Member Since: 5/7/06
It deal with the development of BJJ / Vale Tudo outside of the Gracie family. The book by Loddo seem AWESOME.
Daniel 'purosuco' Bertina / Carlson Gracie Team
Eddie: Who is the most interesting person you met in Brazil?
Roberto Pedreira: You can hardly meet anyone who isn't interesting in Brazil, but the most interesting person I met, I think I can say without much hesitation, was not completely a Brazilian, but only about half Brazilian. The other half was French. He was George Mehdi. I wrote about him on GTR. I guess he isn't as unknown as he was before, outside of Rio, in part due to that article, but still, he deserves to be known even more.
For example, there are people in Rio who say that Mehdi is the one who invented Gracie Jiu-jitsu, which he did by bringing Kosen judo ground techniques back to Brazil after his five year stay in Japan, where he trained with Kimura (who defeated Helio Gracie previously). Of course, his students who included Rickson Gracie and the Behring brothers and so many other jiu-jitsu guys, developed those techniques and added other elements from wrestling and sambo to make jiu-jitsu what it has become. But Mehdi was the ingredient that allowed it to happen. That's what some knowledgeable people think. (Of course, no one says he did it single-handedly or that he intended to do it, just that his knowledge of kosen ground techniques was a crucial catalyst in the process.)
Another most interesting Brazilian I met was Carlos Eduardo Loddo. He is a Brazilian researcher living in Canada who is writing a book about the true history of Jiu-Jitsu and Vale Tudo in Brazil. He found my Mehdi article and contacted me. He interviewed absolutely almost everyone in Brazil, over a period of the last about 25 years or more. His books should be coming out soon and maybe GTR will carry some excerpts. Just from what he has told me, I believe they will be the definitive treatments of these topics for a long time to come. It is sure to really shake up the MMA world.
As a hint, the version of Brazilian jiu-jitsu history we all know is the one Rorion Gracie wanted us to know. But it is just one version. There are many others in Brazil, and most of them don't agree with Rorion's.