Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Open Access
Murphy, Nathanael Peter
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in History and Latin American Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Professor Solsiree Del Moral, Thesis Supervisor
  • Catherine Wanner, Honors Advisor
  • Matthew Bennett Restall, Honors Advisor
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • BJJ
  • MMA
  • Salvador
  • Bahia
  • Brazil
  • Gracie Barra
  • Gracie Jiu Jitsu
  • martial art
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is both simultaneously a martial art and a competitive sport activity. In historical terms the activity is young, having existed for less than one hundred years. There exists very little in regards to published academic research concerning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This study analyzes the evolution of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu into a popular mainstream competitive combat sport and the implications of this on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community in Salvador de Bahia Brazil. A formal interview with Eduardo dos Santos, a native Bahian black belt, combined with informal interviews with the greater Salvadorian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community and the author’s own experiences in the spring and summer of 2011 make up the bulk of primary research. In addition the study examines oral and written history of the beginnings of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the early twentieth century and the formation of Team Gracie Barra. It also shows the relationship between Bahian culture, and the popular martial art/dance, capoeira, in relation to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The study concludes with the relationship between Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the potential future of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.