Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Short History

     Mitsuyo Maeda was one of five experts that judo's founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread his art to the world. When he arrived in Brazil in 1914 every newspaper announced his art as being "Jiu-Jitsu". In 1917 Carlos Gracie watched a demonstration by Maeda and decided to learn judo in his academy. After studying with Maeda for several years during the 1920's Carlos opened his own academy in 1925 and eventually passed his knowledge on to his brothers. They developed “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” as a softer, pragmatic adaptation from judo that focused on ground fighting, since he was unable to perform many judo moves that required direct opposition to an opponent's strength.
     Gracies brothers established a solid reputation by issuing the now famous Gracie Challenge. All challengers were welcome to come and fight with the Gracies in no-holds-barred matches. The Gracie fighters emerged victorious against fighters of all different backgrounds. When the Gracies went to the US and spread Jiu-Jitsu, they used the terms "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" and "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" to differentiate from the already present styles using similar-sounding names. In 1978, Rorion Gracie co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in martial arts circles when Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth UFC. There are two major entities, the IBJJF and SJJIF.