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  • Writer's pictureGrace Dabir

How Did Martial Arts Reach Brazil?

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

While most may believe that martial arts originated in Asia, many different cultures have had their own versions of fighting styles. The original Brazilian fighting style was called Capoeira. Capoeira, also known as the dance of war, was created in Brazil in the 16th century by African slaves. This form of martial arts was created as a way to disguise the actual fighting. The hypothesis behind this form is that the people who created it wanted to find a way to hide from their owners. In this case, they tried to make it look like a ritualistic dance, just in case. Despite originally looking like a ritualistic dance, Capoeira was actually quite violent. It became popular at the time because a lot of children turned to learning how to fight to protect themselves. This b

ecame especially prevalent when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu became popular. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a mix between the Brazilian martial art of Vale Tudo, and Japanese Judoka. Helio Gracie from Vale Tudo and Masahiko Kimura from Judoka had a big, and anticipated match in 1951. Kimura ended up winning the fight. Trying to improve their game, the Gracie family decided to add more judo inspired moves into their repertoire, and renamed their martial art Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in honor of Kimura. From there, the sport continued to grow and grow, and play a large part in the broadening heights of MMA.

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