Association Representative: Tracy Hopkins - 4 Stripe Brown Belt under Relson Gracie
History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
In 1914, Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese jiu-jitsu champion arrived in brazil to help establish a Japanese immigration colony. Gastao Gracie befriended Maeda and helped to get the Japanese established. To show his gratitude, Maeda taught the basic secrets of jiu-jitsu to Gastao’s son, Carlos Gracie. Carlos taught Maeda’s techniques to his brothers: Oslwaldo, Gasao, Joge and Helio, and in 1925 opened their first academy in Botalogo, Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil
Helio, The youngest brother, got involved in this martial art at the age of 16 when he began substitute teaching for Carlos. Despite a small frame and weight, he became the mastermind behind the development of jiu-jitsu.
Helio Gracie went a step further than his teachers by introducing techniques that required less strength than the Japanese style. Daring to break away from traditional Japanese style, they began experimenting, modifying and perfecting simple techniques that would be effective regardless of stature. Though Jiu-Jitsu decended from the ancient Japanese style, the differences were quite apparent. Many of the Japanese facets of the art that depend on physical prowess and stiff motion were tossed aside, leaving only pure technique, rather than strength and speed.