A Brief History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is somewhat similar to Judo. It all began with a man named Jigoro Kano. He created his own judo style in 1882 and called it Kodokan Judo. He and his fighters attended a tournament, held by the Tokyo police in 1886, to try and test out his new honed skill. Out of the 15 matches held by the police, 13 were won by tough Kodokan Judo fighters and the other two were tied. This completely revolutionized any fighting method for the time.

At the time, Kodokan Judo was a completely undefeated martial art and many who practised a more traditional fighting style lost to the superiority of Judo. It was not until after the 19th century did a man named Mataemon Tanable challenged the fighting styles of Kodokan Judo. He was the headmaster of a form of classical Jiu Jitsu called Fusen Ryu. This style was completely unknown for the time. The style of fighting focused heavily on ground movements and other ground techniques, which was an utterly different method than any fighting style the Kodokan Judo had faced. As Kodokan Judo was comprised mostly of stand up throwing techniques, Fusen Ryu fighters prevailed. This strongly showed many Judo fighters the importance of focusing on a grappling and ground fighting technique.

A man named Mitsuyo Maeda became to be one of the best Judo fighters in history. He first started with traditional Jiu Jitsu styles and eventually studied Kodokan Judo. Jigoro Kano noticed his abilities and decided to send him to the US in 1904 to help spread the word of Kodokan Judo. He has travelled all over the world including the US, great Britain, parts of Europe, Cuba, Mexico, and then finally retiring in Brazil. Maeda is one of the very few men who has never lost a match.

When Maeda finally moving to Brazil, he quickly opened a Jiu Jitsu academy of his own. Carlos Gracie was one of Maeda’s students and after training with him for a couple of years, he opened his own academy school in 1925. The Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighters have fought a wide range of players coming from different backgrounds and still continue to improve their skills.

It was during the late 1980s when the Gracie family start to migrate to the US. BJJ became known on a world wide level when Royce Gracie won several victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the mid 1990s. It is now so popular that many BJJ schools have come out of the woodwork.

One of these is the BJJ black belt school in Norwich, Norfolk. If you live in Norfolk, be sure to stop by and observe our BJJ training. We provide MMA classes along with a women’s boot-camp, and even kids classes. We have a number of beginner classes and have extensive advance classes for those who know what they are doing. There is literally a place for everyone. Come meet our friendly instructions to help get you started.

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