Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Martial Arts Lineage - Think of it as your family tree or for grappling. Some people swear by their lineage and those that have a direct an pure connection to the past are of course the best. As you know, this isn’t always the case for many reasons, and in my opinion the most significant being those who are primarily self taught. I know many would argue against that point, but let’s leave that for another post.

As we have stated many times before Luta Livre is part of the CACC family tree along with Sambo, Shooto and modern styles of wrestling. Since many of these Catch influenced arts have stayed semi secluded, small and relatively non-mainstream (unlike their distant cousin BJJ and Judo) finding your lineage is fairly easy. Unlike Catch itself (which in most cases does not use a ranking system) most other styles of submission grappling do have some sort of belt, color or title ranking. In many ways this has made documentation and tracking lineage much easier for the modern grappler.

So here is a very quick and dirty history of LL: Luta livre has long been considered the poor man’s BJJ, because in the beginning it was pretty much just that. No, the Gracie’s didn’t invent ground fighting, nor did they create a style vastly different than what existed already. While BJJ with the kimono was taught to the well to do business men and politicians in Brazil, Luta Livre found it’s home with those who could not afford kimonos, thus the first incarnation of Brazilian No-gi (sem kimono) grappling. Luta Livre was the combination of early 1900’s Judo/JiuJitsu from Japan and the integration of Catch wrestling. Combined they created a style that was very aggressive, fast paced, and had dynamic attacks. At this point the only relation between LL and BJJ was their parent influence of pre-war Judo. As we have talked about in the past LL had a bitter rivalry with BJJ for many years. As the rivalry weaned with the advent of early MMA/Vale Tudo, you started to see more cross training. It is without a doubt that LL has greatly influenced modern BJJ/combat sports. You can credit LL for forcing BJJ fighters to take there kimonos off, hiding their legs and the integration of standup arts into grappling (Brazilian Muay Thai with LL.) As grappling styles started to assimilate in Brazil, BJJ spread throughout the world with the UFC as a catalyst. LL also spread quietly through South America, Germany, and France. Over the past few years we have seen a big resurgence in LL, primarily in part to RFT LL whom are part of the Daniel DDane lineage. Keep your eyes open for even more tough LL fighters making appearances in submission grappling tournaments and MMA. You can read some great articles written about LL's history here and here.

In the meantime check out this very interesting LL Family Tree, put together by Nicolas Renier of NR Fight Team France LL.



  2. I LOVE this history of grappling arts stuff. Great vid too. Keep it coming.

  3. Your Tree is wrong !!!! I posted this tree on my facebook and Master Eugenio Tadeu emailed me and told me the tree was wrong ..... im not sure what is wrong , but he told me he was gonna email me the correct tree ......


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