Several times a year we receive Brazilian guest instructors like Augusto Ferrari and Vagner Boca to teach seminars and classes at our team. Besides inspiring and fun, this also keeps us updated with the latest techniques from Brazil. This is very important, since BJJ is an ever evolving sport, where new techniques are still created on a regular basis.
Our dojo rules:
- BJJ is a martial art. A fundamental aspect of this is having respect for each other. No aggressive behavior or foul language.
Check your ego at the door.
- Greet the teacher if you are late or have to leave earlier. You can do this by shaking his hand, bowing or a simple nod upon arrival or departure.
- Only bare feet on the mat. Wear flip-flops or shoes outside the mat to prevent bringing dust to the mat. Keep your nails short.
- Mind your hygiene and wear a clean gi.
- Do not ask the teacher to spar, he will ask you.
- No walking around bare chested or changing clothes on the mat.
- Move over for higher belts during sparring.
- Be quiet during the explanation.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It is a derivative of early 20th century Kodokan Judo, which was itself then a recently-developed system (founded in 1882), based on multiple schools (or Ryu) of Japanese jujutsu.Like judo, it promotes the principle that smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique; applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat them.
BJJ can be trained for self defense, sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. Sparring (commonly referred to as ‘rolling’) and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition.
The art began with Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Combat in English), an expert Japanese judoka and member of the Kodokan. Maeda was one of five of the Kodokan’s top groundwork experts that Judo’s founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to spread his art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving “jiu-do” demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914. Since its inception, judo was separated from jujutsu in its goals, philosophy, and training regime. Although there was great rivalry among jujutsu teachers, this was more than just Kano’s ambition to clearly individualize his art. To Kano, judo wasn’t solely a martial art: it was also a sport, a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people, and, ultimately, a way (Do) of life.To a very large extent, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has also encompassed these philosophies.
It is often claimed that BJJ is a development of traditional Japanese jujutsu, and that Maeda was a jujutsuka. However, Maeda never trained in jujutsu. He first trained in sumo as a teenager, and after the interest generated by stories about the success of judo at contests between judo and jujutsu that were occurring at the time, he changed from sumo to judo, becoming a student of Kano’s Kodokan judo. He was promoted to 7th dan in Kodokan judo the day before he died in 1941.
Hélio Gracie himself had already risen to the rank of 6th dan in judo by the time of his fight against Kimura in 1951. According to Masahiko Kimura in his book “My Judo” . Kodokan records have Hélio Gracie recorded as a 3rd dan in judo, but it is not unusual for a foreign judoka’s grade to be higher than granted by the Kodokan. When Maeda left Japan, Judo was still often referred to as “Kano Jiu-Jitsu”, or, even more generically, simply as “Jiu-Jitsu.”Kigashi, the co-author of “Kano Jiu-Jitsu” wrote in the foreword.
Some confusion has arisen over the employment of the term ‘jiudo’. To make the matter clear I will state that jiudo is the term selected by Professor Kano as describing his system more accurately than jiu-jitsu does.
Professor Kano is one of the leading educators of Japan, and it is natural that he should cast about for the technical word that would most accurately describe his system. But the Japanese people generally still cling to the more popular nomenclature and call it jiu-jitsu.”Outside Japan, however, this distinction was noted even less. The distinction between a jutsu and a do is subtle, and is still used somewhat arbitrarily to this day. Thus, when Maeda and Satake arrived in Brazil in 1914, every newspaper announced “jiu-jitsu” despite both men being Kodokan Judoka. The Japanese government itself did not officially mandate until 1925 that the correct name for the martial art taught in the Japanese public schools should be “judo” rather than “jujutsu”. In Brazil, the art is still called “Jiu-Jitsu”.
When the Gracies went to the United States to spread their art, the system became known as “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” and “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.”“Jiu-jitsu” is an older romanization that was the original spelling of the art in the West, and it is still in common use, whereas the modern Hepburn romanization is “jūjutsu.” Other common spellings are jujitsu and ju-jitsu. The art is sometimes referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ), but this name is trademarked by Rorion Gracie and specifically refers to the style taught by him and his selected teachers. Other members of the Gracie family often call their style by personalized names, such as Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu or Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and similarly, the Machado brothers call their style Machado Jiu-Jitsu (MJJ). While each style and its instructors have their own unique aspects, they are all basic variations of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today there are four major branches of BJJ from Brazil: Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, and Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Each branch can trace its roots back to Hélio Gracie, and Mitsuyo Maeda.