Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu archeologists are claiming their latest find, an ancient document called “Jiu-Jitsu University,” written by a scribe called Saulo Ribeiro, could revolutionize our understanding of how the sport was once practiced. The researchers discovered the book while excavating a locker in a Colorado Jiu-Jitsu school, and believe that the document represents definitive proof of a popular theory that ancient Jiu-Jitsu players actually practiced a unique style of grappling that included moves which targeted an opponent’s arms and neck.
“This is a really exciting day for Jiu-Jitsu historians everywhere,” lead excavator Jessica Anders said at a press conference announcing the discovery. “It’s incredible to think that long ago, Jiu-Jitsu students around the world would read documents like this and practice the techniques within. Oh, to be a fly on the wall. Imagine how the sport could have looked. Passing guards. Taking an opponent to the ground and landing on top. Strangulations! We have reason to believe that all of these techniques were once commonplace in both practices and competitions.”
If authenticated, the document could be definitive proof of the existence of entire systems of Jiu-Jitsu that ancient civilizations used to crank, choke and lock opponents. Each technique demonstrated in the book is accompanied by still images of the author and some descriptive text, which researchers believe served as a primitive form of YouTube videos. The images also document a traditional athletic garment, known as a gi, once worn by practitioners of the art. Researchers have sent out copies of the documents for examination by some of the sport’s leading athletes who declined to comment on the record, though one world champion said that he was skeptical of the veracity of the techniques in the ancient texts, and that he doesn’t buy into “upper body attack” conspiracy theories.