Brazilian Ju-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that teaches the skills of ground fighting and grappling. The focus is on takedowns, fighting from the guard position (limiting opponent's movement by wrapping one's legs around them) and submission and holds.
At Barton’s we practice BJJ/ Gracie Jiu-jitsu under the supervision of Master Sylvio Behring from Brazil and Professor Jesse Richardson of Matador in Woodbridge Ontario.
History of BJJ and the Behring Family
From Japan, Jiu-Jitsu came to Brazil in 1914, brought by the fighter named Mitsuyo Maeda (Black Belt in Kosen Judo, Kodokan, Japan), also known as Count Koma. The Gracies learned Jiu-Jitsu with Master Maeda, at Belém, in the state of Pará, Brazil
Later, the Gracie family moved to Rio de Janeiro where they set up the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, located at Marquês de Abrantes street – Flamengo, in 1925.
Gastão Gracie was a powerful politician and responsible for assisting incoming Japanese immigrants. Count Koma Maeda Sensei, in gratitude for the kindness of Carlos Gracie – the patriarch of Gracie family – passed to him all teachings of "the prohibited art".
Thus was born Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, specialising in the ground grappling or Ne-Waza of Japanese ju-jitsu and judo. Hélio Gracie has become known as the founder as he was the one to spread the art and perfect it.
From his teachings rose great fighters and professors (Brazilians use the word "professor" in place of "teacher" or "Sensei").
The great Master Hélio Gracie was responsible for the return to the genuine "Gentle Art". Although a skinny little boy when he was younger, Hélio found in Jiu-Jitsu the key to become a hit in the sport and internationally famous.
Nowadays, it is easy to find Jiu-Jitsu fighters not only in Brazil as well around the world. Children, and adults, men and women, can learn in the academies self-defence and competition/ sport BJJ.
We imagina Count Koma/ Maeda could not realize that from his act of gratitude, the Gracie family would repay the kindness turning Brazil into the greatest stable of Jiu-Jitsu worldwide, with one of the most complete and invincible grappling styles of Jiu-Jitsu in the world.
Since this time, the Gracie family has been improving the art of grappling Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie was the first professor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He also developed the Gracie´s diet, that many many BJJ athletes still use today
Hélio Gracie, the younger brother, used to have health problems and always was prohibited by doctors to practice Jiu-Jitsu. One day, Hélio gave a personal lesson to Carlo´s student, taking advantage of Carlos' absence. From this moment, Hélio never stopped teaching.
Both brothers are known as the greatest names of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu history. The Gracies brothers were Carlos, Gastão Jr, George, Oswaldo and Hélio. Always using an aggressive marketing strategy to show the efficient art of Jiu-Jitsu, Hélio Gracie improved the Jiu-Jitsu techniques in such a way turning the man into a weapon, making the weak able to defeat the biggest and strongest man.
They became the "fathers" of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and collected a lot of victories. Made famous by Gracie Family, BJJ now is known everywhere on the planet and VT (Vale-Tudo), which is now known as MMA.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also called the "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" when outside from Brazil, also meaning courage and technique. The Gracies were the inventors of this kind of art improving some techniques and proving that was possible the weaker defeats the stronger using the Jiu- Jitsu superior principles. Since 1970´s, Gracie Family has dedicated their life to Jiu-Jitsu, and nowadays, has more than fifty members of their family working directly with this art. The success keeps growing in this traditional family called Gracie.
The Behring Story:
Many years ago, at the city of Nogueira, close to Rio de Janeiro, in the old state still called Guanabara, a young boy stole the car of Mr. Sylvio de Macedo Behring (our teachers Grandfather).
When Mr. Behring found out he went to have a conversation with the boy (six years older than Behrings first son, named Flávio). After that, the boy who stole the car started to persecute and humiliate Flávio wherever he would go.
this was the major reason that the insecure, skinny and asthmatic boy (Flavio Behring) begun to practice Jiu-Jitsu at the Gracie Academy, under supervision of Master Hélio Gracie by the hands of Master João Alberto Barreto, while Flavio´s younger brother, Luis Fernando (also called Nando) was a student of Master Hélio Vígio.
