Jujutsu is a technical martial art that dates back to the 1400's during the Sengoku period in Japan. Jujutsu was used on the battlefield for close combat in situations where weapons were ineffective.
In the early 17th century during the Edo period, jujutsu would continue to evolve. Prior to that time, these skills had names such as short sword grappling, body art, catching hand and the way of softness (judo). Nearly two centuries before Kanō Jigorō founded the modern art of Kodokan Judo.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) was developed after Mitsuyo Maeda brought judo to Brazil in 1914. Maeda agreed to teach the art to Luiz França and Carlos Gracie, son of his friend, businessman and politician Gastão Gracie. Luiz França went on to teach it to Oswaldo Fadda. After Carlos learned the art from Maeda, he passed his knowledge to his brothers Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., and George. Meanwhile, Hélio Gracie would peek in and practice the techniques, although he was told he was too young to practice. At the time, judo was still commonly called Kano jiu-jitsu (from its founder Kanō Jigorō), which is why this derivative of judo is called Brazilian jiu-jitsu rather than Brazilian judo. Its emphasis shifted to ground grappling because the Gracie family thought it was more efficient and much more practical. Carlos and Helio helped the development by promoting fights (mostly against practitioners of other martial arts), competitions and experimenting throughout decades of intense training. BJJ dominated the first large modern mixed martial arts competitions, causing the emerging field to adopt many of its practices. Less-practiced stand-up techniques in Gracie Jiu- Jitsu remain from its judo and jujutsu heritage (knife defense, gun defense, throws, blocking, striking etc.)
Today Jiu-Jitsu is becoming the most sought after martial art for it's real life practical use. Jiu-Jitsu has grown in it's popularity in the United states and the number of practitioners continue to grow.
History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
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