by Prof. Renato Migliaccio
We all know that BJJ is the most efficient martial art and fastest-developing martial art that mainly concentrate on combining self-defense, Ground fighting and physical fitness brought by Mr. Mitsuyo Maeda to Brazil. Maeda was also responsible for bringing Judo to Brazil. Mitsuyo Maeda was famous because he taught jiu jitsu and judo to the Gracie Family that later had a major role in developing & spreading out the art now known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We can’t deny the role of the Gracie family in helping develop/promote Jiu-Jitsu & changing the scenery of the battling world forever.
There were lots of he criticizes about the Gracie lately, but if we are going to blame them for the things they did wrong, we also need to blame them for the things they did right. The reason Jiu-Jitsu is still alive right now & didn’t die like once died in Japan is because of the existence of the Gracie family & the way they taught and visualize the future of BJJ. The Gracie family not only transformed the martial arts community but helped spread the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s benefits, which is the world’s most efficient form of self-defense.
- First of all, they believed that the ground fighting of the Judo that they learned from Maeda, is the most important thing in fighting and they focused on that.
- They also thought that the challenges made between martial art schools were important for the development of one art, in the case of BJJ.
- Carlos Gracie & Hélio Gracie had too many children. They started building an army of BJJ trainers and students. They don’t only realize the BJJ can be a great martial art for self-defense but it could also help people get better & develop themselves as a person. They involved all their family in the process.
- They start organizing tournaments, challenges; they start teaching people with great influence in the society, to prove the efficiency and importance of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- They start challenging people of any size or discipline. Later on 12 Nov 1993, they totally change the field of martial arts forever by airing up the first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), which is nowadays very different than it once was. It was 8 men, single elimination tournament that completely shocked the world & proved that BJJ is the most reliable self-defense system that can give a common human being a realistic opportunity to win a superior & more athletic challenge. It was great for all the grappling martial arts like judo & wrestling. This worked perfectly to develop the BJJ all over the country (USA).
- Meanwhile, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. was working on the BJJ federation & eventually later the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation to formally represent the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sport around the world. The main objectives of this federation were to organize, regulate & popularize the BJJ sport on a worldwide level. Another thing that they have done is dividing the tournaments into the belt system categories allowing beginners to compete against people on their level making BJJ more democratic, another reason why Jiu-Jitsu is growing and not dying.
- According to Master Renzo Gracie in one of his YouTube videos, the Brazilian reality back then were people could fight on the streets and resolve their problems on the spot made BJJ evolve, because after many street fights people started to realize what part of the BJJ martial art system worked or did not work in a real situation. The reality is different now as the fair fights (if we can call a fight fair) do not exist anymore due to too much shooting & stabbing.
We really want to thank the Gracie family for their commitment to the growth of the BJJ sport and the BJJ martial art.