Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport that uses leverage and development of proper technique to effectively dominate the opponent.
A mix of grappling and ground fighting, one can use Jiu Jitsu as a tool to gain strength and flexibility, as well as the confidence to take down and put the opponent, though larger, into submission on the ground. Not only a great sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great way to gain the proper training for self-defense, weight loss, and strength by resistance.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has its origins in Japan; due to its ancient origins, it is hard to pinpoint the specific origin of this martial art. Ancient stories tell that its birth was due to the necessity of unarmed samurais (soldiers of the time) trying to find a weapon-less way of defense. Many forms of classical fighting styles developed from this idea, most of them having the denotation Jiu Jitsu, which is broken down in two, jū in Japanese means ‘gentleness,’ and jutsu (jitsu) means ‘art,’ ‘technique.’ Therefore the literal translation by which it’s also known, the ‘gentle art.’
Mitsuyo Maeda was considered a martial art prodigy; he started training in Jigoro Kano’s academy, the creator of Kodokan Judo. By this time, Kano had implemented in his academy the classical Jiu Jitsu style of Fusen Ryu, a style founded on the principle of ground fighting. Maeda became an expert in these two styles of fighting, and in other classical forms of Jiu jitsu, which he trained before coming to Kano’s academy. Due to his training, Maeda became known as the greatest Judo fighter in history. Maeda was never defeated in any match in his career, and traveled all over the world showing and teaching his fighting style. Due to Maeda’s Classical Jiu Jitsu and Jugo training, plus his experiences with other styles, his style became a street effective method of fighting.
Maeda retired in Brazil, and opened his own academy, where one of his students was Carlos Gracie. After a couple of years training with Maeda, Gracie opened his own academy where he and his brothers gained a reputation by fighting and winning against adversaries that did other styles of fighting. They further developed Maeda’s teaching and developed new techniques. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu known today is a result of the evolution of fighting styles developed by Kano, Maeda, and finally the Gracie family.