Oswaldo Fadda was an important figure in the development of jiu jitsu in Brazil. Oswaldo Fadda was the main instructor behind what is arguably considered the strongest BJJ lineage after the Gracie family, and one of the few men that achieved the rank of red belt (9th degree/nono grau) in jiu jitsu. Oswaldo Fadda became an influential figure for the growth of jiu jitsu working from the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where he set his own academy in the 1950′s. In recent times, the main academies developed under the Oswaldo Fadda lineage are Nova Uniao and GFTeam.
Oswaldo Fadda Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Oswaldo Baptista Fadda
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Luis França > Oswaldo Fadda
Main Achievements: N/A
Favourite Technique: His school was famous for using footlocks
Weight Division: N/A
Association/Team: Academia FADDA
Oswaldo Fadda Biography
Oswaldo Fadda was born in Bento Ribeiro a City in the State of Rio de Janeiro on the 15th of January 1921. Fadda started training in 1937 after he joined the Brazilian Marines, his coach was Luis França a former student of Mitsuyo Maeda who achieved his grade around the same time as Carlos Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Oswaldo Fadda received the grade of instructor from the hands of his own coach (França) in 1942 and soon started giving jiu jitau classes by himself at his home town, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
Always trying to promote the BJJ way of life, and with a strong focus into discipline and honour, Master Oswaldo Fadda would often do demonstrations in public squares, beaches, favelas (slums), outside churches and even in circuses and church patios. On the 27th of January 1950 Oswaldo Fadda finally opened his very own academy fully dedicated to jiu jiitsu, although he was often seen as an outcast by jiu jitsu practitioners in the Rio de Janeiro, who to see the potential of a BJJ team in the suburbs. In 1951 Fadda issued a challenge to the Gracie Academy to prove his worth, the contest was proposed through the media, in the Globo Journal and it went as follows:
“We wish to challenge the Gracies, we respect them like the formidable adversaries they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the dispute.”
Helio Gracie accepted to have his students face Fadda’s and the fighting was booked at the Gracie Academy. Oswaldo Fadda’s team won, making better use of their footlock knowledge, something the Gracie’s lacked and frowned upon ever since, calling it “suburban technique” (Técnica de Suburbano). The highlight of the competition was when Fadda’s pupil “José Guimarães” choked Gracie’s combatant “Leonidas” to sleep.
The event had good media coverage, which had a double effect. While the victories gave Oswaldo’s team notoriety (and more students) it also brought the interest of all the hard men of the nearby cities who would often stop by Fadda’s academy to issue challenges to Master Oswaldo and his students. These challenges gained such proportions that Master Fadda decided to start taking one day off the week where he closed the doors of the academy to fight any challengers. It is said that jiu jitsu never lost a fight.
Oswaldo Fadda spent the rest of his days in his hometown of Bento Ribeiro, like the humble man he was, with his students and his family. With age he started suffering from Alzheimer’s disease struggling with the illness for years. He finally succumbed to bacterial pneumonia in April 2005, he was 84 years old.
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