The South American martial arts

South America, and Latin America in general, has a very strong common spirit and national identities are often overcome by the character of the Latinos, which overcomes all types of barriers.

He is a tough spirit, warrior, joyful, proud, creative, full of life. In fact, we talk about the Argentine garra to identify the fighting spirit that is never thrown back even in the face of certain setback, or of the Brazilian malandrameg to define the cunning of those who are ready to do anything to win and win.

Also note, it is the harshness of Mexican and Andean boxers, real war machines that fear nothing, and the ancient warrior heritage of great empires of the past such as the Maya, the Aztecs, the Incas, and indigenous peoples of the area that goes from the Amazon to the Guarani forests and beyond, up to Patagonia.

All these peoples developed their traditional martial arts before the Africans produced one of the most aesthetic martial arts ever, the capoeira, and before the Japanese immigrants created a new generation martial art that managed to revolutionize the whole world scene. martial arts: brazilian jiu jitsu .

South American martial arts: brazilian jiu jitsu

It is impossible to deny that brazilian jiu jitsu is the most popular martial art in recent decades. Extremely practical and effective, it was created in the 1920s by the famous Gracie family, especially by its founder Helio, who learned traditional ju jitsu adapting it to modern combat and studying the famous ground fight.

Through the Brazilian jiu jitsu it is easy to fight back against the ground against an opponent stronger or heavier than us: once on the ground it will be easy to defuse the origin of his strength, from the movement of the hips and shoulders, immobilize him, and try to subdue him .

All modern professional mixed martial arts fighters study without exception the brazilian jiu jitsu, a fundamental discipline when it comes to fighting on the ground, where generally the real fight ends after a few seconds.

The Brazilian jiu jitsu has adopted a belt system similar to that of the Japanese martial arts, which develops however in white, blue, purple, brown, black, red.

South American martial arts: capoeira

Here is another martial art that has gained considerable ground in the world martial scene: the capoeira.

It is not just a question of combat and acrobatics: dance, music, song, art, culture, identity and the history of the deportation of African slaves converge in it, which developed the first rudiments of head, since, having their hands tied, they had to fight using mainly kicking and positioning yourself vertically with somersaults and flips; moreover, they were forced to cover up their training by pretending to be music and dance sessions in the eyes of the slavers who certainly did not take kindly to slaves capable of fighting.

Capoeira is divided into several schools and, although it is not considered a martial art specialized in efficacy, it brings together an incalculable number of practitioners around the world because of its beauty, its capacity for aggregation and its poor appearance violent .

Yogaeira: when yoga meets capoeira

Evolution of South American martial arts

When the conquistadores arrived in South America, they found pugnacious peoples, lovers of traditional fighting styles still in vogue among the tribes of the Amazon forest.

Over time , immigrants in search of fortune introduced martial arts proper, such as boxing, karate, kung fu, judo and jiu jitsu. It was at that moment that the various schools collided and gave life to a series of hard core tournaments to see which was in truth the strongest martial art: thus the vale tudo, in Portuguese “everything valid”, was born to emphasize that it could throwing fists and elbows with your arms, kicking and kneeling with your legs, but also throwing and landing your opponent and finally trying to subdue them with levers, choking, pulling.

The South American martial arts today

Nowadays, South America, especially Brazil, is a hotbed of martial artists of the highest level, including legendary fighters such as Anderson Silva, Vanderlei Silva, Minotauro Nogueira, Lyoto Machida, and the current champions or former world champions of mixed martial arts such as Fabricio Werdum, Jacaré Souza, Rafael Dos Anjos, Junior Dos Santos, José Aldo, Renan Barao.

The Brazilian masters of brasilian jiu jitsu dominate the world scene of wrestling and grappling tournaments and teach all over the world. How not to mention Marcelo Garcia, André Galvao, Draculino, Kron Gracie and all the members of the Gracie family?

Martial arts: which ones to choose?

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