THE BIRTH OF GRACIE JIU-JITSU
The Origins of Jiu-jitsu “Gentle Art” can be traced back to India, where it was practiced by Buddhists Monks.
Because these Buddhists Monks were constantly getting bullied and assaulted by bad people, They were forced to create an empty hand system of self-defense.
Concern with self-defense, these Buddhists Monks created techniques based upon principals of balance and leverage.
With the expansion of Buddhism, Jiu-jitsu spread from Southeast Asia to China, and finally arriving in Japan where it developed and gained further popularity.
In the last days of the 19th century, some Jiu-jitsu Masters immigrated from Japan to other continents teaching Martial Arts as well as taking part in fights.
Esai Maeda Koma, also known as Count Koma was one such a Master that traveled to other continents. Traveling with a troop which fought in various countries in Europe and the Americas, Koma arrived in Brazil in 1914, and settled in Belem do Para the following year.
In Brazil Koma became friends with a man named Gastao Gracie. Gastao, the father of 8 children, among them 5 boys and 3 girls, became a Jiu-jitsu enthusiastic.
Because they were fighting and defeating opponents 50 or 60 pounds heavier, the Gracies quickly gained recognition and prestige.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, second and third generation of the Gracie Family started to immigrate from Brazil to United States, with the dream to share Gracie Jiu-jitsu to the rest of the world.
They knew if Gracie Jiu-jitsu could be established in the United States, eventually the world would catch on.