The History of Jiu Jitsu

Uploaded by vatafuck on 18.11.2010

In principle, Jiu Jitsu is a self defense art that has existed in Japan for millenniums
Which admitted its paternity, because it is said that it came from India, and from there to China
And from China the Japanese perfected it and made it their own official method of self defense
The Buddhist monks, from the north of India, miles north of Benares
A man named Siddhartha Gautama was born, this man was known as the lonely prince
but nowadays he’s known as Buddha, the illuminated
He had a religion that carried his name, Buddhism
And the Buddhist monks had to go on the road to spread this religion
and were constantly assaulted and murdered
and this would damage Buddhism
So they created a system of fighting that would give them conditions to defend themselves from attacks
without the need of weapons, which was a sin in their religion
The Buddhist monks were the true creators of Jiu Jitsu
After the death of Budha, Emperor Ashoka took power in India
And he spread Jiu Jitsu throughout Asia, from Tibet to Myanmar, Thailand, China and lastly Japan
Jiu Jitsu arrived in Japan around 200 BC
It was perfected and hidden from other folks until the end of the past century
100 years ago, Japan would open its shores and start trading with the English
They were marveled by this method of body to body fighting
A dominant style called Jiu Jitsu, or “Gentle Art”
Where weak and light man defeated the strong and heavy
But the Japanese would not teach them the techniques for this style
It was a crime against the Empire, a sort of national security law
Due to the insistency of the English to learn the style, the Japanese taught them part of Jiu Jitsu
A style developed by Jigoro Kano, a style that would later become known as Judo
By one of these historical coincidences, Jiu Jitsu ended up coming to Brazil
And it was planted by a Japanese in fertile soil
In a Scottish descended family
Gastão Gracie was from Rio de Janeiro
Scottish descendent, he was the head of the family
He gave up the career in diplomacy, arrived in Belém, became an influential man in the city
Married a young woman from the local society and had 8 kids
Gastão Gracie helped Mitsuyo Maeda, known as Count Koma, to prospect in business in Belém
As a form of gratitude, the Count taught Carlos, Gastão's eldest son, the real secrets of Japanese Jiu Jitsu
At this time, our story changes brusquely
After my grandfather died, we came to Rio and my brother started teaching friends
He didn’t have a job and people wanted to learn Jiu Jitsu so he started teaching
in the 1920's in Rio, the Gracie family found the capital of Brazil to be agitated
As Carlos Drummond de Andrade would say, rich in cultural activities
this is when Samba was born, and there were parties all over the place
The bars would always be packed, and honor would still be defended in fights inside and out of the bars
Capoeiristas and boxers dominated the scenes during those days
but as always, the bullies existed
with the Gracie family in Rio, pulled by Carlos Gracie
things started to change
After a year and a half, since I didn’t have anything else to do, I’d watch Carlos give classes from morning to night
I acquired the knowledge to understand what he would say
And to answer any questions the students would make
I was like a parrot
I knew the questions and the answers
And on a given day Carlos was late to teach a very important student from the Brazilian Bank
and I said; “Doctor, Carlos isn’t here, would you like for me to give you a few drills?”
and he replied; “ok Hélio, let’s play around”, because I was young, I was fifteen
and when I was giving the lesson, I had everything memorized, I’d just say what my brother used to say, I'd ask, I'd show
I was practically a teacher, though only a copy
When my brother arrived and wanted to teach the lesson, the student said;
"look, I already did my lesson with Hélio and I'd like for him to continue teaching me"
My brother, who’s never been the type to work hard
Liked the idea, first to know that I knew Jiu Jitsu without the need for him to teach me
And second that I’d teach for him, so he wouldn't have extra work
So resuming, I was nominated teacher in this manner
"but what kind of teacher?"
I'd teach, but then I'd try to do it myself and I was not able to
but then, with much efforts
I discovered the difference in what Carlos taught and what I could do
that was the adaptation that I did, I didn't really invent our Jiu Jitsu
I only adapted it to myself, creating forms of leverage that we posses
to duplicate the movements that the Japanese used to do with force
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or Gracie Jiu Jitsu, is different from Judo or Japanese Jiu Jitsu, it's a "style for the weak"
it's a style where the weak can beat the strong without spending much energy
imagine the old east
The Buddhist monks that developed Jiu Jitsu lived in a spiritual and physical diet
They nourished on grains, were skinny, short, easy prey for thieves, soldiers, enemies and street thugs
nevertheless, 2000 years later, Jiu Jitsu appeared in the New World to beneficiate, among others, Hélio Gracie
apparently fragile as a monk
Jiu Jitsu is such an effective style, and gives people so much confidence
That not only a kid, but the elderly can learn it and be effective
because he doesn't have the idea of how to defend himself
in such manner that this simplicity and efficiency is so big
that everyone gets excited. whether they want to be more efficient, or if they don't want to get beat up, or because self confidence molds the person, becoming more calm.
we became popular with our victories against strong men and bullies
That we looked for because; how am I going to prove Jiu Jitsu’s effeteness without fighting and winning?
so we started to challenge the bullies, the brave and the strong men
simply put, anyone that doubted our physical superiority should show up!
in the beginning of the century armed duels lost their strength
To take out their differences, men would fight in rings, parks and fairs
the young who searched out to learn a fighting style only had two options
learn either Capoeira or Boxing
the Gracies created a different strategy
An aggressive marketing to promote Jiu Jitsu
Can you imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to enter an academy with a fighting style that carries a foreign name?
most people thought that the vulgar Capoeira or the noble boxing were better options
the Gracies started challenging all fighters
the objective was to gain students and popularize Jiu Jitsu
they even made announcements in newspapers inviting people to get beat up
we beat all the bullies in Rio de Janeiro, all the big names from that era, they were all beat
Then they tried to find ways to beat us because in the beginning we had a big opposition
an opposition that is normal in Brazil, if you start to win everyone wants to test themselves against you
if you come in saying you're the best, they don't believe you, they'll pay to see
and all of them paid badly, because they were all beaten one after another
first were boxers, then luta livre, then came the Japanese, all of them were getting beat
for 25 years, the Gracies fought and won against all sorts of fighters
Carlos and Hélio Gracie were the creators of "Vale Tudo" [NHB]
imagine a man with 60kg and 1,60m as was Hélio
imagine his braveness, technique and courage
Hélio's main fight during this era, the fight that gave the family its most pride
was a historic battle that took over three hours of duration
between himself and Waldermar Santana
this fight shook the world
Hélio was 42 years and weighed 67kg while Santana was 22 years old and weighed at 94kg
they fought for three hours and forty five minutes
and this fight only ended because the Professor [Hélio] was very tired and lost the fight via KO
this was the fight that gave us most pride
I stopped fighting in 1952, my last fight was against the world champion; Kimura
he didn't fight me at first because he felt I was too weak, he weighed at 100kg, he was a strong man
he tested me first with the second best in the world
that outweighed me by 15 to 20kg
Hélio fighting with Kato, was...
by request from Kimura...
he won the fight with Kato in his guard
Hélio was slipping his hands while Kato allowed it
then Hélio with some techniques brought both of his hands to the collar and pulled, and Kato went to sleep via choke
certain unwritten honor code rules have been followed by all honorable martial arts' fighters
A fighter did not challenge a champion, the champion, however, gave the challenger the honor of facing him
in this fight, even though I lost, he did not win
my brother threw in the towel thinking he'd break my arm
and knowing I was hard-headed and that I'd not tap
and to protect me he threw in the towel, I lost but I did not tap