What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a combat sport that emphasises fighting on the ground. The aim is to use throws or take-downs to get the opponent to the ground and then to use grappling holds to control the opponent, finally using a choke, strangle or joint lock to make them submit.
BJJ is well known for its effectiveness in mixed martial arts, first coming to prominence in the early 1990’s when Royce Gracie defeated Boxers, Karate and Kung Fu practitioners in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The term Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) is sometimes used interchangeably with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
A Brief History
In 1914 Mitsuyo Maeda migrated to Brazil, where he was instrumental in establishing a Japanese immigrant community. Maeda was helped by Gastão Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician of Scottish descent. Maeda had studied Judo during his time in Japan and in gratitude for Gracie's assistance, Maeda taught the Brazilian's oldest son Carlos.
In 1925, Carlos and his brothers opened their first academy, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was born in Brazil.
Carlos had many children including Carlson Gracie, Carley Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr and Reyla Gracie (mother of Roger Gracie).
Carlos Gracie Jr (Carlinhos) established his own Jiu Jitsu academy in an area of Rio de Janeiro called Barra de Tijuca. Hence the name Gracie Barra.
Many great BJJ fighters hail from here including Renzo Gracie, Ryan Gracie, Marcio Feitosa, Gordo, Machado Brothers, Nino, Roleta, Pe de Pano, Roger Gracie and many others. Gracie Barra fighters Renato 'Babalu' Sobral and Pe de Pano are UFC veterans.
At the major BJJ events, members of The Combat Academy fight under the name of the Gracie Barra Team.