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Jiu jitsu classes offered

Date Posted: 1998-06-06

Japanese/Brazilian jiu jitsu is a hybrid martial art that focuses on the positioning of the defender's body to maximize the leverage needed to defeat an opponent. The fighting style uses a combination of chokes to cause the opponent to pass out or an endless variety of joint locks to immobilize the adversary.

Originally, jiu jitsu, the oldest form of martial arts, was developed in India more than 2,000 B.C. From there, it spread through China and eventually to Japan. In 1914, a Japanese jiu jitsu champion, Esai Maeda arrived in Brazil with a group of Japanese immigrants. While establishing a Japanese settlement, Maeda was aided by Gastao Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician.

To show his gratitude, Maeda taught the basics of the fighting style to Gastao's son, Carlos Gracie. Carlos then taught Maeda's techniques to his four brothers and then in 1925, they opened the first jiu jitsu academy in Botafogo in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Carlos Gracie, who was a street fighter and also a boxer, quickly modified the classical techniques he had learned to meet the demands of the "no rules" fighting on the streets of Brazil. He then tested and refined his system through matches, open to all comers, constantly working to make the style more effective. He even advertised in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents against whom to practice. He fought everyone who was willing, regardless of size or fighting style, and even though he weighed only 135 pounds, his style was so effective that he was never defeated and became a true legend of his time.

Since then, Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners have constantly demonstrated, in open fights against title holders of other styles, that Brazilian jiu jitsu is one of the most effective of fighting arts, making it arguably the "hottest" item in martial arts of today. The Brazilian jiu jitsu is especially useful for women and smaller people for self defense who may be intimidated by larger opponents. Whereas traditional martial arts rely on speed and strength to execute effective techniques, a practitioner of the Brazilian jiu jitsu can defeat a much larger opponent without having to rely on strength. What more, it's easy and practical to learn.

Those who are interested in learning more about the Japanese/Brazilian jiu jitsu style can contact Tim Jones at 936-8541. He is a certified instructor and is conducting classes for a limited number of people at Futenma Jr. High School, Monday and Fridays.

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