Each week, I would like to feature an innovator or contributor to the evolution of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This week we will take a look at Mitsuyo Maeda.
Mitsuyo Maeda (前田 光世 Maeda Mitsuyo, born December 18, 1878 – November 28, 1941), a Brazilian naturalized as Otávio Maeda was a Japanese judōka (judo expert) and prizefighter in no holds barred competitions. He was also known as Count Combat or Conde Koma in Spanish and Portuguese, a nickname he picked up in Spain in 1908. Along with Antônio Soshihiro Satake (another naturalized Brazilian), he pioneered judo in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
Maeda was fundamental to the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, including through his teaching of Carlos Gracie and others of the Gracie family. He was also a promoter of Japanese emigration to Brazil. Maeda won more than 2,000 professional fights in his career. His accomplishments led to him being called the “toughest man who ever lived” and being referred to as the father of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Maeda Sensei and his first Brazilian students