BJJ Champion Robert Drysdale Talks
about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu History and
his Future Plans
Posted July 1,
From time to time, ever since the
beginning in 2000, GTR's editorial offices receive letters with
questions, comments, and suggestions. Some of them form the basis
for GTR articles. Sometimes we revise articles based on corrections or
suggestions from readers. In the present case, the letter below, dated May
28, 2017, is interesting enough to justify reproduction (almost) in full,
with the writer's permission.
My name is Robert Drysdale, I am an American-Brazilian who has trained
Jiu-Jitsu both in the United States and in Brazil, where I grew up and went to
I was awarded my black-belt by Leonardo Vieira (Ricardo Vieira's older
brother) in 2004. I currently live and teach in Las Vegas, NV. I am writing
you in regards to your book "Choque".
I hold a BA in History. A passion that precedes my interest in combat.
However, early in my teen years, I was introduced to BJJ which, essentially,
took my life over. And it wasn't until recently that I have regained my
interest in academics. To be more precise, a student of mine asked me
"why was it that I didn't have a picture of Carlos and/or Helio Gracie on
my gym's wall." My answer was that I knew close to nothing about the
inception of our art in Brazil and that I remained skeptical as to its
This question, immediately got me wondering about this topic and the
possibility of better understanding it. It was then that I remembered hearing
about your book by a student who read its first edition. I went on to buy all
three volumes and was glad that learn that there was such an extensive,
thorough and comprehensive work on the History of martial-arts in Brazil.
Your work went on to inspire me to pursue a Master's program at UNLV where I
plan on researching into the life of Mitsuyo Maeda, more specifically, his
travels through Latin-America and its purpose(s).
I have recently retired from a professional MMA career and plan on dedicating
much of my time and energy to new projects, including this one, since it
brings together my two inclinations in life: History and Jiu-Jitsu. And for
that your work has given me much to be thankful for.
"Nascer, sofrer, morrer."
So, thanks to Robert Drysdale for his
interesting, informative, inspiring letter (GTR endorses higher education as
much as reality-based training), and best of luck in his academic
and other endeavors.
2017, GTR. All rights reserved.
October 9, 2018
Craze Vol. 1: The Life and
Times of Jiu-Jitsu, 1854-1904
Jiu-Jitsu in the South
Zone, 1997-2008 (2018 rev. ed)
Editions are also available