The martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu began with Mitsuyo Maeda who was an expert in Judoka or Judo. During his martial art career, on November 14, 1914 he decided to take a trip to Brazil. During his time there he mixed his style with Jiu Jitsu and until he passed away in 1941. Helio Gracie was influenced by his style while he was a fierce competitor in judo himself. He then later introduced these new techniques to his Gracie and Machado family where together they came out with the new Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In Brazil, the Gracie family challenged anyone from any martial art on a no holds barred fight and would defeat anyone. But it wasnt until the 1990s where Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gained is popularity. It was all when Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert Royce Gracie decided to step into a cage to fight in MMA at the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Back then these were single elimination tournaments where you had a few fights in a row to win the title. It was here that Royce Gracie fought against much larger opponents who were using other martial art styles. He still managed to defeat and submit all his opponents in less than a few minutes bringing him to the title shot at the first UFC event. Royce Gracie pulled off the most shocking victory ever to show the world that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the #1 martial art in the world. He did it for the honor of his family and to show the world what Bjj can do. After this win is where Royce became undefeated and the popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grew.
The history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu goes back very deep and is very complex to explain. If we were to sit here and write out all the details about the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and where it came from I could literally write a book. However, in this article I will go briefly into the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For those that are not familiar with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Bjj), it is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting with the goal of obtaining a dominant position and in the end submitting your opponent. Bjj promotes the simple principle that a smaller or weaker person using leverage and proper technique can be successful in defeating a bigger and stronger man.