Well kind of... Brazilian JiuJitsu is based on a modified version of the traditional Japanese Jujutsu called "jiu-do" which is based on the idea of the soft overcoming the hard. In other words, a smaller, weaker person using leverage and proper technique can defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant.
The art began when Mitsuyo Maeda, a master of Japanese ju jitsu and judo / Jiu-do, which was the changing of jujutsu training methods to a non-lethal degree and also where Helio Gracie got the word "jiu" from.
Maeda immigrated to Brazil where he taught his system to Carlos Gracie, who passed it on to his younger brother Helio. The brothers trained many of their sons, who now carry on the family tradition today.
The Gracie family continued to develop the system throughout the 20th century, often fighting vale tudo matches (precursors to modern MMA or Mixed Martial Arts), during which it gained its focus on ground fighting and refined its techniques.
You should ALWAYS check the lineage of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Teacher and make sure that they have trained with the Gracie family been trained by someone who has studied with the Gracie family.
Paulo Guimaraes studied under Jorge Pereira who studied directly with the Gracie family. Paulo has also been World Champion in Brazilian JiuJitsu.
Remember that when you study at a ROOTS Brazilian JiuJitsu Dojo you are training with champions!
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