A History of Jiu Jitsu

The history of jiu-jitsu

The roots of jiu-jitsu tree were said to have originated in the mountains of india 2500 years ago. They supposedly stretched throughout China, and about 400 years ago settled in Japan where they found the soil to grow strong.

Jiu Jitsu in South America

In 1801, George Gracie arrived in Brazil from Scotland. He came to the new land looking for adventure and opportunity. He had no idea that his descendants would one day form the largest fighting dynasty of all time. One of Georges grandchildren, Gastao Gracie, was groomed to be a diplomat, He studied in Germany and some seven languages fluently, Eventually, however, he decided not to pursue a diplomatic career and became a businessman instead.

It wasn't until the early 1900s that a seed from the strong Japanese jiu-jitsu tree found its way to South America, more specifically, the Amazon region. Mistuyo Maeda was a jiu-jitsu teacher who was aiding a Japanese immigration colony in northern Brazil. Maeda was known to have participated in no-rules challenge matches where he demonstrated the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu.

Carlos Gastao's jiu jitsu

At that time, Gastao was living in the city of Belem, in the state of Para, by the delta of the Amazon River. Fate would bring the two men together when Gastao helped Maeda get established in his new land. To express his gratitude, Maeda introduced Gastao's oldest son Carlos, who was in his early teens, fell in love with jiu-jitsu and dedicated all his energy to his newly-discovered passion.

He continued practicing for the next few years until the family moved to south to Rio de Janeiro. Carlos was the oldest of eight children, five of whom were boys. When the family settled in Rio, they faced some financial difficulties, which led young Carlos to look for additional sources of income. He took this opportunity to make money doing what he enjoyed - teaching jiu-jitsu.

In order to establish credibility for his teachings, Carlos led his brothers in a series of challenges against all comers.

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