Jiu-Jitsu, which means gentle art is the oldest form of martial art. It originated in India more than 2000 years before Christ. It was created by monks who could not use any type of weapons to defend their lives against barbarian attacks.
It spread through China, and eventually took root and was elaborated on in Japan becoming the first martial art style. In 1914 a Japanese Judo and jiu-jitsu master named Mitsuo Maeda (called Conde Koma, meaning Count of Combat) came to Brazil. In return for help from the Brazilian politician Gastao Gracie, Koma volunteered to teach Jiu-Jitsu to Gastao's son Carlos. Carlos in turn taught his brothers (most notably Helio).
They went on to further refine the art via constant no-rules competition, developing what is now known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Helio Gracie, the lighter in weight brother (only 135 pounds), introduced the application of leverage to the art, making it possible for a smaller opponent to defeat a larger one.
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