Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Judo Fly to the wolrd (How BJJ born)

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

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

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.


  1. Maeda was the father of jiujitsu?

    Yes, he invented something that was around for hundred of years.

    if you mean he invented BJJ, you are in the right neighborhood at least.

    he taught Carlos Gracie judo before the big changes of the following decade in that martial art as well as every subsequent ones afterwards which is were one style forked from another. Carlos and his brothers including Helio who was too ill to learn from Maeda were the ones who took these teachings and molded in their own way. (he didnt spend years teaching Gracie)
    Carlos and the brothers are the fathers of BJJ. Maeda can be considered the godfather or midwife of BJJ.
    Of course, revisionist Gracie history limits Carlos role to emphasize Helio. (carlos was already teaching it when helio replaced him once.)
    Instead of looking like an diletante when spout inane and uninformed comments, how about you spend some time actually reading some books about Maeda or heck, just 3 seconds on his Wikipedia page.

    Its bad enough that we get the Graciefied version of maeda's life but this took it to a whole nother level of incompetence.
    For your info, Maeda opened the first judo school (a small room) in Brazil in 1921 called Clube Remo. He received his judo 6th degree black belt less than 10 yrs later.

  2. Well you just act like I'm revisionist.Because I call Maeda father of jujitsu.Did I say Gracie didn't improve jujitsu and make own martial arts at this subject? No.Never.

    Martial arts go another continent and make other evolution is great thing.BJJ never exist if Japanese jujitsu didn't exist.Make own evolution and at MMA people use BJJ and not Japanese jujitsu.That say many thing.

    I can call Helio as BJJ father.I can call Carlos as BJJ father too.And I can say Maeda is BJJ father too.I call Maeda is father which never mean there is no other father.

    Many great as exist and what you concerned.You want go political with hard to research all thing at this point.I don't plan and do dissed any Gracie at this article.You want compare role.And try rank those important figure contribute martial arts world.

    That's not martial arts way.

    "Instead of looking like an diletante when spout inane and uninformed comments "

    If you write like this,why don't you reconsider about how to write in moderate way.

    I guess you didn't think Oda is BJJ father.I didn't think so too.But there is skill people think it's origin from BJJ until recently.

    So naturally it's hard to find out all old thing at this time point.I think give respect all important figure is nothing to wrong with.