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Three Great Articles On The History of BJJ

Ever wonder how BJJ differs from the traditional Japanese art of Jiu Jitsu, or how the BJJ evolved out of the Japanese form? If you’re a part of the modern mixed martial arts world like we are, you probably have a particular affinity for the newer Brazilian variety. But if want to know about the roots of Jiu Jitsu, check out these three articles for some fascinating details:

“The Difference Between Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ”

If you want to read a good article about the historical roots of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, head over to BJJ-world.com to check out “The Difference Between Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ” by Ognen Dzabirski. In this article Ognen explains that Japaneses Jiu Jitsu was created as a warrior tool for unarmed combat. This is because the practitioners realized striking would be ineffective against opponents wearing body armor. So when samurai lost their swords, jiu jitsu and its arsenal of joint locks and throws became the weapon of choice.

He goes onto explain that judo split from Jiu jitsu upon the introduction of Randori, the sport’s term for free sparring. If Judo is the second iteration of Japanese Jiu Jitsu, the Brazilian versions can be thought of as the third generation. When the Gracies learned Judo from Mitsuyo Maeda, BJJ was born. With smaller statures (both brothers being under 150 lbs) the focus went back to the Japanese Jiu Jitsu roots on the ground.  If you want to learn more, check out the full article here.

“History Of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu”

For an interesting history of how BJJ evolved check out Tim Cartmell’s article his site, ShenWu. In this account we get more detail the development of Judo as two rival schools battled it out.

It turns out Judo was the brainchild of a very important Japanese figure named Jigoro Kano. Not only did Kano introduce “Randori” or non-cooperative free sparing, but he was the founder of the modern Japanese education system. His school, known as the Kodokan, and it’s style which emphasized throws, remained dominant until being challenged by the Fusen Ryu. During the challenge matches that followed every Kodokan student was defeated with a take-down and submission. Humbled by the experience, the Kodokan began to incorporate ground fighting into it’s style.

After fully embracing elements of the ground, the Kodokan developed the most famous prize fighter in the history of Judo, Mitsuyo Maeda. To learn more about how Maeda settled in Brazil, passed his knowledge onto the Gracie family, and influenced the creation of BJJ, check out the full article here.

“The History of Jiu-Jitsu”

This article gives an interesting account of the art form’s origin, with a lot of detail and colorful examples. The author starts by pointing out that the actual origin is unknown but may have its roots in India or China. During feudal Japan, the samurai refined Jiu Jitsu for battle situations where they found themselves without swords against armored opponents. The author goes on to detail the fascinating journey of Maeda as he traveled through the Americas and eventually settling in Brazil. Not only does this article give an account of some pretty fascinating contests, but it also detail the rules Maeda provided for his challenge matches.

This is a very colorful article about the birth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which happened after 1917 when Carlos Gracie first saw Maeda in a demonstration match. The Gracie family had a solid connection to Maeda and then agreed to teach both Carlos and his brother Helio. If you want to read an article the details how the Gracies spread jiu jitsu through Brazil, the Americas, and helped make mixed martial arts a global sport, then check out the entire article here.

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These three articles have a lot to offer. They all give a similar account, but go into detail on different aspects of the story. Since the awesome roots of BJJ are both influential and undeniable, it’s humbling to know that the art we practice has its origin in the samurai. BJJ has grown to become the most dominant grappling martial art in the world. It is now universally recognized as the most effective ground martial art.

If you’ve never given BJJ a try, consider a week of beginner classes at your local dojo. If you’re in our area, we’d be happy to have you in our facility to share the skill!



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