First of all, let me first say this. I wrote this thread about twice already but erased it or cancelled it for many reasons. First there are many books in publication by other Gracie family members that kind of talk about how Jiu Jitsu / Judo Master Mitsuo Maeda came into contact with the Gracie family and shared his martial art with them already. Second, sometimes no matter how well my intentions are in sharing a little experience with sherdoggers, haters abound and hate on the family. Like I said many times before, if you train with one of them you probably love the Machados/Gracies, even if you don't train with them, does not automatically mean you hate them but don't really get to appreciate them as much as people who train with them do. Lastly, Relson shares his stories with me, I interpret them and share them here, which means, sometimes, in the sharing I get mixed up. But here is a story, like many others, that he told us the other night. If you get anything out of it, great, post a comment, if not, thats okay. This is a forum to share with experience and knowledge with other grapplers, thats why I post. I hope you all like it. So after beginner class and right before intermediate/advance class starts a brown belt asks Relson, "Who was the best overall grappler, gi and no gi, of the four brothers, Rorion, Rolls, you or Rickson?" Relson says, "Rolls. Rolls, win at anything grappling, Greco-Roman, Freestyle, Sambo, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu, he would seek them out, learned from them, change a little bit here, change a little bit there and he win at their competition using a mix of jiu jitsu and whatever style he competing at. Rolls, no contest. Rorion had some kind of problem with his right? shoulder and it would always pop out during hard contest so he had a hard time competing. I had excellent competition record and had great training partners like Fabio Santos, Pelehendra (?), Rolls, my daddy and uncles. Rickson was younger than them so he was still learning and trained with Rolls when Rolls was not studying some other grappling art somewhere." Relson said he missed calling Rickson on his birthday, November 21 and got to call him and tell him happy birthday. So I ask Relson, "Relson, what is your favorite memory of jiu jitsu?" Now, Relson won jiu jitsu championships for 22 straight years, been all over the world, and experienced a whole lot of things. Relson says, "There was a time, when I was young adult and my father and uncle had the original academy. There was maybe, 500 students there. We trained, we played and it was fun. After each class, Rorion, Rolls, me, and sometimes even baby brother Rickson had to clean the academy, wrap up all the gis, sometimes hundreds of gis, take the gis downstairs in piles of 20 of so which created a mountain and stay near the street." Relson said his dad and uncle would come by in the trucks and they had to throw the gis into the trucks before the Brazil traffic police showed up, blew their whistles and yelled at his dad or uncle to move the truck. He would sit on the mounds of gis with his brothers and play around and wait for the dad or uncle to come around the block again and try to get more in the truck before the whistle blew again. Relson smiled and had that grin on his face as he said, ".. riding home for the weekends was the best because all the family would be at the ranch, they had ranch workers that woke up early, took care of the animals, ate and then help cooked breakfast and his dad and uncle would wash the gis, all the family stayed over the weeked, 18 bedrooms and whatever bath. The children and young adults played when the adults ate and then they trained jiu jitsu on the lawn. That was the best memory. Eating, playing, training with the family Rob." Relson said, "It is amazing, how a small connection to Japan became so important to martial arts." One of the newer and younger white belts in the class, (not used to Relson talking like this and with no previous reading of the many publications out there) was like , "What do you mean Relson?" Relson said, before, during and after the war (WWI and II???), Brazil was a nuetral country. Some Japanese liked to live in Brazil because Brazil at that time was like Hawaii, no one cared they were Japanese and several Japanese still remain in Brazil who only know how to speak Portugese. Anyway, his granddaddy, was like a helper of sorts who met, Master Mitsuo Maeda, also known as Count Koma. Having no place to stay, Relson's grandfather took him to stay with him for a while. All the time, Relson's grandfather taught him Portugese and introduced him to lawyers, lawmakers, police and other influential people who could help him. Relson's grandfather gave him a room in the house that had a direct view of the yard and street. Relson says that his Uncle Carlos was always getting into fights. Sometimes he would win and sometimes he would lose. Day in, day out, week in, week out, month in month out, Master Maeda would watch Carlos come home bloody, bruised or red from fights or watched him get into fights with capoeria guys or street fighters. Finally, Master Maeda spoke to Relson's grandfather and told him that he was a master of the martial art called jiu jitsu in Japan and if Relson's grandfather allowed him to teach his son, he could be better prepared to fight. Relson's grandfather set up a makeshift dojo to Master Maeda's instructions to keep it secret and not out on the streets. Master Maeda gave his uncle personal one on one instructions for years until he moved out of the house. Relson says that even after Master Maeda left the house he came by to instruct his uncle. His uncle taught his brothers, including his dad and the aunties's children and the rest as they say is bjj history. Relson says, Count Koma called it jiu jitsu, so we called it jiu jistu, if he called it judo then we would have called it judo. (Brazilian Judo?) The jiu jitsu that they learned from Count Koma was refined for street fighting because they did not use the gi when fighting on the streets and then they called Gracie Jiu Jitsu, but when Rorion got the legal rights to Gracie Jiu Jitsu, it became Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to make it different from Japanese Jiu Jitsu but everyone studying bjj can trace the lineage to Master Maeda. Without Master Maeda watching his Uncle Carlos fight day and day at the house, win, lose, win, lose and take it upon himself to share his mastery of jiu jitsu we would never have that connection. If I made some mistakes with stuff, I apologize in advance but I just wanted to share this story that I never read or heard before. Please remember a lot I summarized and if anyone is to blame for mistakes its me. Like I said before I hope you like it.