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Joe Cunningham has been a student with the Yamasaki Academy since 1998. His interest in the sport started after watching Royce Gracie dominate opponents in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships using techniques that, at the time, were widely unknown to most people in the United States. Like most students of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu usually find, once he started training he was quickly hooked and began spending as much time as he could at the Yamasaki Springfield academy learning from the instructors.
In November of 2006 he was awarded the rank of Brown Belt from Mario and Fernando Yamasaki.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Alexandria, VA
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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission grappling, MMA
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Sports / Recreation
Jiu-Jitsu or the "gentle art" is the oldest form of martial art. It originated in India more than 2000 years before the birth of Christ. It was created by monks who could not use any type of weapons to defend their lives against barbarian attacks. It spread throughout China, and eventually took root and was modified in Japan where it became the first martial arts style. The samurai clans in Japan adopted Jiu-Jitsu as their own traditional style to defeat an opponent regardless of whether striking, throwing or grappling was involved. With the passing years, they split the techniques and developed other martial arts styles, such as judo, akido, karate, etc.
In 1914, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu champion Esai Maeda migrated to Brazil where he was instrumental in establishing a Japanese immigrant community. His efforts were aided by Gastão Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician of Scottish descent. As an expression of his gratitude for Gracie's assistance, Maeda taught the Brazilian's oldest son, Carlos, the essential secrets of the ancient martial arts technique. Carlos taught Maeda's techniques to his four brothers, and in 1925 they opened the first Jiu-Jitsu academy in Brazil.
Propelled by the Gracie lineage, the superiority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been represented throughout the world both in the ring and on the street.
Relevant Education / Credentials
Brown Belt - Mario and Ferndando Yamasaki November 2006
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