Over four centuries ago in northern India, Buddhist monks were busy going about the dangerous work of trying to spread the word of ‘Buddha’ in a world that wasn’t always kind to roaming peoples. In order to defend themselves from attacks that happened along the way, they developed a form of grappling that allowed them to subdue opponents without killing them. Eventually this style of fighting made its way to Japan where it was improved upon and called jujutsu or jiu jitsu.
Judo is a derivative of jiu- jitsu.
The Japanese sought to hide jujutsu and its derivatives from the western world, but nothing lasts forever. In 1914, Kodokan Judo master Mitsuyo Maeda (1878-1941) came to stay at the household of Brazil’s Gastao Gracie.
Gracie helped Maeda with business in the area and in appreciation of this, Maeda taught Gastao’s eldest son, Carlos, the art of judo. In turn, Carlos taught the other children in the family what he knew, including the smallest and youngest of his brothers, Helio.
Helio often felt at a disadvantage when practicing with his brothers because many of the moves in judo favored the stronger and larger fighter.
Thus, he developed an offshoot of Maeda’s teachings that favored leverage over brute strength and refined the formula for fighting from one’s back on the ground. Today the art that Helio refined is called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an art based in ground fighting. Along with this, it teaches takedowns, takedown defense, ground control, and especially submissions. Submissions refer to holds that either cut off an opponent’s air supply (chokes) or look to take advantage of a joint (such as armbars).
Our classes consist of a dynamic warmup, techniques, and live sparring, either position specific or freestyle, where you get to try the techniques learned and defend against a resisting opponent.