Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a long and rich history. Even before the samurai warriors of ancient Japan, Jiu Jitsu-like forms were being developed in Asia and used in combat; the very first records of combative grappling can be traced back several centuries. There are no weapons used in Jiu Jitsu. The whole idea is to gain superior positioning and then to apply various holds, locks and joint manipulations on your opponent. The primary goal of this type of martial arts is not to cause physical damage to your opponents but rather to make them submit (via joint lock or choke), or to hold them in a position in which they can do no harm.
In the early 1900’s, Japanese Judo/Jiu Jitsu master Mitsuyo Maeda stopped in Brazil during a Judo tour, and local politician Gastao Gracie befriended him. In exchange for Gracie’s kindness, Maeda went against the tradition of training only the Japanese in Jiu Jitsu and taught Gracie’s teenage son Carlos. Carlos, in turn, taught his younger brothers Osvaldo, Gasto Jr., Jorge and Helio. In 1925, Carlos and his brothers became so absorbed in the techniques that they opened the first Jiu Jitsu academy in Brazil. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial art has since spread worldwide, and with good reason.
There are several levels of Jiu Jitsu, all of which are represented by various colored belts. The levels progress from white to blue to purple to brown to black. It takes approximately 10 years to reach the highly respected black-belt status. But even after six months of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice, you can learn to defend yourself effectively.