Welcome to the official Jiu-Jitsu Nation website. Jiu-Jitsu Nation (Tai-Kai North) is a Team Balance Relson Gracie affiliate. Jiu-Jitsu Nation opened in September of 2009 and is owned and operated by Tai-Kai Team Balance brown belt Marc Stevens, under the watchful eye and instructions of Team Balance black belt Jordan Damon. With two very high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors, Jiu-Jitsu Nation/Tai-Kai North is first and foremost, a Jiu-Jitsu academy. However, with 20 MMA fights under his belt, owner Marc Stevens has assembled an advanced MMA program, as well an awesome boxing, kickboxing and judo program, tailored to benefit both beginners and the most experienced students.
History of Jiu-Jitsu
Jiu-Jitsu is one of the oldest forms of martial arts known to man. It is said to have originated more than 4,000 years by Buddhists monks from Northern India, a few miles north of Bernares, where a man, known today as Buddha, the “Enlightened One,” lived a peaceful life. The monks wandered the countryside divulging Buddhism. In these journeys, they were often robbed and murdered. Thus, they created a system of fighting techniques designed to defend themselves against their oppressors. Because it was against their religious principals to harm others, they developed a system without the use of any weapons and violent techniques. The Buddhist Monks were the true creators of the grappling arts.
After the death of Buddha, the power of India was upon King Azof and he disseminated grappling techniques to Tibet, Bermania, Zion, China, and Japan. Jiu-Jitsu came to Japan between the late 17th and mid 19th century. The method of unarmed grappling and self-defense came to Japan and evolved to what is known as Jujutsu or Jiu-Jitsu. The term Jiu-Jitsu means technique or art of gentleness. It was perfected and hidden by the Japanese from other nations until the past century.
In the 1800’s, the Japanese opened their ports and started commerce with the English. They were amazed with their new strategy of fighting. It was a fighting style where smaller men were capable of defeating bigger and stronger opponents. However, the Japanese were not allowed to disclose to the West the techniques of the grappling art. It was a crime against the Japanese Empire and national security law.
Because of the persistence of Westerners to learn the art, the Japanese taught them part of Jiu-Jitsu, an art developed by Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) and later known as Judo. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu evolved in the early 1900’s. It was planted in the fertile ground in a family of Scottish immigrants. In 1914, Mr. Mitsyuo Maeda (1878-1941), a Japanese man representing the Japanese government, arrived in the city of Pará, Brazil, to engage in cashew nut commerce. He stayed at the Gracie family house. Gastão Gracie was a “Carioca” (from Rio de Janeiro), a descendant from Scotland, and a family patriarch. He had eight children who are Carlos, Gastão, Osvaldo, Jorge, Lika, Helena, Mary, and Hélio Gracie. Gastão Gracie helped Mr. Maeda, also known as Conde Koma, to prosper in his business in Belém. Mr. Maeda showed his gratitude in teaching Carlos Gracie, the eldest son, the secret of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.
Moving back to Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Gracie started to teach Jiu-Jitsu. One day he was late for class, and his student, an important person from the Brazilian Bank accepted to take classes from Hélio Gracie, who was only 15 years old. From that day, he started to teach and became a professor. He adapted Jiu-Jitsu to his body type and with leverage to give movements that the Japanese only did with power and strength. In that manner, Hélio Gracie went a step further than his teachers by introducing techniques that required less strength than the Japanese style. Daring to break away from the traditional Japanese style, they began experimenting, modifying and perfecting simple techniques that would be effective regardless of stature. Though Jiu-Jitsu descended from the ancient Japanese style, the differences are quite apparent. Many of the Japanese facets of the art that depend on physical prowess and stiff were removed and replaced with flowing techniques.
One of Helio’s proudest accomplishments as a fighter was his match with undefeated Japanese Judo champion Masahiko Kimura. Confident of victory, Kimura told the press that if Helio lasted longer than three minutes he should consider himself the winner of the bout. Helio lasted 13 minutes and was still fighting when his older brother and mentor, Carlos, threw in the towel, afraid that the arm lock Kimura had caught his younger brother in would shatter Helio’s arm.
The 2nd oldest son of Helio Gracie, Relson Gracie moved to Hawaii in 1988. He began learning Jiu-Jitsu at 2 and entered his first competition at the tender age of 10! He was the Brazilian National Champion for 22 years straight, and during this period went undefeated in his weight and the open weight division. He became so popular that he attained the nickname “Campeao” or “Champion” among his friends and fans. Relson represented his family’s style in the rough streets of Rio de Janeiro against all challengers. He at this time he was considered the meanest of the Gracie Representatives.
There are still stories circulating in Brazil about some of the challenges Relson answered. Relson’s style of Jiu-Jitsu is submission based and is best suited for self-defense. Relson, as a Master of Jiu-Jitsu, still follows the correct promotion standards his father set. Relson’s style of instruction is very detail oriented and technical.
He is the only person ever to have two students that train under the same roof to close out a division of the World Championships by taking first & second place. Relson has helped train some of the best fighters in the world & most respected Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Upon his arrival to Honolulu, Relson had to prove the effectiveness of the Brazilian Martial Art to the locals. This would be a tall order for anyone. Hawaiians are usually large and tough warriors and there is a huge military population on the island. It was with great pleasure that Relson introduced the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the Aloha State.
He now has trained Honolulu Police Department, all the U.S. Military forces, the Secret Service, the D.E.A. the F.B.I., and more. Now retired from competition, Relson continues to enjoy teaching classes in Hawaii and at his associations across the Nation. He has become quite fond of the island life. Each week you can find Relson at Sandies Beach or at a B-B-Q when he is not on the mats.