Learn more about BJJ

Towards the end of the 19th century Professor Jigoro Kano established a new style of Jiu-jitsu called Judo (the gentle way/path). It differed from other Jiu-jitsu schools in the way it could be practiced. Real techniques applied in a sparring (randoori) situation without the, otherwise regular spate of injuries. The home of Judo was the Kodokan.

A student of the Kodokan from 1895, under Tsunejiro Tomita, was Mitsuyo Maeda (later also known as ‘Conde Koma). By 1904 Maeda had started to travel extensively to the US, Central Americas, South America and Europe. Like other Kodokan graduates they were spreading Judo through use of public demonstrations, teaching and prize fight challenge matches. In doing so for many years Maeda will have learnt to apply his Judo against many combative styles such as wrestling, boxing, savate etc.

By 1917 Maeda settled in Belem do para, Brazil. He met a man named Gastão Gracie, a scholar and politician, who had 5 sons; Carlos, Osvaldo, Gastão, Jorge and Helio.  Carlos became a student of Maeda. Even as Maeda continued his travels, Carlos taught his brothers jiu-jitsu and opened up his own jiu-jitsu academy. Then it was the turn of the Gracie family, from one generation to the next, to popularise their style of Jiu-jitsu with demonstrations and challenge fights not just in Brazil but world-wide major tounaments such as UFC and PRIDE

Now Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is recognised as a fighting style that’s more ground based, and has evolved into something quite different to that seen in newaza schools in Japan. As a martial art and modern day sport, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has now been exported back to Japan. 

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