Mitsuyo Maeda was a Judo expert known as Count Combat or Conde Koma, a nickname he established in Spain during the year 1908. Maeda, along with a man by the name of Antonio Soishiro Satake, brought judo to countries including Brazil and the United Kingdom.
In 1916, Carlos Gracie, the 14-year old son of Gastão Gracie (a business partner of the American Circus) saw Maeda perform and was immediately interested in learning judo. Maeda took Carlos on as a student and little did he know, had started the institution of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In addition to his martial arts teachings, Maeda was a driving force and promoter of Japanese emigration to Brazil, won more than 2,000 professional fights during his active career, and is known to current students as “the father of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” and “the toughest man who ever lived”.