Some Jiu-Jitsu instructors left Japan in the latter half of the 1800s and moved to other countries, where they taught the martial arts and competed in bouts. One such master was Mitsuyo Maeda. After moving to Belem do Para after arriving in Brazil in 1915, Maeda met Gastao Gracie.
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Gastao, who had eight children total—five boys and three girls—became an avid student of Jiu-Jitsu and took his oldest son, Carlos, to train with the Japanese teacher.
Carlos Gracie, a naturally thin fifteen-year-old, found that Jiu-Jitsu was a way to better himself personally as well as a way to fight. He and his family relocated to Rio de Janeiro when he was nineteen, when he started teaching and fighting. While traveling, Carlos would instruct students and demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique by defeating opponents with more physical strength. When he came back to Rio in 1925, he founded the “Academia Gracie de Jiu-Jitsu,” the first martial arts school.
The idea that a smaller, weaker individual may effectively defend against a bigger, stronger attacker by employing leverage and appropriate technique is promoted by jiu-jitsu.
A Letter from Carlos Gracie, the Originator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
The natural defense that the weak person uses against the strong person is Jiu-Jitsu. By means of a process akin to leveling, raw force is forced to concede that humans, who are typically seen as bodies with souls, are truly souls that just so happen to live in bodies when they are faced with and subjugated by the astute application of rational mechanics. However, this must never imply disdain or inattention to the body we use in this world, regardless of our philosophical or religious beliefs. We just don’t see how it might be necessary or even feasible to injure one of God’s most exquisitely designed creatures in order to achieve wisdom, love, or to revere and serve Him while abiding by His commandments.
If it’s true that mental and emotional discord may lead to physical injury, then it’s also true that taking care of our bodies has an impact on our mental health, which is essential for achieving a happy and harmonious existence.
Naturally, it takes no special skills to become proficient in certain of Jiu-Jitsu’s resources, which let us defend effectively. Nevertheless, let us not lose sight of the fact that, by utilizing our fullest potential—both spiritually and physically—we will always have a greater chance of achieving any goal we set for ourselves. Jiu-Jitsu is nothing more than its application in self-defense since it is incapable of escaping that overriding norm. Furthermore, how could a sport that prides itself on being one of the most comprehensive abandon physical preparation?
Contentment is impossible without health in its fullest sense. But far too often, we are more interested in finding the right medication or procedure to undo the effects of our carelessness or deliberate transgressions than we are in learning the laws we have to go by to prevent illnesses.
Man is the most ideal creature on Earth, hence it defies sense that he should live a shorter life than other animals. We are among those who fervently feel that we ought to live longer than any other creature. Consequently, we fail to see why it is so remarkable when one of us chooses to live to be 100 years old when we contrast the average lifespan of humans today with that of a parrot. What if one of us lived to be two hundred years old, just like an elephant or turtle?
But as far as we can tell, all of that would be perfectly normal if humanity hadn’t been defying the rules of nature for generations on end with an odd tenacity.
Nutrition is one explanation, among others. What exactly do we truly know about following the rules of nature on what, how, when, and how much to eat?
However, let’s stop here before you, my dear reader, lose all patience and ask, in a rather ironic manner, “And, by the way, what about Jiu-Jitsu?”
You have some partiality. Since learning the secrets of this age-old technique of attack and defense just via reading is as effective as learning to sing by mail, we won’t overlook our responsibility to warn you of this, as it is a difficult, if not impossible, undertaking in its magnitude.