Mitsuyu Maeda introduced Carlos Gracie Sr. to Jiu-Jitsu, at the age of 14. He became an avid student for a few years. The studies under Maeda had a profound impact on his mind. He never before sensed the level of self-control and self-confidence Jiu- Jitsu practice allowed him to experience.

The connection he felt with his body in each training session allowed Carlos to gain a deeper understanding about his nature, limitations, and strengths, and brought him a sense of peace that he never felt before in his life. The profession of Martial Arts instructor at the beginning of the 20th century in Brazil was not exactly the most promising. The only people to see value in what Carlos Gracie had to teach were Law Enforcement officials. An opportunity finally arose for Carlos to teach outside of Rio de Janeiro, in the state of Minas Gerais.

The passion for Jiu-Jitsu and Koma’s dedication to make him a Champion, allowed Carlos to discover a new meaning in his life. From then on, Carlos started to use and see Jiu-Jitsu as a tool to help him find his way through the world. More than that, with time, he elected Jiu-Jitsu as an ideal worth fighting for and embraced it with strength and determination.