was Oscar Gracie and who taught him Jiu-Jitsu?
to GTR, February 13, 2018
Carlos Gracie learn the gentle-art of “jiu-jitsu” under
the auspices and intimate “paternal
supervision” 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.”[“…
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. Pereira”.
article is relevant for several reasons. First, it is the first time
that a “Gracie” was ever associated with the practice of Jiu-Jitsu. Second,
there was no “Oscar” in that generation of the Gracie family, raising the question “who
was Oscar Gracie?” 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 Ferro’s students, namely Donato Pires dos
Reis, to the effect that “some
people” exaggerated their training with Maeda”. By “some people” Donato
was clearly referring to Carlos.
article is also relevant because it refers to both Donato Pires dos Reis
and “Oscar Gracie” as “alumnos
do prof. Jacintho Ferro”
of Jacintho Ferro”]
and not Mitsuyo Maeda “Conde Koma”, 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 Gracie’s jiu-jitsu teacher was fellow
countryman Jacintho Ferro.
See Myths and Misconceptions, # 5.
© Robert Drysdale, 2018. All rights
articles by Robert Drysdale:
Drysdale Disagrees with Rickson Gracie
Drysdale on Self-Defense
Drysdale is Skeptical about BJJ History