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    IQ Jiu Jitsu's Lineage



On October 1, 1913, Helio Gracie was born in Brazil.  As a teenager, he and his older brother Carlos were introduced to traditional Kano Judo by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant to Brazil.  Not having the physical attributes to perform some of the techniques, Helio, over a period of several years, modified the art to rely on leverage, positioning, and timing rather than strength and aggression.

In 1925 Carlos and Helio Gracie founded the original Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  Over the next 50 years, the brothers and their sons taught and spread the art, fighting all challengers to prove the effectiveness of their style.

During the last 10 years of his life, Helio wore a royal navy blue belt instead of the currently acceped red.


When Hélio Gracie was asked why he was wearing a royal navy blue belt, he explained that in the original Gracie Academy there were no belt level differentiations based on fighting skills. Belt colors were awarded only to distinguish instructors from students. In order to separate themselves from Judo instructors, who were teaching what they considered to be a limited sport for competition rather than a complete martial art, they didn’t utilize the black belt. At that time, Gracie Academy Instructors wore a light blue belt and head professors wore the royal navy blue. Only those who completed the professor’s course under the Grandmaster himself could wear the royal navy blue belt.

With the creation of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in 1967, the belt system of Judo was adopted. In addition, a framework for sport Jiu-Jitsu, including a point system and weight divisions, which had never been accepted by Grandmasters Carlos and Helio before then, was established. As Judo was attracting a large following in Brazil under this sportive system, Grandmaster Helio agreed to adopt this structure under the assumption that recreational Jiu-Jitsu tournaments would not have a negative effect on his complete system of self defense.

In the early 1990’s, Grandmaster Helio realized that the mutation of his art was a direct result of the point-based, sport Jiu-Jitsu competitions, and that red belts were being awarded without his consent by individuals who weren’t red belts and black belts were being awarded to practioners who had a less than complete understanding of his self defense system. For these reasons, he decided to return to his original royal navy blue belt to separate himself from the federation and from sport Jiu-Jitsu. Grandmaster Hélio felt very comfortable wearing a belt that indicates the first level of learning, and it was his favorite color.



Jared began training Jiu-Jitsu in late 1995, inspired by Royce Gracie’s success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Over the next two decades, he was significantly influenced by the Gracie family, learning from Grandmaster Helio himself, and apprenticing himself to Royce as a dedicated student.
Jared founded iQ in 2005 and in January 2008 began teaching classes in Benton Illinois. His hard work and perseverance paid off, and on July 17, 2010, iQ Jiu-Jitsu became the first Royce Gracie network in the state of Illinois. For the first 7 months, he slept on the mats while erecting the business and building relationships.

An avid learner, Jared devoured any educational material he could get his hands on.  Over a lifetime of investigation, he began to notice that there are common themes that govern every field of study. Through years of deliberation, he translated these universal axioms from the arts and sciences into Principles that underlie every aspect of Jiu-Jitsu. Though these governing Principles are inherent to the art and utilized by every practitioner, as a contribution to the Jiu-Jitsu community Jared has identified, organized, and raised them to a level of conscious awareness. Jared strives to continue the legacy of Grandmaster Helio and Master Royce Gracie by preserving the complete form of self defense created by the Gracie family.



Owner of IQ Jiu-Jitsu Hillsborough


EJ’s earlier years were a battle.  Subject to various forms of physical and emotional bullying throughout his childhood, he struggled with self esteem and confidence.
When he was 11 years old, he watched UFC 1, and witnessed Royce Gracie defeat the larger, very athletic Ken Shamrock.  Inspired by this event, EJ started wrestling with friends, boxing with his father, and imitating Jiu-Jitsu on his coffee table.  At 18 years old, he began training MMA near his home in West Frankfort, taking amateur fights every chance he could.
After changing gyms several times, EJ found iQ Jiu-Jitsu.  He was so impressed by Jessup’s quality of instruction and execution of technique that he signed up and began attending classes daily. 


After earning his blue belt in 2013, he dedicated himself to the Instructor Program, and now teaches full-time.  

“I feel like all the moments in my earlier life - the bullying, the boxing and wrestling, schooling, MMA fights - were all drawing me to iQ.  I have learned more life lessons from Jared than I have in all my years of school and college.  Jiu-Jitsu has given me a purpose, a reason to improve myself.   
I truly believe that we can create a better world through the next generation, and Jiu-Jitsu is my contribution to the future.  I teach so that no child need feel powerless or alone.  I have dedicated my life to the enhancement of each and every student I have the privilege of instructing.”

When he is not teaching, EJ enjoys films and computer programming.  He also dedicates much of his time to self study, particularly psychology and philosophy, and maintains a rigorous exercise regimen five days a week.


4-1-1 MMA Record


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