What Is Jiu Jitsu?
Jiu Jitsu began more than 2500 years ago. Created by Buddhist monks. Being fragile nomads they were frequently mistreated by other people because of their religion. They couldn’t use weapons so they developed a way of self-defense based on the study of animal movements. The principal force is leverage which allows a much weaker individual to beat a stronger, heavy opponent. This fighting style quickly traveled across Asia before arriving in Japan where it became a fighting style of the samurai with warriors who had the job of defending their elders with their life if needed.
The samurais dominated in various fighting techniques like knives, spears, bow and arrow and Jiu Jitsu for hand-to-hand combat. Jiu Jitsu highlighted itself with its characteristics of balance and flexibility to win over brute force.
With the opening of the Oriental Ports to the Western World, it was declared by the Japanese Emperor a crime against the homeland to teach Jiu Jistsu in Japan. This was an attempt to preserve Jiu Jitsu culture exclusively for the Japanese people. However, after the first world war, there was a huge migration of Japanese citizens and Brazil was chosen as home by Conde Maeda Koma, the Japanese Champion at the time. Maeda arrived in the 1920’s at Pará where he met Gastão Gracie, a very influential man in Belém and Pará, who helped him adjust to the new city.
Thankful to his friend, Maeda taught Jiu Jitsu to Gastão’s oldest son, Carlos, who very quickly became an expert in the techniques and taught classes. But his brother, Hélio Gracie, is who developed Jiu Jitsu as the sport is known today – the most perfect fighting style in the whole world. Hélio weighing only 63 kgs has beaten competitors over 100 kgs, proving that technique wins over strength. This culture, today known as Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, led us to expand our Jiu Jitsu all over the world, having even Japan as one of the consumers of our art.
The word Jiu Jitsu means ” gentle art ” due to its principle of giving in to win, using the weight and strength of your opponent against himself, and also to create for each technique, leverage that allows you to move an opponent much stronger and heavier. This guiding principle is to make the most efficient use of mental and physical energies.