Brazilian Jiu Jitsu History
The first traces of development and training of fighting began 5000 years ago, during the Sumerian period. There is also, archaeological evidence of practice fighting in Ancient Egypt, where they were organized to fight and compete. In Ancient Greece, fighting was a divine art, and the best way to honor the Gods at the Ancient Olympic Games. For the Greeks, fighting was a very important discipline, were students began their training at a very young age at schools dedicated to teaching fighting as well as philosophy and mathematics. In Ancient Rome organized fighting and training had been inheritance from the Etruscans, later after conquering Greece, Rome was strongly influence by the Greek fighting style. During The Middle Ages and Renaissance the aristocracy practiced fighting in castles and palaces. Fighting, for long time, had been a favorite sport of the aristocracy and it led to developing excellent ways to train the army. There is also a long list of Politicians and Intellectuals throughout history that practiced fighting to keep both the body and mind healthy.
In the Modern Age world travel became easier and more practical, which in turn allowed the mixing of fighting styles from different countries and continents. This was evident and more influential in The West and The Orient exchanging fighting techniques. Europeans explorers who traveled the world brought and exchanged their knowledge around the world, even to Brazil. The country became a Portuguese colony around the year 1500, during the period received practitioners of different styles of martial arts, which continued to occur after the independence, with the European migrations and the arrival of wrestlers and boxers, coming from different regions. In the Orient, a style created in India by a Buddhist Monks for self defense, is believed to have spread to China then to Japan, where it received the name Jiu Jitsu, which means "the gentle art". In 1915 Jiu Jitsu was brought to Brazil by Conde Koma. His life was to travel the world teaching Jiu Jitsu. The Brazilian Gracie family learned Jiu Jitsu from him and in time created the Gracie Jiu Jitsu style. This style promoted and emphasized the idea that a smaller and weaker person can defeat a bigger and stronger opponent using leverage and proper technique.
The Gracie family was the first to open an academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Academy soon had many students and it was this new generation of students that created the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu style. BJJ consisted of innovating and refining old Jiu Jitsu techniques. This new generation invited fighters form other martial arts to duel and by defeating them prove the superiority of BJJ. This also made possible the assimilation of techniques from other fighting styles that adapted and enhanced BJJ. Another change was training without the Gi or No Gi training. This would be a common practice in tropical countries, but the Gi would always be the fundamental base of BJJ. No Gi training developed its own principles of balance and leverage that were specific to this type of training. The BJJ today focuses submission techniques to makes fighters efficient with Gi and No Gi.
The success of BJJ in duels and tournaments has made the art popular throughout the world and has become a national identity for Brazil. BJJ is a versatile, dynamic and complex discipline. The dedication of fighters has created the BJJ Life Style. The mean is a way to train the mind, body and setting a good example in life. Today, the BJJ Federation organizes Championship Tournaments with specific rules to practice and spread the sport around the world.
In 2000, the Brazilian Top Team was established by group of Carlson Gracie students to develop and create new training techniques to BJJ. The founder and leader was Murilo Bustamante, Salazar`s coach. "Through a strict professional work and lots of study on martial arts, Brazilian Top Team firmed itself as one of the best mixed martial arts team in the world."