Flávio advanced quickly in Jiu-Jitsu, not only as a fighter as well as an instructor, getting to the top and representing the sport on every opportunity with honors.
In 1962, the first son of Professor Flávio Schmidt Behring was born, named Sylvio da Matta Behring and in 1964, Marcelo da Matta Behring, both learned from their father to live in a health way, doing exercises and, of course, practicing Jiu-Jitsu.
They used to follow the Gracie´s diet and way of life. Professor Flávio used to work in Advertising and Marketing however he was always training in Jiu-Jitsu through Professor and friend, Master João Alberto. Sylvio started at age of 4, at João Alberto Academy (AJA) under supervision of João´s son, Rodney Alberto and instructors Pernambuco and Valverde. Since the beginning Sylvio showed personal characteristics turned to technical side while Marcelo, revealed to be a brave fighter. Two different brothers linked by blood and the sport.
In 1970, Professor Flávio moved to São Paulo but continued the work started with his sons at Gastão Gracie´s Academy until 1974. Back to Rio de Janeiro, Sylvio started training with Master Álvaro Barreto and his brother Marcelo, with Professor Rickson Gracie.
In 1978, the Behring family moved to Nova Ipanema Buildings where he found an old friend, Professor Ricardo Murgel. They start up special trainings of self-defence and Vale-Tudo (with no padded mat or pre-defined place).
Next, they bought forty leaves of padded mat made by rice straw and covered with waxed canvas. Thus Born "The Behring Jiu-Jitsu and Judo" Academy , in 1980, under supervision of Master Flávio and with the assistance of Professor Ricardo Murgel and the Sensei Júlio César da Gama e Silva, as instructors Sylvio (Purple Belt) and Marcelo Behring (Blue Belt).
Sylvio was the supervisor in the academy of Master Álvaro Barreto (Álvaro Barreto Center of Physical Orientation) and Marcelo was the best on blue belt juvenile rank of Gracie´s academy. Also, Maurição Miguel Pereira came into the family falling in love with Jiu-Jitsu.
The benefits of this partnership (Master Álvaro, Master Rickson and Master Flávio ) to the students was unquestionable.
Looking forward, Master Flávio gave his boys a step up when he took Sylvio, Marcelo and Mauricio to train Judo with the best of Sensei, George Mehdi! All three became black belts in Judo.
In January, 1984, Sylvio received the black belt of Jiu-Jitsu together with Luis Eduardo Vianna and Paulo Acatauassú Bittencourt. Present at the grading were the Masters João Alberto Barreto, Reyson Gracie and Álvaro Barreto.
Marcelo got his black belt after defeating the World Champion of Tae Kwon Do, Flávio Molina, in a tournament of Vale -Tudo in November of the same year.
In 1986, Maurição also earned his black belt, and after, other students graduate and become famous in the sport: such as Fábio Oliveira, Vinícius Campelo, Jorge Pereira, Dr. Linhares, Dr. Cláudio Street, Dr. Pedro Albuquerque, Sérgio Monteiro, Rafael Parga, Pedro Alberto Braga, Bayard de Paoli, Eduardo Nishio, Cardivando Figueiredo, Ralph Pires, Muzio de Angelis, Ericson Pires and more.
Sylvio and Marcelo were instructors at Behring Academy, at Nova Ipanema, while Marcelo assumed the Julio Veloso Academy at Laranjeiras. Sylvio assumed the Álvaro Barreto Center of Physical Orientation located at Copacabana.
Marcelo became the prominent fighter of Professor Rickson Gracie Team. Sylvio, the Master Álvaro Team, Mauricao was also among the best fighters of his rank, being important and well known (he created Hunter Fightwear and became one of most famous trademarks for MMA).
In 1987, Sylvio associated with Master Álvaro and established the Corpo Quatro Academy, at Copacabana. They made an excellent team, winning titles on individual and team tournaments, creating the one of the first female teams in BJJ.
In January 1988, Ian Rego Monteiro Behring (Sylvio´s son) was born and Sylvio and Marcelo joined in the "First Challenge of Jiu-Jitsu". Sylvio was at the open fight (referee: Crolin Gracie. 20 minutes /Sylvio won by tap out) against Paschoal Duarte. Marcelo participated in the main fight, against Cássio Cardoso (referee: Master Álvaro Barreto, 1 hour / Cássio won 6 x 2). The tournament was organized by Maurição and Riccieli Santos and was a record of audience, 1.800 people went to see the fights.
