BJJ vs Judo

Before MMA, UFC, BJJ and other combat-related TLAs, there was Gracie vs. Kimura; or, in today’s terms,  ‘Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) vs Judo.’

The date was 1955, Dana White still a gleam in his father’s eye.  The 38-year-old Kimura was to fight a slightly older and lighter Hélio Gracie in what was known as a submission Judo match.

Taking place in Gracie’s native Brazil in front of 20,000 martial arts fans, the bout lasted just over 13 minutes, and saw Gracie repeatedly thrown, battered, smothered and man-handled by the most famous Judoka of the time – Kimura.

A true warrior, Gracie refused to submit – even as Kimura was breaking his arm.  As a result, Gracie’s corner threw in the towel to prevent further injury.

Ironically,  the arm lock that resulted in Gracie’s broken arm would later be called the Kimura Arm Lock – also known in BJJ and MMA circles as the Kimura* –  paying homage to the Japanese Judoka.

*Known in Judo as ude garami (arm entanglement)

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