There are two very prominent lines or schools of Jiu-Jitsu known to most practitioners of this martial art. These two lines are named Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu. They both originated from the same martial art form.
In this post, we take a look at the differences, if any, between these two well-known Jiu-Jitsu martial art academies. For this, we needed to trace their history back to the very beginning of the Jiu-Jitsu martial art with the original instructors.
Stay with us to learn the differences and the similarities between these two Jiu-Jitsu academies from Brazil.
The History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Most Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools can trace their lineage back to the Gracie school that was the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training school. But not all BJJ can be traced to these Gracies because the original judoka who trained Carlos Gracie also had other students.
These students taught Jiu-Jitsu for many years separate from the Gracie schools in Brazil to their own line of students. Oswaldo Fadda was a student of Luis Franca, one of the original students who was originally taught by the original judoka, Mitsuyo Maeda.
Oswaldo is known for challenging the Gracie academy to an inter-academy tournament in the early 1950s, where his students were the tournament winners. The Nova Uniao and the GFTeam are some of the modern descendants of the Oswaldo Fadda lineage.
Basically, all other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools originated from the Gracie academy, including the BJJ academy, and all have the same martial art style. So the main difference between the Gracie and the BJJ academy is the name, but also the emphasis on self-defense by the Gracie academy.
Rorion Gracie was the first of Helio Gracie’s sons to obtain the Gracie trademark in the US and, therefore, the first legal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school. But he was not the first Gracie in the US to teach Jiu-Jitsu; his cousin Garley was using the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu name before him.
After that, other non-Gracie teachers started to teach BrazilianJiu-Jitsu in the US under the BJJ name, and that is the blanket term ever since.
Are There Any Differences Between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
According to some experts, there are no differences in the basic methodology and movements of the martial art. That is because they both came from the same source and feature the same sweeps, controls, and escapes as well as the same submissions.
The main differences between these two academies are notably the training and teaching methods and philosophies that set them apart from each other. Even though they both have the same origin and the same movements, these differences cause them to be different in more ways than one.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu teaches the system as a self-defense mechanism so the student can defend himself or herself in a real-life situation. The overall objective of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is for the student to have the ability to prevail in a street fight and defend themself.
Whereas with the BJJ academy, your training is focused more on the recreational side of the sport, for self-discipline. This is where the main difference lies between these two academies and their overall training and teaching approach.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu incorporates two different philosophies: sport or tournament Jiu-Jitsu, and the other is street fight Jiu-Jitsu. 90 percent of Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu has become tournament Jiu-Jitsu where an emphasis is placed on winning grappling tournaments in a sport setting.
The street fighting Jiu-Jitsu part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was not modified to win grappling tournaments. This style has stayed the same in its goal to train self-defense and provide the student with the ability to prevail in a street fight.
As seen in the history part, there are also two Gracie lines of schools from those two first Gracie teachers who came to the US. These two schools use the same Gracie name and have the largest line of schools around the world called the Gracie Barra.
More than 800 schools around the world are following these two Gracie schools and their ways of teaching. These Gracie Jiu-Jitsu schools adopted the modern marketable sport and produced very high-level competitors that have nothing to do with the original Gracie street fight Jiu-Jitsu.
As you can see, the original Jiu-Jitsu teachings that are focused on self-defense are only still taught by a handful of BJJ schools. Most of them concentrate on the grappling tournament Jiu-Jitsu and have far more students than the original teachings.
Secondly, there are no real differences between modern BJJ and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu schools except for the names of the academies. There are different philosophical approaches, but the basic controls and escapes and the sweeps, are the same.
Hopefully, this will give you a clearer picture of these two Jiu-Jitsu academies and what they stand for. If you are interested in tournament Jiu-Jitsu, most schools will provide you with that opportunity. So what are you waiting for? Find a school or academy near you and get into this amazing sport.