What Is Jiu Jitsu?

Written by Chris Macaulay. Posted in Blog, FAQs, Jiu Jitsu

Gracie Family - 1981



jū – meaning gentleness + jutsu – meaning art, skill
(First Known Use: 1875)

That history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) goes back through the Gracie family to their original teacher, Mitsuyo Maeda and his training in the Kodokan Institute, the home of Judo. Maeda landed in northern Brazil in the early 1900’s and one of his first students was a young man by the name of Carlos Gracie. The Gracie family developed their skill set under Maeda over the next four years, until they relocated to Rio de Janiero and began to develop what they had learned.

What was developed during those years was the birth of a unique self-defence system, one based on leverage, timing and technique as opposed to speed and power. A self-defence system that allowed the smaller man to effectively defend against, and even defeat, the larger opponent. What was produced is what we currently know today as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.