Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Helio Gracie and Eric SilverJiu-Jitsu, which means "yielding or gentle art", is one of the oldest martial arts known to man. It primarily developed in Japan during feudal times as an unarmed system of fighting. Today it is taught for self-defense as well as sport. Sport matches can be won by points, similar to wrestling, or by submission due to a joint lock or choke. When sparring, submissions are signaled by one of the competitors slapping on the ground or the opponent which is sometimes called "tapping out." Many of the techniques are practiced on the ground and can be performed from the top position or with the back on the floor. Emphasis is on developing and utilizing good base positions and leverage as opposed to depending on size and strength.

The Brazilian style of Jiu-Jitsu, sometimes called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, developed due to the efforts of brothers, Carlos and Helio Gracie. Carlos was taught by a Japanese Jiu-Jitsu champion who immigrated to Brazil in 1914. Carlos taught Helio who was originally thought to be too small to participate but was later responsible for much of the art's refinement. Helio transformed the jiu-jitsu he was taught into more modern, fluid and realistic techniques, useable by a smaller person such as himself. They opened the first jiu-jitsu school in Rio de Janeiro in 1925 where they developed what is considered to be one of the most effective martial arts in the world.

Eric Silver with Rickson GracieHelio became a legendary fighter at 140 pounds and passed on the Gracie tradition to his sons. His sons include the well known champions, Royce, Royler and Rickson. Rickson (pronounced "Hixon") is considered by many to be the greatest fighter of all times. He remains undefeated after participating in more than 400 jiu-jitsu competitions and mix martial arts fights. Rickson's matches in Japan have sold out 60,000 seat arenas and have been broadcast on television to 30 million viewers. Today his son, Kron, is following in his father's footsteps having won both the Pan American and World Championships. With almost unprecedented success, Kron won every match in the championships by submission.

When the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association was formed in 1996, Rickson chose his student Eric Silver as one of the first U.S. representatives. The association schools follow a curriculum designed by Rickson with specific techniques and applications required for each belt promotion. In these times of mega schools and fast-track martial arts programs, Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu remains dedicated to preserving traditional standards of martial arts and the highest development of technique and the student's character.

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