During jiu-jitsu trips to Hawaii, Australia, Bali, etc … Marcelo got fame and prestige, challenging fighters from different kinds of martial arts, in order to show the effective power of Jiu-Jitsu in real combat.
Marcelo became a personal friend of Tom Carol, Ross Clark Jones and Martin Potter. At São Paulo, he met some professional surfers and also fans of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They couldn't imagine knowing such a person as Marcelo, with his ideas and attitudes. Back to Brazil, Marcelo moved to São Paulo. Now he was married with Kirla Gracie, who already had a son, Kyron. They intended to explore the market of Jiu-Jitsu competition. That was the beginning of the boom of Jiu-Jitsu at São Paulo. Kirla and Maercelo had another baby, Kywan Gracie Behring.
Master Flávio also went to São Paulo to work as a consultant for a Program of Total Quality for Corporations. But he ended working exclusively for BJJ and assumed the control of Behring Academy.
In 1992, Sylvio went to São Paulo,. He moved and left 250 students with Master Álvaro Barreto and Professor Roberto Traven. "Maurição" stayed at Rio de Janeiro, training with Professor Royler Gracie, in Gracie Academy at Humaitá. Meanwhile, in São Paulo, Sylvio had the opportunity to start and develop the Progressive System of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Sylvio created a new method of learning and comprehending Jiu-Jitsu. Through the systematic practice of its genuine principle, self-defence, was an easier way to understand the "gentle-art". Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now being shown around the world in seminars but it to be understandable for everyone, ordinary people and not just ground-fighting martial art fighters, they needed to simplify the way of exposure. The Progressive System made this easier, step by step progressive learning that made sense.
In 1995, a very sad event brought Sylvio back to Rio. Professor Marcelo Behring died. For three months in a painful search culminating with the funeral of the Vale- Tudo Champion, brother, father, son, friend. This sad event again joined Sylvio Behring and Maurição, who at the time was away from Jiu-jitsu.
Maurição was the first to try the revolutionary and traditional, new method (Progressive system).
Loyal to the principles of self-defence and the origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at his first year back to the tournaments he wins the Brazilian Championship, get silver at Pan American (Hawaii), 2º place in The First Black Belt of Surf (another idea from Professor Sylvio´s mind!) at Sunset and bronze in the World CBJJ (Rio de Janeiro).
At the same time, "Maurição" launched the trademark Hunter Fight Wear!
The results showed that the Progressive System is reliable and considered efficient, achieving good results in competitions as well in the individual´s background and preserving the art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Culture. In 1997, Professor Sylvio was highly requested to assume and direct several academies in Brazil, U.S.A., Canada and Europe and started teaching more around the world.
Using his own method he starts to get better and faster results and develops a unique style of teaching preparing some students to fight in every position during the classes. Those students can play in pairs or in small groups, individualizing the job and making possible the complete interaction of the group, socializing through the partnership, keeping the quality of the inducement and the results. Academies affiliated to Professor Sylvio start to use the Progressive System as basic structure to apprenticeship and to the former students as an exercise to keep the physical condition.
The positive results:
Maurição Miguel Pereira "Hunter", Fabrício Werdum, Shah Franco, Marcio Corleta, Mario Reis, Rosângela Conceição, Rob Handley, Danilo Rodacki, Peter Iacavazzi, Scott Schilling, Tom Theofanopoulos, Richard Nancoo, Justin Bruckman, Marco Costa, Antônio Carvalho, Rodrigo Munduruca, Jorge Keller, Mathias Ribeiro, Jessie Richardson, Luís Almiro, Mike Hermosillo, Anderson Silva (UFC), Rafel Feijão, Douglas Moura, Rafael Azambuja, Gabriel Azambuja, Marcio Dezan, Marcelo Dezan, Matt McDonald, Igor Mattos, Ian Behring, Fabio Oliveira, Mike Yackulic, Chris Bonde, Greg King, Hughes brothers and many many others.