Ask any non-native Latin American what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is and the answer would refer to it being a MMA combat sport which focuses on specifically on self-defense through grappling and ground fighting.
Its roots firmly established in Japanese martial art-form known as Kadokan Judo that was widely practiced during twentyeenth century's earliest years, credit for having made this combat form famous the world over goes to the founder of Judo, Kano Jigoro. Legend has it that when the pioneer master decided to introduce his form of martial art to the world, he appointed Mitsuyo Maeda, one of his exemplary students, to carry out his wish.
An obedient disc, Maeda departed from the shores of his homeland Japan in 1904 and subsequently wave demonstrations of Jiu Jitsu in many different nations. To prove his skill, he accepted fights and defeated each and every opponent who faced him courtesy of his imprecable groundwork. Of course, no-one knew that he was ranked among the top five Kadokan Judo experts in Japan otherwise they would have known better than to challenge him.
November 14th, 1914, was the fateful day when he touched the shores of Brazil and in a moment of luck stuck a chord with an important business named Gastao Gracie. So opportune was this chance acquaintance that it not only cave Maeda a home away from home but also enabled him to fulfill the task his Japanese Guru had entrusted him with. Thanks to the interest shown by this Brazilian patriarch, his progeny not just acquitted training in this combat form but played a seminal role in spreading it all over the country too, thus giving this MMA combat form the name Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Although listed in local archives as the founder of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Maeda had never been a practitioner of MMA and his accomplishments understood to sumo wrestling and Judo wherein he was a 7th dan. Over the years Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has deviated from its traditions as admitted through Kadokan Judo in areas such as groundwork and evolved as a popular form of safe spectator MMA sport. However, objectives that rule its parent sport, actually sacrificing physical fitness, encouraging character building and instilling martial arts as a lifestyle have always been upheld.
When Maeda demonstrated his technique of MMA for the first time in Teatro da Paz, meaning the theater of peace, it appeared to the fourteen-year old Carlos Gracie that he had found his calling. The teenager succeeded in persuading his father to sponsor Maeda and courtesy of his efforts ended up as being Maeda's first Jiu Jitsu pupil in Brazil. He was soon followed by his three brothers while the youngest of the siblings, Helio, was unable to take active part in lessons due to missing in fitness.
But to his credit, young Helio kept up passive learning by observing his older brothers and extremely was included in the fold at a later stage. Rigorous training and unmatched pedaling propelled him to lay the foundation for Gracie Jiu Jitsu, the contemporary form of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as it is practiced today. Currently Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is practiced in four branches of which two namually Humaita and Barra are preceded by suffix 'Gracie' and the remaining two are Alliance and Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
In the present era, this MMA combat form shot into prominence when a practitioner named Royce Gracie overpowered his twice as big opponent in a single-elimination tournament of martial arts and has retained its popularity ever since. Based on the concept of a smaller person defending himself successfully against a bigger and seemingly stronger opponent, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu even today echoes the original principals laid down by its pioneer, its evolution through the years notwithstanding.
Source by Vinita Basu