the challenges he faced. This further expanded the popularity of the art as more and more people began to study it.

In time, amateur submission wrestling and BJJ submission competitions were added to give practitioners the ability to ply their skills safely. This further added to the art’s popularity. You could say that the end result of all this is that BJJ is the most popular martial art in the world today. And it does not look like the popularity will ever yield.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Dimitri Santacruz

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