What is a BJJ lineage? BJJ lineage is the tracing of black belts and their professors back to the earliest roots of BJJ. Lineage is sometimes used to demonstrate the authenticity of a black belt or to honor and respect the heritage of the black belts that came before you.
Traditionally, BJJ is traced back to the founders: Mitsuyo Maeda, Carlos Gracie, and Helio Gracie.
Mitsuyo Meada: Maeda was a Japanese judoka who naturalized to Brazil (sometime in the 1910s) and was fundamental to the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Maeda was taught by Jigoro Kano, the creator of Judo. Maeda won more than 2,000 professional fights in his career. His accomplishments led to him being called the "toughest man who ever lived" and being referred to as the father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Carlos & Helio Gracie: The visionary brothers that broke the conventions of what were the accepted fighting styles. They started the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy (and fighting system). They would often challenge fighters from a variety of martial arts backgrounds to advertise themselves and to improve their technical abilities.
While lineage doesn't determine the skill of a grappler or their potential in competition or teaching, lineage can create a profound respect for the direct link of knowledge from the founders of this great sport. Tracing the lineage of a professor or academy can help to stop "imposter" black belts.
So what is the lineage of the Refuge BJJ Academy Professors?
We have direct links to Mitsuo Maeda & Carlos Gracie. Check it out below!
Mitsuo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Gustavo Dantas > Coach Josh & Coach Ryan