Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was first developed around 1920 by Brazilian brothers Carlos, Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., George, and Hélio Gracie, after Carlos was taught traditional Kodokan Judo by a traveling Japanese judoka, Mitsuyo Maeda, in 1917. Later, they developed their own self-defense system and named it Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. In 1925, the family moved to Rio de Janeiro to teach what is often called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in its home country. The Gracies passed the art on to their extended family with Gastão's younger son Hélio de Melo teaching the art to Carlos' oldest son Carlson and his brothers. They then effectively began marketing Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a form of complementary education for Brazilians willing to learn a martial art as they spread their style across the country and later to Japan where they also promoted their art as an effective self-defense method.

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