COUNT KOMA

Mitsuyo Maeda (前田 光世 Maeda Mitsuyo, born December 18, 1878 in Funazawa village, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan  – November 28, 1941),a Brazilian naturalized as Otávio Maeda , was a Japanese judōka (judo expert) and prizefighter in no holds barred competitions. He was also known as Count Combat or Conde Koma in Spanish and Portuguese, a nickname he picked up in Spain in 1908. Along with Antônio Soshihiro Satake (another naturalized Brazilian), he pioneered judo in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

Maeda was fundamental to the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, including through his teaching of Carlos Gracie and others of the Gracie family.He was also a promoter of Japanese emigration to Brazil. Maeda won more than 2,000 professional fights in his career. His accomplishments led to him being called the “toughest man who ever lived” and being referred to as the father of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

CARLOS GRACIE

Carlos Gracie was the visionary that founded the very first Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy, a martial arts gym Carlos managed with the help of his brothers, Oswaldo, Gastão, George and Helio Gracie. The group of brothers would break the conventions of what were the accepted fighting styles, challenging fighters from a variety of martial arts backgrounds to advertise themselves and to improve their technical abilities. Carlos Gracie reached the “Decimo Grau” (10th degree in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) a degree only given to the founders of the gentle art.

CARLSON GRACIE

Carlson Gracie was one of the most important figures in jiu jitsu, and still is considered today to be one of the best representatives of the sport both as a competitor and as coach through his Carlson Gracie Academy. His legacy will live for many years to come, as many of the world’s premiere grappling teams were directly related to the Carlson lineage, teams such as Nova Uniao, American Top Team (ATT), Brazilian Top Team (BTT), Nova Geração and many others.

RICARDO LIBORIO

Known by the mixed martial arts (MMA) community as the leader of the American Top Team (ATT) academy, Ricardo Libório is also widely regarded in Brazilian jiu jitsu as one of the top black belts ever produced by Master Carlson Gracie, and an all around legend of the sport. Ricardo Liborio was the very first World Jiu Jitsu Champion in the super heavyweight division (above 100kg/221lbs) back in 1996, a division he won weighing little over 83kg (181lbs). He chose to compete at that weight for a chance to avenge his only loss on record against the much heavier Leonardo Castello Branco.

STEVE OLIVER

Steve Oliver was trained by Master Rickson Gracie (9th Degree) & Marcello Rezende (4th Degree).  He holds a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has 20 years of experience in BJJ with a further 11 years of boxing experience. Not to mention a further 10 years of power lifting and 4 years wrestling experience. Steve is Head Ground coach for the notorious UFC and PRIDE sensation Mark Hunt. His level of skills in MMA and BJJ are the best NZ has seen and matching those skills is his business acumen. Not only does Steve have Oliver MMA gyms in all of Auckland he has affiliate clubs located all over New Zealand. His expansion in the BJJ and MMA world in NZ has grown from 1 club to over 15 in the space of years.