Early Report on BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)


Here's an interesting bit of information on early BJJ, long before it was known in the U.S. - it seems apparent that the Gracie family has - for quite some time - not been fans of Judo... which seems strange considering their martial art roots.

                 8801 STENTON AVENUE PHILADELPHIA 18, PA.
                   ADAMS 3-2O5O CHESTNUT HILL 8-2550

                                                       August 31, 1960


     Mrs. Helen Foos
     c/o Philadelphia Judo Club
     P.O. Box 165
     Merion, Pa.

     Dear Mrs. Foos,
                             I have just returned from a two weeks lecture
     tour of Brazil and found the very fine looking new copies of the Judo
     Bulletin.  I think the cover is outstanding and of course, I was most
     interested in the news.  May I add some news for your next Bulletin?

                             I had the opportunity to conduct classes at the
     Brazilian Military Academy of Physical Education with particular em-
     phasis on Judo.  I found that their Judo system was predicated on the
     "Gracie" method which had its inception in Rio about 30 years ago.
     Since the system seemed to be a queer mixture of Jiu Jitsu, Karate,
     and Judo I determined to visit the Gracie Salon.  I found them occ-
     upying two floors in a very large office building, very lush quarters,
     many rooms with padded walls,and floors covered by tatamis and one
     large room with sitting space for spectators.  I found that this was
     a business run by a very large family, all of whom claimed to be champ-
     ions and all of whom were very dynamic people.  I spent three hours
     with the two leaders of the Gracie family and found them very bitterly
     opposed to Judo per se, to the Judo system in general and to Japanese
     in particular.  The leader claimed to have defeated every Judo Black
     Belt that had ever visited Brazil.  It took me three hours to find out
     something about the system.

                             They do not observe formalities or convention
     but do wear Judogis (made by themselves and claimed to be the best in
     the world).  A standing throw meant nothing but affording the opport-
     unity to work on the mat.  Most of the techniques seemed to point in
     the direction of causing the opponent to quit in the grappling situa-
     tion.  While I found nothing of extreme merit within this system these
     people are indeed the Judo (?) powers in Brazil as was evident by the
     military utilizing their system.  Their whole appraisal of Judo or
     Jiu Jitsu is "Can you beat your opponent by any means?". There are
     several Kodokan type Judo organizations in Rio but my other commit-
     ments did not permit me to visit them.

                             I feel that possibly your readers will be inter-
     ested in knowing what is happening in other parts of the world in our
                                              Sincerely yours,

     ARF:ge                                   Anthony R. Flores
                                              Lt. Col. MSC


Taken from "The Judo Journal", dated Spring of 1961.