Jiu Jitsu (Jūjutsu) is a complete self-defense system. Its origins go back to the times of the samurai in Japan, where this fighting system was practically used on the battlefields out of necessity. When this martial art arrived in Brazil, it still had a strong original character. Thus, when the brothers Carlos and Hélio Gracie learned Jiu Jitsu in their time from Mitsuyo Maeda, the martial art was practiced as an unlimited and unregulated self-defense system. It was especially Hélio Gracie with his lanky stature who proved the effectiveness of Jiu Jitsu in countless fights against bigger and heavier opponents. Especially Hélio’s victories against Japanese Judo fighters validated and established the respect for Jiu Jitsu in Brazil against the Japanese at that time.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is still today a complete system of self-defense. It is based on five elements. First come the self-defense techniques in the standing position, which are used to defend against unexpected attacks in the street. Next come the striking techniques, which include elbow strikes or knee strikes. In third place are the grip and leverage techniques, which are often associated with ground fighting. The next elements are the throwing techniques, which always have a relation to real scenarios of self-defense. The four building blocks mentioned above are linked by the Jiu Jitsu philosophy, which is based on the foundation of the Bushido Code. The seven virtues of the Bushido Code are rectitude (Gi), courage (Yu), benevolence (Jin), respect (Rei), honesty (Makoto), honor (Meiyo), loyalty (Chu). Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires the practice of all elements without exception in order to live up to its essence as a holistic martial art.