Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Philosophy
The application of traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu transcends the practice of chokes, joint locks immobilizations, throws and strikes. A true Gracie philosophy prepares men, women and children for life, showing them paths to a healthier life and the most effective use of physical, mental and spiritual strength.
Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu, taking care of your body is Jiu-Jitsu, saying no to cigarettes, alcohol and drugs is Jiu-Jitsu, as well as keeping a close bond with relatives and friends. This philosophy, which can be called a “way of life”, has been propagated by Grand Masters Carlos and Helio Gracie for almost a century.
History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art indigenous to Brazil. It was founded and developed by the Gracie family. Carlos Gracie learned jiu-jitsu from a Japanese judoka named Maeda who emigrated to Brazil. The art's roots are derived from pre-war Kodokan Judo, western wrestling, and Maeda's own insights into combat.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prefers bringing an opponent to the ground and then relying on grappling techniques to subdue the opponent utilizing holds, armlocks, chokes, leglocks, and strikes.This strategy takes away the advantage of an opponent with superior striking abilities. It can also mitigate the advantage of a stronger and much larger opponent relying on wrestling or grappling.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu favors pragmatic techniques that were tested in numerous challenge matches by the Gracie clan and their students. In Vale Tudo (which means "anything goes") tournaments in Brazil, Gracie family members and their students have fought in these no-holds barred fighting matches for over 65 years. The Gracie family has fared very well against a multitude of combative arts, both western and asian. Many martial arts have lost their combative rationale. In Japan, for example, the arts of war (bujutsu) were corrupted into budo which means "martial way." With peace and the modernization of Japan, dangerous and pragmatic techniques gave way to martial arts that emphasized art over practicality. They also emphasized self-improvement, socialization and eventually sportive competition. Those familiar with pre-war Kodokan Judo understand its's rapid transition from combat to sport.
The sportive aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is embodied in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. Competitors wear judo "jackets" and pants just like their Judo counterparts except the rules favor strategies and techniques that are oriented towards combat effectiveness. The closest equivalent of Brazilian or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is Ko-sen Judo. The Ko-sen tradition refers to the network of the oldest high schools and universities in Japan which include Tokyo and Kyoto Universities. They hold their own competitions, and their tournaments favor "groundwork" or newaza (in Japanese) just like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.