The best way to understand the idea of BJJ is to start from the very beginning. Therefore, we have to trace its origins back to Buddhist monks of India, but the modern version comes from Japan.
Jiu-Jitsu was the fighting art that Samurais from Japan had to know for attacking and defense. Since samurai warriors had significant armor, and they were riding horses all the time, the primary goal of this particular martial art is to allow them to fight efficiently when they are on foot.
Of course, Bruno Malfacine BJJ grappling technique came afterward when the method became prominent, but the first jiu-jitsu required different fighting style than others due to heavy armor and restricted agility and mobility due to it.
That is the main reason why it evolved, and it included joint-locks, throwing, strangles, which are signature movements in this particular martial art.
In the middle of the 19th century, Jiu-Jitsu had been fractured into several different techniques or styles. Even though fighting varied from style to style, all of them featured primary aspects of hand to hand combat that included grappling, strikes and disarms.
Jigoro Kano, who was a standout martial artists and student, developed his techniques that were based on full power practice against skilled and resisting opponents.
Even though it required a complete deviation of partner’s practice, his style became Judo, which is today, the most common method and sport in the world.
The Gracie Family
The best student of Kano’s, Mitsuo Maeda decided to immigrate to Brazil in 1914. Since he was assisted with local politician George Gracie, whose father was Scotland immigrant? As the main proof for gratitude, Maeda decided to teach jiu-jitsu to Carlos Gracie, who was George’s son.
Later, brother shared his knowledge with some of his brothers, and that is the beginning of first BJJ academy in the world.
After a while, notable members of Gracie family created a martial art which was refined and included public challenges on the street and no-rule fights. Their primary goal is to help a smaller person to defend against a stronger and bigger opponent and attacker.
Rolls Gracie wanted to refine art much more than before, and he incorporated techniques from other skills such as wrestling to create a specific system. That will bring us to the point of UFC, which is today synonym for Ultimate Fight.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, Rorion Gracie decided to move to Los Angeles, with the idea to present the fighting system of his family throughout the USA. Even though it had no rules from the very beginning, MMA contests such as vale tudo have been popular in Brazil, but that was unknown to the rest of the world.
Art Davies and Rorion Grace created a championship called The Ultimate Fighting Championship that used various martial arts and artists who would compete against each other. The idea was that challengers from different disciplines could battle each other so that they can prove that their sport is efficient and to promote it further to the general population.
The first championship took place in 1993, and Rorion’s younger brother Royce Gracie was the champion. The best thing about this particular idea is that Royce wasn’t a big man and when compared with other competitors he was small and outweighed.
But that wasn’t a problem, because he emerged victoriously, and defeated four opponents in a single night, which brought BJJ into the worldwide attention, especially in Japan and the USA. That was the first moment when this particular martial art became popular and dominant.