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History of the Art
Article written and provided by George Thomadakis
The art was created in the early to mid 20th Century in Rio de Janeiro. At the beginning a few strong young men met at the Boat Club Boquerao do Passeio to compete against each other in combat. Among them were Fausto Brunocilla, Tatu, Calmon and Alemao.They trained ground fighting especially, because they knew from their Vale Tudo experience how important grappling was in NHB combat
The founder of the system was Euclydes Hatem (Tatu). He is considered one of the greatest Brazilian fighters of all time. Master Hatem, pioneer of the art, fought (and defeated) George Gracie in the 1940's.
The art was developed from Wrestling and Judo in Brazil. It is practiced without the gi or kimono.
In the 1970’s LL was strongly influenced by technical experts like Roberto Leitao. Leitao is a University professor for Engineering and has devoted many years to Wrestling and Judo No-Gi. As he was smaller and not as strong as his training partners, he needed to develop good techique to defeat them. He developed not only isolated techniques, but general principles as well that could be applied to all the techiques.
The next generation produces fighters such as Hugo Duarte and Eugenio Tadeu who in turn taught Marco Ruas and Daniel d' Dane.
Cacareco: Champion of the IVC (International Vale Tudo Championship) trained under Hugo Duarte.
Alexandre Franca "Pequeno" Nogueira Lightweight Champion in Shooto in Japan trained under Eugenio Tadeu and Daniel d'Dane."
This style was very succesful in Vale Tudo tournaments in Rio, especially in combination with Thai boxing.
The words Luta Livre are Portuguese meaning "free fight". It is a complete martial art system which was designed in Rio de Janeiro. It is first and foremost a submission grappling style where competitors use joint locks and chokes to submit their opponent. The stand up component of the art, which includes wrestling (freestlyle, greco roman) and striking, was developed to complete the art.
Luta Livre Esportiva - No-Gi submission grappling. Similar to Catch Wrestling and Submission Wrestling yet developed independently in Brazil.
Luta Livre Vale Tudo - No Gi submission grappling plus strikes.
In the end, the difference between LL and BJJ had much more to do with the approach to the gi than technique. Now that BJJ has adopted wholeheartedly no-gi "sparring", it has become very hard to differentiate the two... If you watch a no-gi BJJ and a LL class I bet you won't be able to tell the difference.
For more information go to: http://lutalivresubmission.com.br/. Sorry, but this website is not in English.
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