Edited: 3/21/12 10:55 PM
Member Since: 3/18/11
Member Since: 3/18/11
the following posts are a chronolgy of pro fighting in Rio in the late 20s and 1930s.
Reading the "George Mehdi and Non-Gracie lineage BJJ" thread got to me surfing around on the Interwebs.
I think quite a few of you on here are aware of George Gracies fights. He had hundreds of Vale Tudo, Luta Livre, pro wrestling, Jiu-jitsu, wrestling and other matches. Around his time period, some other Japanese Jiu-jitsu guys arrived in Brazil (1920s) and opened competing schools to the Gracies.
Here are some snippets I found on the Polish wrestler Wladek Zbyszko and his arrival in Brazil and the Gracies. Much of the information I think has ben derived from the reseacrher Loddo who was supposed to writing a book on the hisotry of BJJ and Vale Tudo in Brazil.
Here are some snippets I found:
"As to the South American tour: Stanislaus and Wladek took a troupe of American pro wrestlers to South America in 1934. They set up their base at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina and held their first tournament on Jan. 6, 1934. Their troupe inlcuded Jack Conley, Einar Johannsen, Jack Russell, Renato Gardini, George Godfrey, Martin Zikoff, Bill Lyon (Leon?), LaVerne Baxter, Everett Kibbons, Tony Marconi, Al Perreira, Justiano Silva, Andres Castanos and Count Karl Nowina. Nowina seems to have really been their actual nephew, the son of one of their sisters. Both Stanislaus and Wladek wrestled on the tour, although Nowina and Silva proved to be big stars among the South Americans.
The troupe debuted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 12, 1934; billed as "Luta Americano". Several Brazilian pro wrestlers took part on the cards, including Dudu, Manoel Fernandez, Oscar Baptiste, and Ismael Haki. Roberto Ruhmann had been promoting professional Greco-Roman, jiu-jitsu, luta livre and capoeira matches in Brazil since about 1930. Stanislaus issued a challenge to Ruhmann and to the Gracie brothers at the start of their Brazilian tour. Ruhmann gladly took part but the Gracies were reluctant.
Eventually Helio Gracie faced Wladek in a jiu-jitsu rules contest held 7/28/1934 in Rio. They grappled to a draw.
(my take is that it was a legit contest, held under strict jiu-jitsu rules. Wladek overpowered and took down Helio, but could do nothing with him on the ground under the rules of the contest...but who knows...compare Royce Gracie versus the bigger and more powerful Dan Severn in an early UFC). Wladek spoke highly of Helio after the contest and talked about bringing him to the US. Wladek later took on the maverick Gracie brother George on Oct. 6, 1934 in Rio in a submission wrestling match without gis and forced him to give up to an armbar.
George Gracie was the one Gracie who did take part in many professional wrestling matches over the years, as well as jiu-jitsu rules bouts, luta livre contests, and vale tudo fights. George was usually at odds with his brothers and there was even an attempt to hold a George versus Helio contest. George was willing, but oldest brother Carlos nixed Helio's participation. "
Here's what I found interesting:
A Japanese guy named Geo Omori comes to Brazil ion the 20s. A Jiu-jitsu guy:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-1930’s (a work in progress)
Research mainly in the daily newspaper Correio Da Manha
1928-Geo Omori, Japanese jiu-jitsu expert comes to Brazil.
9/1928-Geo Omori begins taking on all comers with Queirolo’s Circus in Sao Paulo.
1930-Geo Omori, the Gracie brothers, Roberto Ruhmann and Dudu are all active in the professional fight circuit in Sao Paulo.
Carlos Gracie drew Geo Omori, jiu-jitsu.
Carlos Gracie drew Geo Omori, jiu-jitsu…George Gracie vs. Johnnes Toom; jiu-jitsu vs. boxing contest.
1931-The Gracies and Omori have both relocated to Rio and have rival jiu-jitsu academies.
^^^ Right here, I found interesting. In the early 30s, there were other Japanese with "BJJ" academies already sprouting in brazil, alongside the Gracies. And there was a professional fight circuit that was not created by the Gracies.
It also seems that lutre livra fighters were also around in the 1920s fighting professionally, perhaps before BJJ was "born".
There are more snippets of the Gracie's contests, etc. but the above is just food for thought.