The modern martial art and combat sport of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was developed from traditional jujutsu and judo in Brazil. Founders Carlos Gracie and Luiz Franca learned judo from several Japanese nationals who settled in Brazil in the early 1900s. They studied under Mitsuyo Maeda, a judo champion in Japan chosen by judo founder Jigoro Kano to help spread the art around the world. Eventually, Gracie and his family developed their own ver- sion of Jiu-jitsu, and issued an open challenge throughout Brazil in grappling and no-holds-barred competitions. Under the lead- ership of Helio Gracie, Carlos’s brother, who was not as big and strong as his opponent, the sport focused on modifying Maeda’s techniques to make them more effective for a smaller fighter by using leverage and precision. Helio Gracie’s son Rorion co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). During the early years of UFC, the fight- ers often had skills in only one aspect of martial arts, and the grappling skills of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu consistently led to victory. Today, Mixed Martial Arts has developed a well-rounded fight- ing strategy that includes multiple disciplines; however, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and grappling are considered a key foundation skill set for the sport. In addition, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and grappling have become successful combat sports with numerous national and international competitions.


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