Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a combat sport that emphasizes 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, also known as Ultimate Fighting. It first came 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 interchangebly with Brazilian "jiu-jitsu", but is trademarked by Rorion Gracie.
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.
Combat Academy Instructors
Simon and Dave with Carlos Gracie Jr
Machado Academy LA USA 2003
The Chief Instructor for Gracie Barra UK is Mauricio Motta Gomes (father of Roger Gracie). Mauricio is one of the 'famous 5' awarded his black belt by Rolls Gracie, the son of Carlos Gracie Sr. In 2003 Combat Academy instructor Dave Coles was awarded his Blue Belt by Mauricio Gomes.
Dave with Roger Gracie
Dave and Simon's instructor is Braulio Estima. Braulio is a Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr and is a World and Pan American Champion.
In August 2010 Braulio awarded Dave his Black Belt and Simon was awarded his Black Belt in August 2013.
Both Dave and Simon have competed in many BJJ competitions in the UK, America and Brazil. They have both made a number of trips to Brazil and trained full time at the legendary Gracie Barra Academy and at the Gordo Gracie Fusion Academy.