Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. This style of martial arts has proven to be one of the most practical and effective systems of self-defense in the world. It is designed specifically to help a smaller individual overcome a larger attacker, so it is a great self-defense system to learn, especially for women and children.
Jiu Jitsu existed in Japan decades before systematic school systems were developed. The need for unarmed combative skills was high due to the presence of political and social conflict. Eventually, there was a need for order, and the Ryu system emerged where teachers (sensei) taught the art to prospective students. As the political atmosphere changed, the need and interest for organized combat arts declined. Jigoro Kano is credited for not only keeping the tradition of Jiu Jitsu alive, but also modifying it and identifying its core weaknesses. He established competitions and ethics, which increased the prestige of the combat art. The kodokan judo school opened in 1882 and by 1911, kodokan judo was a part of public schooling. Mitsuyo Maeda was a student of kodokan judo who also had experience in traditional ground grappling. He moved to Brazil shortly before World War I and met Gastao Gracie, father of Carlos Gracie. The Gracie family is credited with the additional refinement of traditional Jiu Jitsu and the eventual spread to the United States and around the world.
There are many physical and mental benefits of the sport. Once you are training consistently, you may find that your overall mental health is improving, which is common for jiu jitsu athletes. The structure of the sport itself requires that individuals slow down and think clearly under pressure. This skill set is helpful off the mats as well, since it encourages us to breathe and remain calm when facing challenges in our daily lives.
Tony Casarez began teaching in the Raleigh/Cary area in 2014. Initially, he was teaching out of local MMA and boxing gyms. As his student base began to grow, he opened Team Casarez Jiu Jitsu in 2015 with the support of his friend and mentor, Lucas Lepri.
Today, the school is home to 150+ students in Cary, North Carolina.
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