Interestingly, Koma was one of five "Guardian" instructors sent by Professor Jigoro Kano to the United States to teach U.S. military men the art of Judo. These instructors were requested by President Theodore Roosevelt. Koma had been personally trained by Kano.
The duties of Koma's position were to oversee Japanese immigration to Brazil. This is what brought Gastao Gracie and Koma together. The friendship between them became so strong that Koma decided to do something that was not normally done. He taught Jiu-jitsu to Carlos Gracie. This was about 1918.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu)
All those decades, the gracie family dedicated their lives, day and night, to improve Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. Now the Japanese learn from us. Carlos Gracie was not a strong man physically. He was small in stature, and he never liked to fight. In fact, he never wanted anything to do with fighting. When he had the chance to learn this he thought, "My God, I think I can give something extraordinary to people who don't have the physical advantages that natural athletes have. I want to transform little guys into giants. I'll use these techniques to help people like me succeed, not just in physical confrontation but in all areas of life." Because non-Japanese were never taught Jiu-jitsu, Koma asked that Carlos Gracie never teach it to the public, only to family members. He did this for years until he learned of Koma's death in Japan. He made inquiries and found that Koma had died under mysterious circumstances. His food had been poisoned.
Carlos Gracie then decided that he should share the gift that Koma had given him so that Jiu-jitsu would never die out in Brazil. This is when the first Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy was started.
Carlos Gracie had twenty-one children, ninety-eight grandchildren, and one hundred-eighty great-grandchildren. Of his twenty-one children, all ten of his sons became black belts. Combined with their ancestors in Scotland and Ireland, the Gracie family could be the largest family in the world.
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