HISTORY OF BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
Jiu Jitsu was introduced to Brazil in the beginning of the 20th century, through Mitsuyo Maeda, a Grand Master in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. Maeda came to Brazil as a representative of his country for the commerce of chestnuts and settled in the city of Belen, in the state of Para, where he transmitted his knowledge to Carlos Gracie, the oldest of the five sons of Gastao Gracie.
Carlos would later teach Maeda’s Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to his younger brothers: Oswaldo, Jorge, and Gastao Jr, and Helio. When Helio was was 16 years old, he found the opportunity to teach a jiu jutsu class, and this experience led him to develop Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A director of the Bank of Brazil, Mario Brandt, arrived for a private class at the original Gracie Academy in Rio de Janeiro, as scheduled. The instructor, Carlos Gracie, was running late and was not present. Helio offered to begin the class with the man. When the tardy Carlos arrived offering his apologies, the student assured him it was no problem, and actually requested that he be allowed to continue learning with Helio Gracie instead. Carlos agreed to this and Helio Gracie became an instructor.
Gracie realized, however, that even though he knew the techniques theoretically, the moves were much harder to execute. Due to his smaller size, he realized many of the judo moves required brute strength which did not suit his small stature. Consequently, he began adapting judo for his particular physical attributes, and through trial and error learned to maximize leverage, thus minimizing the force that needed to be exerted to execute a technique. From these experiments, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, later known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, was created. Using these new techniques, smaller and weaker practitioners gained the capability to defend themselves and even defeat much larger opponents.