Robert Drysdale has recently dedicated himself to authoring a bjj documentary. It was to be called Closed guard – the movie. In order to do this Drysdale shared bits relating to interesting bjj history -not hiding his contempt for Gracie tactics.
In recent articles and internet forums much attention has been given to Oswaldo Fadda and his students as members of a non-Gracie lineage.1 Fadda was a student of Luiz França (aka Luiz França Filho, Luis França) who claimed to have learned directly from Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma). For example, one of França’s students, Antonio Vieira, testified that “O Luiz de França falava que aprendeu o que ele sabia com o Maeda que class=”text_exposed_show”>usava o pseudonimo de Conde Koma. O Conde Koma morreu em 41, então ele ficou sem professor” [Luiz de França said that he learned what he knew from Maeda, who was also known as Conde Koma. Conde Koma died in 1941 so after that he [França] was without a teacher]
This, obviously, is merely what França told Antonio Vieira (or more precisely, what Vieira said França told him).
Others claim that França’s teacher was Geo Omori.3
Fadda absolutely deserves his place in BJJ’s memory. Despite that, his lineage is unclear.
Two recent discoveries help us better understand the origins of the Fadda lineage.
The first one is an article of 1938 announcing a Luta Livre match between Gaúcho (C.R.F.) and Luis França (A. Gracie). The article in question clearly identifies Luis França as a representative of the Gracie Academy.4
Ultimately Drysdale explained to global training report:
claim that it is a lineage outside of the Gracie family, or that Luiz França was a student of Takeo Yano, Geo Omori and Mitsuyo Maeda, lacks any supporting evidence at the moment.
Previously BJJEE wrote
. The famous quote from Fadda himself was “We wish to challenge the Gracie’s, we respect them like the formidable adversaries they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the dispute”
Many who know this history have their own view, but my view has always been the classic David vs Goliath.
The challenge was brought forth to the Grand-master himself, Hélio Gracie who accepted without hesitation. The tournament was to be held at the Gracie Academy in Rio de Janerio. Fadda’s team emerged victorious with the foot lock specialization practiced day in and day out. Fadda also became the first person in history to defeat Hélio Gracie himself.
During a post interview with the Brazilian press Fadda noted how he was able to win “We finished with the Gracie’s taboo” (foot locks).
Main Influences of the Oswaldo Fadda lineage are Nova Uniao and GFTeam.
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