World BJJ Champion Robert Drysdale Talks 

about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu History and his Future Plans

Posted July 1, 2017


From time to time, ever since the beginning in 2000, GTR's editorial offices receive letters with questions, comments, and suggestions.  Some of them form the basis for GTR articles. Sometimes we revise articles based on corrections or suggestions from readers. In the present case, the letter below, dated May 28, 2017,  is interesting enough to justify reproduction (almost) in full, with the writer's permission.


Hello Professor,

My name is Robert Drysdale, I am an American-Brazilian who has trained Jiu-Jitsu both in the United States and in Brazil, where I grew up and went to school.

I was awarded my black-belt by Leonardo Vieira (Ricardo Vieira's older brother) in 2004. I currently live and teach in Las Vegas, NV. I am writing you in regards to your book "Choque".

I hold a BA in History. A passion that precedes my interest in combat. However, early in my teen years, I was introduced to BJJ which, essentially, took my life over. And it wasn't until recently that I have regained my interest in academics. To be more precise, a student of mine asked me "why was it that I didn't have a picture of Carlos and/or Helio Gracie on my gym's wall." My answer was that I knew close to nothing about the inception of our art in Brazil and that I remained skeptical as to its development. 

This question, immediately got me wondering about this topic and the possibility of better understanding it. It was then that I remembered hearing about your book by a student who read its first edition. I went on to buy all three volumes and was glad that learn that there was such an extensive, thorough and comprehensive work on the History of martial-arts in Brazil. 

Your work went on to inspire me to pursue a Master's program at UNLV where I plan on researching into the life of Mitsuyo Maeda, more specifically, his travels through Latin-America and its purpose(s).

I have recently retired from a professional MMA career and plan on dedicating much of my time and energy to new projects, including this one, since it brings together my two inclinations in life: History and Jiu-Jitsu. And for that your work has given me much to be thankful for.

Best regards,

Robert Drysdale

"Nascer, sofrer, morrer."




So, thanks to Robert Drysdale for his interesting, informative, inspiring letter (GTR endorses higher education as much as reality-based training), and best of luck in his academic and other endeavors.

Roberto Pedreira



(c) 2017, GTR. All rights reserved.




GTR Publications


October 9, 2018

Craze Vol. 1: The Life and Times of Jiu-Jitsu, 1854-1904






Choque 1, 3rd Edition 




Choque 3, 1961-1999








Choque 2, 1950-1960 








Jiu-Jitsu in the South Zone, 1997-2008 (2018 rev. ed)







Digital Editions are also available

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