Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


The Philosophy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and self-defense system that concentrates on grappling and ground fighting. BJJ stresses leverage and technique to control an opponent on the ground. Since most street fights end up hitting the ground, BJJ trains you to achieve a dominant position so you can land strikes, apply joint-locks and chokes, or simply escape to safety.

The beauty of BJJ is that a smaller person can fend off or submit a larger opponent by employing the techniques learned in training. To become proficient in the art, instruction, drilling, and sparring (also known as “rolling”) are crucial to ingrain the details of BJJ so that they become second nature for practitioners.

The History

At the beginning of the 20th century a Japanese judoka named Mitsuyo Maeda was sent overseas by his teacher to spread the techniques of his art to the world. He landed in Brazil where he met and befriended businessman Gastao Gracie, who helped him get established in the country. In exchange Maeda accepted Gastao’s son, Carlos, as a student. Though the martial art held its roots in Kodokan judo, Carlos and his younger brother Helio ultimately developed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, or what is now more commonly referred to as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Over time and throughout the generations the Gracies perfected their art, placing an emphasis on leverage and technique, rather than strength, speed, or size. The Gracies continually tested their art throughout the century, taking on any and all comers in vale tudo matches. Now, aside from being an effective method of self-defense, BJJ has also progressed into a sport that has spawned a new era of creativity. Though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu styles are rapidly evolving each and every day, all of these styles fall under the three major branches of the art: Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra, and Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

The Lineage

Dojo Body Mind is a second-generation Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school that proudly trains under the BJJ Revolution Team banner. Carlson, an instructor for a variety of BJJ champions, was also a world-class competitor in his own right. He rose to fame after avenging one of his Uncle Helio’s defeats in 1956, and subsequently opened his own academy. Until his era of teaching many advanced techniques were held secret, guarded by the Gracie family. Carlson, however, never held back, pouring forth all of his extensive BJJ knowledge to his students. Upon his passing in 2006 he was a ninth degree red belt.

Two of his students, Julio “Foca” Fernandez and Rodrigo “Botafogo” Medeiros, founded the BJJ Revolution Team in 2000. Both have competed extensively, earning multiple championships. Fernandez, a sixth degree black belt under Carlson Gracie, is the East Coast head of the BJJ Revolution Team, and trains with his students at the Vermont Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Williston, VT. Medeiros, a fourth degree black belt under Carlson Gracie, is the team’s West Coast head and runs the PB Fight Center in San Diego, CA.