El Gentil Arte
Saturday, May 13 2017
In Japanese "Ju" means Gentle and "Jitsu" means Art or Technique, and can be translated literally into, The Gentle Art. It is said because one uses leverage and technique to take ones opponent to the ground in order to dominate and submit them. This martial art was utilized by the Samurai as a close combat technique when the samurai was left without a sword and strikes were not effective due to the heavy armor they used. Joint locks and chokes were used since those were the armors' weak points left exposed for mobility. In the early 19th Century Mitusyo Maeda AKA "Count Koma", traveled the world showcasing Jiu-Jitsu's effectiveness. He then landed in Brazil where he trained Carlos Gracie and there the history of Martial Arts would change forever. Carlos Gracie's younger brother Helio Gracie was a tall, skinny and some would consider weak person. Helio would then change the way JiuJitsu was utilized and made it to where a weaker person can effectively dominate and submit a person while being on their back. This made Jiujitsu even more of an inclusive sport where anyone can learn the technique and apply them, no matter size or gender. After that, the Gracie family would become the "Royal Family" of Jiujitsu, being responsible for spreading it all around the world and making it the popular Martial Art it is today.
This exhibit showcases paintings in which the subjects are caught in submission holds where either life or limb are at risk. Each subject is rendered as a skeleton,not to depict the face of death but to illustrate that underneath all of us, our bones are just as vulnerable as that of the armor of the ancient Samurai. The entire series was painted using a mixed media of Acrylic Paints, Markers, Inks and Pencil. A swift and flowing style was applied to create the feeling of movement in the pieces. Opponents caught in submissions where if they did not submit or "tap out" they would either have broken bones or would be put to sleep due to the submission holds. Jiu Jitsu is a beautiful martial art that can empower any person and this exhibit is meant to share that beauty and power.