Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu store for Jits Magazine

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

Nickname: N/A

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 Academy. 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 Jiu Jitsu way of life with a strong sense of discipline and honor, Master Oswaldo Fadda would often perform demonstrations on 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 martial arts, although he was often seen as an outcast by Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the Rio de Janeiro, who failed to see the potential of a team from the suburbs. This ‘lack of respect’ cause Fadda to issue a challenge to the Gracie Academy in 1951, 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 those of Fadda and the competition was booked at the Gracie Academy. Oswaldo Fadda’s team won, making better use of their footlock knowledge, something Helio frowned upon, calling it “suburban technique” (Técnica de Suburbano) – according to Reila Gracie’s book “Carlos Gracie”. The highlight of the competition was when Fadda’s pupil, José Guimarães, choked Gracie representative 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.

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

29 Comments

  • Ade says:

    great man, did not have the same popullarity as the gracies but was as good as them.

  • manny says:

    wow i never knew there were others besides the Gracies to learn jiu jitsu from Maeda. So cool, we need more articles like this !!

    • Jason says:

      Maeda had a lot of students throughout Latin America. Long before he arrived in Brazil he lived in Mexico, Cuba, and throughout central America. He helped introduce judo (Kano jiu-jitsu) to those countries.

      Unfortunately, his teachings didn’t spread or last in many of those countries like it did in Brazil. He left Mexico in 1910, which was the year the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) started, which could be a/the reason why jiu-jitsu didn’t spread.

      In Cuba he had more success, which is probably why Cubans are some of the best judokas around. Maeda along with three other Japanese judo masters were known as the “Four Kings of Cuba”. From Cuba he finally went to Brazil.

  • Rodolfo Viera, who just choked out Rubens " Cobrinha " Charles in Abu Dhabi, is of non-Gracie BJJ lineage. I am a Gracie Jiujitsu black belt and I never new about the Luis Franca lineage until recently. Also, check out Luta Livre for a unique, no-gi grappling from Brazil that developed completely apart from jiujitsu.

    • Arctic Alliance says:

      I'm with the Alliance Team and I was bummed to see that, but Cobrinha is a almost unbeatable at his chosen weight class, Vieira is a beast though, that judo enhanced top game of his is super dangerous.
      I was suprised to see the existance of another lineage as well. Funny that Fadda's school is the reason why they frown on footlocks hahaha.

  • John says:

    This was an eye opening article for me as well. I thought only Gracies could receive a red belt.

    • bjjheroes says:

      Hi John, not at all! There have been many other red belts (Pedro Hemeterio, Osvaldo Alves, Armando Wridt, etc, etc). The 5 original Gracies are the only ones that had the rank of 10th degree. That degree is applicable only to the founding fathers of the style

  • Adrian Luna says:

    Does anyone find it a little wrong that there is not much information on Luis França Filho? He doesn't even have a page in BJJ Heroes. I just recently found out that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu didn't come from just the Gracies. This might just be the BJJ nerd in me, but I feel a litle lied to. Throughout my 5 years being involved with Jiu Jitsu and MMA all I've heard from the Gracies is how they brought Jiu Jitsu to the world. If possible I'd love to learn more about this remarkable man (Professor Fadda), Luis França Filho, and Non- Gracie BJJ in general. Hey BJJ Heroes! Maybe you should sponsor a trip to Brazil for me so I can get more information out to you and the world, maybe a documentary? ;)

    • bjjheroes says:

      Hey Adrian, it is hard to find information on Luis França. Jiu Jitsu wasn't big in those days, and there is not alot of info around about the non Gracie lineage, though there were a few guys outside the Gracies teaching similair styles. As for your campaign for a trip to Br, if I had the money I would go myself :P

  • Adrian Luna says:

    Haha figured it was worth a try :p

  • Coach RP says:

    EvolveMMA.com.au has a 2nd degree black belt under Master Wilson and under Professor Fadda its Professor Minol, his our full time coach and he leads the Evolve Team. EvolveMMA is Minols headquarters as the head coach with 2 of his black belts and 3 blue belts.
    come down and see us http://www.evolvemma.com.au

    • Sharneet says:

      Professor Minol Tavares Tutida is no longer teaching at Evolve MMA. he has opened his own club in Preston Victoria Australia. Come down and learn the FADDA Lineage of Brazilian Jiujitsu.

  • Ramses says:

    Are there any videos out there that teaches you the basics? something like what the Gracie have

  • Jorge says:

    Any info on Master Deo? Or Ronny Lis? Would really appreciate it,great job with the site.

  • esjenk says:

    Great article. It's Great to read about the other branch of BJJ and this Mr. Fadda. I'm NOT a Gracie hater at all, but I have to always kinda laugh when I hear someone say that," It all came from the Gracies." or "The Gracies invented ju-jitsu." When I ask them what language does the word ju-jitsu come from ? Or show them a 1950s Judo textbook showing a armbar, it hilarious and watch them still try to fumble and stumble with a reply. The fact is,yes the Gracies took an existing art and refined,modified and added to it but they didn't invent ju-jitsu,the armbar or gi/no gi grappling. There are many forms of grappling that pre-date the Gracies that have similar or the same armbars,leglocks,chokes and takedowns.

  • Michael says:

    In fairness, the Gracies were the ones who exposed the world to their version of jujitsu/judo. Could Oswaldo's lineage have done the same? Yes, but it didn't.

  • edgar says:

    do some research on Deo Jiu Jitsu. a red belt from a non gracie linage. FADDA JIU JITSU

  • BJJcali says:

    Wow one could argue that this great man was even greater than helio in wanting to spread bjj to all people which is where the falling out happened cause helio wanted to keep it in the richer areas

  • guambjj says:

    If you guys didnt already know 1 of the 2 guys whos started nova uniao is from the same lineage . His name is alexander wall abd he teamed up with andre pedeneirasto create one of the most prestigous schools out there ! Another sick lineage that i was very interested to come across was reyson gracie and oswaldo alves who if in not mistaken is jacare souza and andre galvaos lineage!

  • Andrew Dearsley says:

    I recieved my Brown belt of a direct student of Grand master Fadda in 2005. " Master Edson Leonardo Da Silva was just promoted to 7th degree "carol" red and black belt by Grand master Fadda in Japan just before his death. His lineage has a large influence for BJJ in Japan. I always enjoy tell people why heel hooks and other leg submissions were banned in BJJ completion.

    • Jason Kay says:

      Why are heel hooks banned for bjj competitions Andrew?Is it because of Fadda's students using it with so much success against Hellio's students? I thought all other leg locks are legal(at least from brown and above) and heel hooks are legal in professional grappling tournaments, like the NAGA elite division and ADCC. Anyway i personally think it's a positive think that heel hooks are banned!

  • edgardo venegas says:

    Franca, Fadda, Deo and Lis Jiu-Jitsu linage lives in the US, here in Laredo, Texas and Austin with Professor Ronny Lis.

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