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Jiu-Jitsu is a multi-faceted method of self-defense and dynamic sport composed of techniques that work towards superior positioning in order to submit an opponent by applying force to a joint or to a chokehold. Technique is emphasized over strength to place an opponent in a controlled position or submission. During competitive matches, winning is achieved by earning points by placing the opponent in different positions or by forcing them to submit.
The Jiu-Jitsu of today is composed of many key factors that include the many ancient forms of combat that found its way to Brazil in the early 1900’s through the Japanese migration into the country and the unique Brazilian culture that embraced the arts of fighting in its many forms. Its evolution is a direct product of the contribution of many Brazilian families that dedicated themselves to the sport, integrating familial values, healthy lifestyles, and determination to prove the superiority of Jiu-Jitsu as a martial art.
On April 25, 1967 the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Guanabara was founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The federation was established under the National Sports Confederation by five founding schools led by Hélio Gracie, Alvaro Barreto, Joao Alberto Barreto, Hélcio Leal Binda and Oswaldo Fadda. The president of the federation was Helio Gracie, the Chairman of the Advisory Council was Carlos Gracie, the Director of Technical Department was Carlson Gracie, the first Vice-Technician was Oswaldo Faddda, the second Vice-Technician was Orlando Barradas, the Director of Education was Joao Alberto Barreto, and the Deputy Director was Robson Gracie. Today, these individuals are recognized as great masters of the art.
Chaired by Hélio Gracie, the founding of the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Guanabara was the first step in making Jiu-Jitsu a sport, and not only a form of self-defense or a street fighting art. The art of jiu-jitsu began to have structure and organization, evident in the implementation of a belt system, age divisions, competition time, points, and legal techniques.
In June 1973, Jiu Jitsu was legally recognized as a sport in Brazil and in December 1973, the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Guanabara organized their first championship, the “1º Torneio Oficial de Jiu-Jítsu do Brasil”, hosted in Rio de Janeiro at the Athletic Association Bank of Brazil. This event marked the beginning of a new era for Jiu-Jitsu as a sport.
After the implementation of Jiu-Jitsu as a sport and its fast growth throughout Brazil, in the 1980’s Jiu-Jitsu began to expand and develop internationally. As a result of all founders, professors, representatives, and participants of the sport being Brazilian at that time, the name Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was adopted.
By 2010, Jiu-Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was a sport practiced and recognized worldwide, but it lacked an established federation that met the IOC requirements or that was recognized as a single international governing body for the sport. With this in mind and the main motivating factor, a group of Jiu-Jitsu professors and tournament organizers thought that it was time to invest and dedicate themselves to the unifying and growth of the sport and its community, thus founding the Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation.