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  • Some historians of Jiu-Jitsu say that the origins of “the gentle art” can be traced back to India, where it was practiced by Buddhist Monks. Concerned with self-defense, these monks created techniques based upon principles of balance and leverage, and a system of manipulating the body in a manner where one could avoid relying upon strength or weapons.

    With the expansion of Buddhism, Jiu-Jitsu spread from Southeast Asia to China, finally arriving in Japan where it developed and gained further popularity. At the end of the 19th century, some Jiu-Jitsu masters emigrated from Japan to other continents, teaching the martial arts as well as taking part in fights and competitions. Esai Maeda Koma, also known as “Conde Koma,” was one such master.

    After traveling with a troupe which fought in various countries in Europe and the Americas, Koma arrived in Brazil in 1915, and settled in Belem do Para the next year, where he met a man named Gastao Gracie. The father of eight children, five boys and three girls, Gastao became a Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast and brought his oldest son, Carlos, to learn from the Japanese master.

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  • As parents, we all know that kids need to stay active and learn how to be a part of a team. Martial arts is a great way for kids to do both these things, but the added benefit is that it’s a year-round program. Instead of seasonal sports where progress is slower, kids who participate consistently in a martial arts program will see guaranteed changes in behaviour at home and school.

    At De Souza Dojo, we focus on building kids’ life skills while they are making friends and learning martial arts. While we can think of 10,000 reasons why kids should train BJJ, here are the top 5 reasons why our kids’ martial arts program is so important:

    1. Physical benefits: Children who train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are learning a healthy lifestyle by staying active, which, as most parents know, is difficult to do in the age of video games and social media! Staying active burns calories, increases good cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, increases flexibility, increases balance and coordination, improves fitness, maintains healthy joints and keeps the heart rate up, all while learning how to defend yourself! Proper martial arts training should be fun and educational, all while increasing a child’s self-confidence, which can in turn manifest itself in many positive ways of a child’s life.

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  • The difference between No Gi and Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu There are 3 main ways that No Gi and Gi Jiu-Jitsu differ; clothing, strategy and techniques.

    Clothing In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the practitioner wears a kimono or Gi which consists of a drawstring trousers and a jacket. The jacket has a lapel and it crosses over and is held together by a belt.

    In No Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the practitioner wear rashguard, grappling tights and shorts. Strategy and Techniques Another difference between Gi and No Gi Jiu-Jitsu has to do with strategy.

    In Gi Jiu-Jitsu, use of the Gi - sleeves, collar, trousers - figures prominently in gaining and controlling position, as well as in applying submissions. Practitioners can execute collar chokes, or use the sleeve or the hem of the Gi to tie up a partner’s arm or hand. In No Gi Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, grabbing the clothes is generally not allowed.

    Instead, practitioners can try to control an opponent by gripping the body’s natural handles: the neck, the wrist, the elbow, the knee, the hips, etc. This is also allowed in Gi Jiu-Jitsu, but is the only option in No Gi. The lack of heavy cotton cloth to soak up sweat in No Gi Jiu-Jitsu also tends to affect the pace of a match and the ease with which an opponent can slip out of a bad position.

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  • Judo is derived from Jujutsu. It was created by Professor Jigoro Kano who was born in Japan on October 28, 1860 and who died May 4, 1938 after a lifetime of promoting Judo. Mastering several styles of jujutsu including Kito-Ryu and Tenjin-Shinyo Ryu in his youth he began to develop his own system based on modern sports principles.

    In 1882 he founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo where he began teaching and which still is the international authority for Judo. The name Judo was chosen because it means the "gentle or yielding way". Kano emphasized the larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from.

    He eliminated some of the traditional jujutsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to create a decisive victory without injury.

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  • Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.

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  • Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.

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  • Muay Thai, is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on shins is known as "the art of eight limbs" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins, being associated with a good physical preparation that makes a full-contact fighter very efficient.

    Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the twentieth century, when practitioners defeated notable practitioners of other martial arts.

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