Maeda eventually parted ways with Tomita, and settled in Brazil. Maeda was staying in Sao Palo City to help establish a Japanese Immigration colony. At this time Brazil held the largest population of Japanese people outside Japan. He was aided in Brazil by Gastao Gracie, a Brazilian of Scottish decent, who's first experience with Jiu-Jitsu was most likely through managing an Italian boxer named Alfredi Leconti, who fought a friend of Maeda in November of 1916.
standing. They would all eventually find themselves on the ground, where they were at a loss as to what to do. Consequently, grappling became very popular over the next ten years and many styles began to incorporate grappling techniques into their curriculum. Royce Gracie was simply doing what had already
To show gratitude to Gracie for his help in the colonization, Maeda taught Gastao's son Carlos the basic techniques of Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie then taught his brothers Oswaldo, Jorge, Gastao, and Helio. In 1925 the brothers opened their first school, and Jiu-Jitsu was cultivated into a more effective martial art and sport known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. What made this version of Jiu-Jitsu more effective was the constant exposure of its practitioners to real situations. Between their own schools, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players
The formal teaching of Jiu-Jitsu to Brazilians by the Gracie family began in 1940 when Helio opened an academy in Rio. Over the next 18 years, if you wanted to learn Jiu-Jitsu from the Gracie family in Brazil, you had a choice of four academies, all of which were located in Rio. The Gracie's were not the only one's teaching Judo and Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, but they were certainly the most popular, teaching over 2000 students in that 18 year period. A good example of this is Mehdi, a Judo master who came to Brazil from France in 1949, and still teaches there now. There have been Judo schools in Brazil since the early 1900's and Sao Paulo still has a very large Japanese population. Mehdi's list of students include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts Mario Sperry, Rickson Gracie, and Sylvio Behring, just to name a few. This is another example of Judo's influence on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and that Helio Gracie did not invent it. The Gracie family developed the art of Judo into a more effective rules-free style. While in Brazil, I learned about a
In 1967, the first federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was created by Helio Gracie, and the system of belts as we know it was developed (white, blue, purple, brown, and black). Around the time the Carlson Gracie team was born in the early 1970's, the Gracie family made their first split. Carlson Gracie was the son of Carlos and a very reputable Vale Tudo fighter. He claimed many victories while defending the Gracie family name, including avenging one of Helio's very few losses. There were now two sides of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Family, students under Helio and students under Carlson. Helio's side would argue that Carlson's style of Jiu-Jitsu involved too much strength and that it was Helio who developed the