The most popular post from last month… in case you missed it, was the first part of my history of jiu-jitsu, part one.
There are differing starting points when discussing the history of jiu-jitsu, as with most things with continuous development, it is extremely difficult to pin point exactly where jiu-jitsu “started”. Some say Kodokan Judo, other disagree and say that it was when the Gracie family became involved and began to be disseminated through their extended family. These, in the span of human history, are extremely recent. Martial arts, and ideas about martial arts have been around for a lot longer than that.
Tradition dictates that some form of ground grappling that would eventually become jiu-jitsu began in India, where Buddhist monks were concerned with learning about self-defence. Buddhism became a major religion in India in about 260BC, having started in Nepal some four hundred years earlier. The form of jiu-jitsu these monks were practising would have been different to what we recognise today, but it is still linked and based on the same ideas and principals. The monks were especially concerned about negating the use of a persons strength or body mass, and so therefore were interested in techniques that manipulated leverage and balance. This was so a smaller, weaker man might gain advantage of someone twice his size.