History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The art of modern day Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was originally derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan Judo in the early 20th century, which was developed from a number of schools of Japanese Jujutsu in the 19th century by Kano Jigoro and one of his students Mitsuyo Maeda.

In 1916, 14-year-old Carlos Gracie watched a demonstration by Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Count Coma) and was inspired to learn the art. Gracie was accepted by Maeda as a student and went on to become a great exponent of the art. Ultimately, along with his younger brother Hélio Gracie, Carlos founded Gracie Jiu Jitsu (what we now refer to as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Jiu Jitsu).

Carlos Gracie Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps, winning numerous world championships and producing many world champion black belts. One of these notorious champions is Rigan Machado, now an 8th degree red/black belt. In 1988, Chris Haueter began his training in California under Rigan Machado. In 1996, Haueter became one of only a handful of Americans to be awarded with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the “BJJ Dirty Dozen”.

Like the great instructors before him, Haueter has produced his own line of incredible Machado black belts, including owner and founder of Impact Jiu Jitsu, Michael Chapman (now a 5th degree black belt).

Impact Jiu Jitsu’s Beginnings

Impact Jiu Jitsu’s beginnings stem from Japan where in 1991, founder Michael Chapman studied “Shooto” or Shoot Fighting. When Michael returned to Oregon in 1993, he brought with him a passion for ground fighting. At the time, there was little known locally about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Michael pulled together training partners and they began to learn what they could through books, videos, and seminars with Brazilian Black Belts such as Rickson Gracie and Rigan Machado.

In 1997, Michael joined the Machado family when Black Belt Chris Haueter presented him a purple belt—Michael’s first colored belt. In 1998, Impact Jiu Jitsu was opened (known as Beaverton Straight Blast Gym until 2006). Chris Haueter awarded Michael with his Black Belt in 2004.

Since opening Impact Jiu Jitsu in Beaverton in 1998, Michael has been joined by many other amazing Jiu Jitsu athletes; some of whom followed a similar path to his as local pioneers in the sport.

Dewey Nielsen (Black Belt) and Matt Leech (Black Belt) joined the Impact Jiu Jitsu family in 2003 when they opened Impact Jiu Jitsu in Newberg. Dewey and Matt began their pursuit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu years before, training in smaller facilities—from Matt’s garage to mat space in a local health club.

Today, Impact Jiu Jitsu is the proud home to more than 90 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts: Michael Chapman (5th degree); Armand Debruge, Keisuke Andrew (4th degree); John Furukawa, Tony Gracia, Keith Johnson, Matt Leech, Eric Loar, Josh Long, Chad Lyman, Bryan Marugg, Mark Pagaduan, Richard Rangel, Pavel Rott, David Rubin, Kurt Shrout, Brian Walsh, Andrew Wong (3rd degree); Cameron Apple, Todd Betters, Rodney Buswell, Daryl Cutler, Sébastien Hily, George Huertas, Matt Koppelman, Tommy Leisman, Woody Little, David Niederman, Blake Nolan, Shaun Ryan, Adam Thomas, K.C. Thompson, Justin Tishendorf, Robert Wolfe (2nd Degree); Travis Berger, Tracy Chapman, Michael Currier, Marques Daniels, Levi Danielson, Daynin Dashefsky, Ashleigh Force, Zach Force, Rafael Garay, Nick Gilardi, John Goforth, Benjamin Henning, Daniel Henry, Matt Hoidal, Eric Jetton, Zakk Miller, Zachary Minteer, Dewey Nielsen, Paul Park, David Rittel, Ned Sands, Justin Walls (1st degree); Ericson Abalos, Pat Abiley, Jeremy Boulanger, Ryan Brock, Phalen Carron, Benjamin Charles, Luis Cisneros, Samantha Currier, Christian Diaz, Sean Duffy, Lee Flores, Robert Follis, Dan Hewitt, Shaun Kiatvongcharoen, Dustin Klingebiel, Scott Krause, Chad Kyser, Andrew Lakey, Nathan McGuire, Jared Mina, Journey Newson, Bryan Nuro, Eamon O’Brien, Sarah Oriza, Alex Padron, Ioane Palakiko, Chris Pasto, Dan Robinson, Jose Rodriguez, Christian Rubio, John Sheridan, Aaron Sparling, Tina Tappouni, Bryan Torres, Dan Walsh, Jeff Warner, Erik Whitney, Josh Williams, Isa Wolfe. Many of these athletes, as well as a great number of Impact’s students, hold local and world champion Jiu Jitsu titles.

To learn more about Impact Jiu Jitsu and the people that make it great, come visit us in person.