Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / BJJ / 'arte suave' - Style History


Jujutsu (jiujitsu / jujitsu) was the collection of ancient Samurai techniques for fighting hand-to-hand (although the preference was to always use a weapon such as a Katana). Jujutsu was comprised of techniques of impacting, throwing, strangling, joint locks and pressure points - and can be considered an early form of MMA. It also included some recovery techniques, such as dealing with impact to the groin. Jujutsu went into serious decline in Japan as the country moved from the Feudal age of the Samurai into the modern era.


Kano Jigoro realised that the decline in Jujitsu risked the skill being lost for future generations. He transformed Jujitsu from a series of techniques, into an art which would help guide the practitioner in their life outside of martial arts - by emphasising principles such as dedication, loyalty, honor, fitness, courage etc. In the transformation process, Kano developed a new combat sport - and renamed it "Judo".

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Mitsuyo Maeda, one of Kano's judoka, was tasked with spreading the art of Judo (still commonly known as Jiujitsu) around the globe. When in Brazil, he taught the sons of a prominent business man - Gastao Gracie. His sons went on to popularise Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) around the world when the Gracie Family took to the stage at the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Since then it has rapidly expanded, becoming on of the most widespread martial arts around the globe. There exist several other lineage's throughout Brazil too, such as through Luis Franca & Oswaldo Fadda.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art based on groundfighting. The goal is to find a joint lock or choke hold to make the opponenet 'tap out' - known as a submission. For a comprehensive background on the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, check here.