was Oscar Gracie
and who taught him Jiu-Jitsu?
to GTR, February 13, 2018
August 17, 2020 (JST)
Carlos Gracie learn the gentle-art of gjiu-jitsuh under
the auspices and intimate gpaternal
supervisionh of Mitsuyo
Maeda, aka Conde Koma,
as he and his supporters claimed (and still do),
invariably without any substantiating evidence.
recent discovery throws important
light on the question.
1921, an event took place in the Campo
da Recreativa in the city of
Pará in the Brazilian Amazon. It was announced in the June 26
edition of the local newspaper Estado
do Pará. It read as follows:
esse numero seguir-se-ão jogos de jiu-jitsu entre os srs. Donato
Pires dos Reis e Oscar Gracie, alumnus do prof. Jacintho Ferro. Servirão
de arbitros nessa lucta os profs. Conde Koma, Jacintho Ferro e dr.
Matheus L. Pereira.h
at the end of this act, Jiu-Jitsu games will follow between Mr. Donato
Pires dos Reis and Mr. Oscar Gracie, students of the Professor Jacintho
Ferro. The Referees for this fight will be Professors Conde Koma,
Jacintho Ferro e Dr. Matheus L. Pereirah.]
article is relevant for several reasons. First, it is the first time
that a gGracieh was ever associated with the practice of Jiu-Jitsu. Second,
there was no gOscarh in that generation of the Gracie family, raising the question gwho
was Oscar Gracie?h More
precisely, could he have been Carlos Gracie, possibly due to the sort of
editorial errors that were very common during that period? Most likely
it was Carlos. The other Gracie brothers were either too young, and in
fact, with one highly atypical exception, none of them ever claimed to
have trained with Maeda or even denied it.
reason for suspecting that Oscar was actually Carlos was a comment later
made by one of Jacintho Ferrofs students, who trained with Oscar
(Carlos) Gracie at the same time, namely Donato Pires dos
Reis, to the effect that gsome
peopleh exaggerated their training with Maedah. By gsome peopleh Donato
was clearly referring to Carlos. A short time later, Donato clarified
that Carlos not only did not receive a diploma from Conde Koma, he had
never even met him. 
article is also relevant because it refers to both Donato Pires dos Reis
and gOscar Gracieh as galumnos
do prof. Jacintho Ferroh
of Jacintho Ferroh]
and not Mitsuyo Maeda gConde Komah, despite the fact that he was
present at the event.
Based on the evidence available, Carlos Gracie was a student of Jacintho
Ferro who, in his turn, was a student of Mitsuyo Maeda. Carlos may have
taken a few classes from Maeda during his stay in Belém, although
there has never been any evidence of it. At present, the best available
evidence indicates that Carlos Graciefs jiu-jitsu teacher was fellow
countryman Jacintho Ferro.
August 30, 2018: " In
2013 Marcial Serrano referenced the news article discussed above, in
O Livro Proibido do Jiu-Jitsu Vol. 1. Serrano insisted
that the switch of names between gOscarh and
Carlos Gracie had
de Janeiro since 1918,
a possibility for which he
offered no evidence. According
Carlos and the family moved to Rio early in 1922, making Serrano's interpretation highly implausible.
See Myths and Misconceptions, # 5. Donato's
clarification was published in O Globo, September 2, 1931, as
follows: "...Sr. Gracie nunca foi diplomada por Conde Koma (que
nem ao menos o conhece)". The author wishes to thank Fabio Quio
Takao for bringing this article to his attention.
© Robert Drysdale, 2018. All rights
August 30, 2018.
November 22, 2019.
May 23, 2020.
August 17, 2020 (date that Carlos arrived in Rio de Janeiro was (according
to Reila 2008, p. 43) early 1922, not December 13, 1921 (Reila claimed
that the family left Belem because Carlos' grandfather Pedro
Gracie died in Rio on December 13, 1921. However Reila was mistaken about
that: Pedro died on February 13, 1921 (consult Craze 3
(forthcoming 2020 or 2021, by Roberto Pedreira chps. 5 and 7 for
articles by Robert Drysdale:
on the Evolution of BJJ
Gracie is Wrong
of book by João Alberto Barreto
Promotes Five Brazilians
and Sanity in BJJ
Oswaldo Fada Jiu-Jitsu a Non-Gracie Lineage?