Brazilian JIU-JITSU is a martial art and combat sport that instructs a smaller person how to defend himself against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique.”

The Gracie family, founders of Brazilian JIU-JITSU, mixed techniques of Judo and traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to create the art of softness, as it is also known. It contains stand-up maneuvers, but it is most famous for its devastating ground-fighting techniques. Gaining superior positioning so one can apply the styles numerous chokes, holds, locks and joint manipulations on an opponent is the key in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu roots began in the early 1900s. Esai Maeda, the chief of a Japanese immigration colony who was assigned to Brazil, befriended with Gastao Gracie. Maeda, a former jiu-jitsu champion in Japan, taught the art to the Gracie’s eldest son, Carlos. In 1925, Carlos and his four brothers opened the first jiu-jitsu school in Brazil. The youngest brother, Helio, adjusted the techniques to suit his small frame, and thereby created Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

In the early 80s, Helio’s son, Rorion, planted the seeds of BJJ in the United States, where the art has become immensely popular.