Today, judo -- and by extension, Brazilian jiu-jitsu -- are international sports. But, at first, judo only existed in Japan. Today, I introduce three individuals who brought judo abroad. These are the first steps of oriental grappling going worldwide, clearly effecting MMA's establishment.
Mitsuyo Maeda (Conde Koma)
Mitsuyo Maeda (Conde Koma) is known as the father of jiu-jitsu. He as born in the prefecture of Aomori at 1878, and joined the Kodokan at nine years old. To pay the costs of staying in America, he took prizefights against boxers, kenpo practitioners and pro wrestlers. If any opponent beat him, they won 1000 U.S. dollars.
His prizefighting tour eventually landed him in Brazil, where he met businessman and politician Gastao Gracie, the son of a Scottish immigrant. Gracie wanted Maeda to use jiu-jitsu to teach his son Carlos discipline. Carlos would show these grappling skills to his younger brother, Helio, who would modify and improve parts of jiu-jitsu, renaming the art "Gracie jiu-jitsu."
Some 30 years ago, the heavy rain of Belem destroyed Maeda's grave. Maeda's friend Sakaeoti, and Yoshizo Machida -- the father of Lyoto -- collected the bones of "Conda Koma", cleaned them, and with the support of Kokushikan University, rebuilt a new tomb for him.
Masahiko Kimura as born in prefecture of Kumamoto at 1917.He start Judo at 10years old. Originally, Kimura wanted to be a part of the pro judo circuit and won the tournament, but pro judo was a financial failure. As a result, Kimura started to compete in pro wrestling. While working and teaching judo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Kimura's colleague Yukio Kato was choked out by Helio Gracie, who had honed his grappling under his brother Carlos. Kimura worried about judo's popularity decreasing due to the event, leading to him fighting Helio at Maracana Stadium.
When Kimura arrived at the stadium, he found a coffin, which Helio had said was for him. However, Kimura defeated Gracie after 13 minutes, throwing him with an osoto gari, before attacking him with an ude garami, forcing Carlos Gracie to stop the bout, knowing his brother would not submit. Because of this bout, the ude garami was called the "Kimura lock".
Almost 50 years later, Kazushi Sakuraba would become the first man in modern MMA to defeat the second generation of Gracie family. Sakuraba beat both Royler and Renzo Gracie with the famous Kimura lock.
Kimura is also known as a teacher of Yoshinori Nishi and the late Ryusuke Moriyama, who were instrumental in forming Japan's biggest network of MMA gyms, Wajutsu Keishukai .
Yukio Tani as born in prefecture of Kumamoto at 1880.At the age of 19, Japanese jiu-jitsu practitioner Yukio Tani flew to London to serve as an instructor in Bartitsu, a hybrid martial art devised by British entrepreneur and self-defense pioneer E.W. Barton Wright. The martial art inspired famous author Arthur Conan Doyle to write his celebrated Sherlock Holmes character as a student of Bartitsu.
Unfortunately, Bartitsu was a financial failure. However, Tani stayed in London, and joined up with show business promoter William Bankier. Tani started to compete in jacket (gi) challenge matches at London's music halls. A challenger would be paid a British pound for every minute he lasted with Tani, up to 15 minutes, and 100 pounds if he could defeat Tani.
Judo school taught by Tani still exist in London.It named Budokwai.
Big thanks to Jordan Breen for English support and Editing.