Brazil’s leading BJJ media Tatame magazine made a very interesting article about the biggest rivalries in the Gracie Family, which was translated by Gabriel Cunha for BJJEE.com. The article attempts to expose some of the historical manipulations done by some members of the Gracie family over the years. You can read the article in English here.
In the article, it is stipulated that Geo Omori who was one of the Japanese pioneers in Brazil (who trained with Maeda), had claimed that Carlos Gracie didn’t learn directly from Mitsuyo Maeda. Another interesting fact was that George Gracie was a much better fighter than his brothers Carlos or Helio. The article also alleges that Helio Gracie cheated his way into beating Kimura’s training partner Kato.
Similar things are said in the book ‘Choque’ written by Roberto Pedreira which recounts what really happened according to archives of Brazilian newspapers over 100 years ago. This version is of course highly different the official Gracie version, which can be read in Kid Peligro’s book ‘The Gracie Way’.
The Valente Brothers specialize in the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense System, which is taught to the general public as well as to police and military officials. They responded to the article:
The Valente Brothers respond to an article published by Tatame Magazine and translated to English by BJJ Eastern Europe. Pedro Valente Gui Valente Joaquim Valente
Posted by Valente Brothers Jiu-Jitsu on Monday, August 24, 2015
The Valente brothers are fervent supporters of the Helio Gracie lineage. A few months ago they made the following statement on their Facebook page regarding lineage and about the original GJJ founders Helio and Carlos Gracie being the only lineage of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil.
Grandmasters Mitsuyo Maeda, Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie represent the only true lineage of everyone in the Brazilian/Gracie Jiu-jitsu community. Erasing any of them is not only unfair but also a sign of ingratitude. Without these three all the other existing lineages would have morphed into judo and jiu-jitsu would have most certainly disappeared in Brazil.
The comment created controversy as it omitted the legitimacy of Grandmaster Luis Franca who learned Jiu-Jitsu directly from Mitsuyo Maeda and Satake. Luiz França Filho was a Brazilian martial artist and one of the primary founders of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. França was a direct student of Soshihiro Satake, Geo Omori, and Mitsuyo Maeda, from whom he learned judo and Jiu-Jitsu..GFTeam (Rodolfo Vieira) traces their straight to Oswaldo Fadda, Luiz Franca and Mitsuyo Maeda, without any Gracies.
In 1916, França began training in judo/jiu-jitsu under Soshihiro Satake at his school in Atletico Clube Rio Negro in the city of Manaus. França would remain in Manaus for a year before moving to the city of Belem.
It was in Belem that França would begin training under Mitsuyo Maeda at the same time as Carlos Gracie, Donato Pires, Jacinto Ferro, and many others. After his time with Maeda, França moved to Sao Paulo where he continued his training under Geo Omori (who would later draw against Carlos Gracie in a grappling match). After his stay in Sao Paulo, França would finally settle in outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where he would begin teaching what he had learned to police officers, military servicemen, and especially the poor in the favelas. One of those men was a young Marine named Oswaldo Fadda, who would continue França’s ideology of teaching jiu-jitsu to the poor, instead of only the middle and upper class of society