What is Team Checkmat?
Checkmat is a leading international Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu association and team, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil. It was founded in 2008 by Leo Vieira who leads Checkmat with his brothers Ricardo Vieira and Leandro Vieira. Checkmat currently has affiliate academies around the world including Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Sweden,Ireland, England, Malaysia, United States, Paraguay, Spain, France, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Greece, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. The goal being to gain the dominant position with locks and holds in order to subdue the attacker. This system is based on teaching a smaller, weaker individual how to defend themselves against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique. Sparring and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition.
Reaching back to the times of the Japanese Samurai, Jiu-Jitsu was developed as a fighting technique for the warriors to defend themselves in the event that they were unhorsed. Weighed down with heavy armor, these men had very little agility or rang of motion. This style of fighting evolved into utilizing joint-locks, choke-holds, and throwing of their opponents.
By the 1800’s Jiu-Jitsu had split into several different styles. The core aspects of hand to hand combat with strikes, weapon disarms, and grappling remained a constant throughout them all though. About this time Jigoro Kano developed his own style based around ‘randori’, a style that utilized a full-powered practice against opponents. Kano’s new styles later became Judo which quickly gained popularity throughout the world.
In 1914 Mitsuo Maeda, a student of Kano’s, emigrated from Japan to Brazil with the help of a local politician named George Gracie. As a token of his appreciation Maeda taught George’s son, Carlos, Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos and his brothers practiced their art and eventually opened Brazil’s first Jiu-Jitsu academy in 1925.
As time went on, the Gracie’s and their students honed their skills through public challenges and no-rules matches. Their technique became more focused on submission ground fighting, thus allowing a smaller person to defend and defeat a much stronger foe. With the addition of wrestling moves in the 1970’s Rolls Gracie created the first point and rule system for the modern day Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.