Anderson recounts the story in "The Gracie Way"
Bob Anderson Goes to Brazil
In 1978 a friendship began that transformed the possibilities of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Wrestling coach Bob Anderson was sent to Brazil by FILA (The World Wrestling Organization) as part of a program to develop wrestling programs in Brazil with the Brazilian Wrestling Federation. Anderson who has coached Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner and stars like Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, and Darrell Gohlars—was one of the leading coaches in the world at the time. Anderson was then living in San Clemente, California, and was a surfer, so naturally, he took his surfboard and all his gear to Brazil. When he arrived in Rio de Janeiro at the airport, no one was there from the Brazilian Wrestling Federation to pick him up. Anderson then made a few phone calls, and somehow, though they weren't associated with the federation, after two hours it was Rolls and Robson Gracie who showed up to pick him up.
"I assumed they were the wrestling people that were supposed to be there in the first place," says Bob. "They were very nice and took me with surfboards and everything." Rolls took Anderson to his house and showed him around. Rolls didn't mention that he wasn't a member of the federation and Anderson continued under the impression that the two Gracies were officials from it. At first Rolls took Anderson to his academy every day and introduced him to his students. Anderson thought that perhaps in Brazil it was their custom to wrestle in jackets and just went about his teaching, absorbing the new culture. After about a week Anderson started to question Rolls about it. Eventually Rolls confessed, "You know, we aren't with the federation. I just wanted to learn wrestling. We don't get along with them anyway—you know our jiu-jitsu school is better; by then Anderson had developed a close relationship with Rolls and didn't care, he just wanted to help. Anderson spent three weeks living with Rolls and going to the academy every day. Rolls would take Anderson surfing, and tried to get him to hang glide, but Anderson refused."