The Early Beginnings
The origins of Jiu-Jitsu can be traced back to India, where it was practiced by Buddhist Monks. Concerned with self-defense, they created techniques based upon principles of balance and leverage. With the expansion of Buddhism, Jiu-Jitsu spread from Southeast Asia to China, finally arriving in Japan where it developed and gained further popularity.
Japanese Jiu-Jitsu masters would travel to other countries to teach, and compete in competitions to help spread the art of Jiu-Jitsu. Esai Maeda Koma, also known as "Conde Koma" was a master that traveled to Brazil in 1915. Conde Koma was assisted by Gastao Gracie, a Brazilian Politician, in establishing a Japanese Village in Brazil. In return for helping him, Conde Koma spent 1-year teaching Gastao Gracie's eldest son Carlos the art of Jiu-Jitsu.
Before Conde Koma had traveled from Japan, Jiu-Jitsu had been protected from the outside world and was not known outside of Asia. For Carlos Gracie, learning the art from a Jiu-Jitsu master was a very special opportunity. Carlos Gracie was young and athletic, so he had progressed quickly in Jiu Jitsu during the year Conde Koma had spent with him. In Jiu Jitsu, the traditions are strict and the methods of teaching do not vary from generation to the next. Conde Koma had followed this strict form of teaching, making sure that Carlos learns Jiu Jitsu in its purest form. Once Conde Koma left Brazil, Carlos was dedicated to the Art of Jiu-Jitsu, but he was no longer confined by the many years of traditions. This opened the door to a progression of a new Jiu Jitsu.
Gracie learned the art for personal improvement and self-defense. Carlos along with his brother Helio, without being confined by many years of tradition restricting the moves and methods of study, reinvented Japanese Jiu-Jitsu into a martial art that is effective for a smaller person. This reinvention of Jiu-Jitsu has become known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 1925 Carlos moved to Rio de Janeiro where he opens his own academy and began teaching and competing. Carlos would teach and prove the effectiveness of the art by defeating opponents who were physically stronger and bigger than him. Carlos also taught his philosophies of life as well as his concepts of natural nutrition. Carlos Gracie saw the art as a way to become a man who was more tolerant, respectful, and self-confident
Carlos Gracie Jr.
The next generation
Son of the famous Carlos Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr. was born with into the brand new martial art. As Carlos Gracie grew up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exploded in popularity. Many learned of Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie finishing bigger and stronger opponents and wanted to learn the art. Carlos Gracie Jr. was the founder of Gracie Barra, one of the most famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools in Rio. Gracie Barra is responsible for developing many of the most accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors
Carlos Gracie Jr. established the International and National Jiu-Jitsu Federation in the early 90's, leading the way to contributing to the growth of the sport by holding organized competitions. Currently, the confederation holds competitions in Brazil, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Carlos Gracie Jr. is helping to make his father Carlos’ dream come true by spreading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu throughout the world.