In this new addition to the history of BJJ, multiple time World Champion and the author of the bestseller “Opening Closed Guard,” explores the history of jiu-jitsu by concentrating on the major events and characters that were responsible for turning BJJ into a global phenomenon.
“The Rise and Evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” is divided into four parts, or four waves of practitioners (1934-1967; 1967-1993; 1993-2007 and 2007-present) as these practitioners were exposed to different brands of jiu-jitsu as the art evolved over time, in both cultural and technical terms. For this, the author takes a dive into the importance of vale-tudo in shaping the Gracie fighting system away from judo and into a more reality-based approach to combat. It also investigates jiu-jitsu’s continuous evolution inside its first federation as well as how the family feud between Helio and Carlson Gracie played a vital role in this evolutionary process.
Furthermore, the book discusses the importance of the brotherly-rivalry between Carlson and Rolls Gracie as setting the foundation for jiu-jitsu to evolve from its previous form into the brand of jiu-jitsu practiced by millions of people today around the world. According to the author, it was Carlson’s role in insisting on a competition-oriented approach to jiu-jitsu open to all, that breathed life into the brand of jiu-jitsu that took the world by storm after the rise of Royce Gracie and the UFC in 1993. For these and other reasons discussed in the present work, the author places Carlson at the center of this history as the father of modern BJJ and MMA.
Additionally, the book discusses the struggles and importance of Carlos Gracie Jr. and the IBJJF in giving jiu-jitsu, structure, shape and professional credibility at a time where jiu-jitsu was under threat of becoming simply another fad. The present work also discusses the greatest challenges the art faces today as its popularity carries with it problems that threaten to fragment precisely some of the qualities that set jiu-jitsu apart from other martial-arts to begin with.
BJJ has conquered the martial-arts world, yet its history remains only half told. Its rise and evolution are a captivating story of resilience, courage, rivalries and ambition that, ultimately, led to the prestige and popularity it enjoys today. This book is about this story and its main protagonists.
About the Author: Robert Drysdale is the only American to have ever won the IBJJF World Championships and the ADCC (the world’s two most prestigious jiu-jitsu tournaments) as well as having fought MMA successfully. He has also trained multiple UFC champions and BJJ World-Champions. He is the co-founder of the international Zenith BJJ team and the author of the bestseller “Opening Closed Guard.” He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and lives with his two daughters in Las Vegas, Nevada where he teaches daily.