Jiu-jitsu, a form of martial arts believed to have been developed by Buddhist monks in India more than 4,000 years ago, remained relatively unknown outside of Asia until the 1800s, when traders were exposed to it while on business. By the early 20th century, jiu-jitsu found its way to Brazil, where the Gracie family began modifying and perfecting many of the fighting style’s techniques.
Starting in 1925, the Gracies began teaching their techniques at Academia Gracie de Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, the Gracie name has become synonymous with the sport, which is now most commonly referred to as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Today, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is popular among martial artists around the world and is used by many military and law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service.