BJJ in O’Fallon. Do you want to become stronger, more mindful, and begin your journey to self-improvement? Sign up for our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, classes at our O’Fallon gym. BJJ instills values such as strength, honor, and respect, and is available to athletes of all ages.
If you are excited to evolve as an athlete and person, and the best version of yourself, both on and off the mats, join our O’Fallon BJJ gym today and start your jiu jitsu journey. For more information, call our facility at 636-544-3655 or reach out to us today.
A Brief History of BJJ
BJJ, short for “Brazilian jiu jitsu”, originated in the early 20th century, when Japanese judo experts traveled the world to demonstrate this new martial art. One of these judokas was named Mitsuyo Maeda, who eventually demonstrated judo at a circus in the Brazilian city of Belem ran by a man named Gastao Gracie. Gracie was so enamored with the art of judo that he had Maeda personally instruct his sons in judo. Several of these sons, most notably Helio and Carlos Gracie Sr., refined these judo techniques so that they would have more real-world applications. Thus, Brazilian jiu jitsu was born, and through the Gracie family’s “challenges” (where they would fight specialists in other martial arts, like judo, wrestling, or capoeira, and regularly defeat them), the new martial art spread throughout Brazil.
It was not until the 1980s, though, and the advent of technologies like cable TV and video, that BJJ really grew all over the world. Younger members of the Gracie family, including Carlos Gracie, Jr. (founder of Gracie Barra) still made “challenges”, but now they were recorded and sold as part of a video series entitled “Gracies In Action”. As these tapes were sold worldwide, it was only natural for people outside of brazil to become interested in this fascinating new martial art called “BJJ”. Additional growth came after the first Ultimate Fighting Championships events, where a Gracie family member twice defeated multiple stars from other combat sports using BJJ tactics. Mixed martial arts, as this new sport became called, soon exploded in popularity, and it quickly became obvious that having a well-rounded BJJ background was the key to success in this sport.
Gracie Barra began in the 1980s as one gym started in Barra da Tijuca, a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. Many in the BJJ community thought that this new gym would be a failure, as in those days Barra da Tijuca was a small, somewhat rural suburb of Rio. However, Carlos Gracie, Jr.’s skill as a teacher, plus his belief that “Jiu Jitsu Is For Everyone”, allowed the school to grow and succeed. Over the years, Gracie Barra students established affiliate schools in multiple countries to teach BJJ to anyone who wanted to study it.
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