This documentary film follows the journey of Japanese martial arts to Brazil, telling the stories of lesser-known characters whose contributions were instrumental in the development of would become known as “Brazilian Jiujitsu”.

How did MMA come about?

Our film is about retelling (or better, completing as best as our efforts allow) the history and development of the Japanese art of Judo turned Brazilian. Specifically, the birth of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and where it overlaps with the birth of its non-identical twin: “Valendo-Tudo” later rebranded MMA for an Anglicized audience.

Meet George

the unsung Gracie

Arguably the father of modern MMA and yet his story hasnt been told. The goal of our film is to tell the story of everyone who made our beloved art a reality.

From Japan to Brazil. From the USA to the world.

The goal of the project is to bring to light and give due credit to those who, through a dedicated lifetime of preservation and development, made these arts a reality for millions of practitioners and fans across the World.

Sensei Inoue

Master Armando Wreidt

A film that changes our perception of our own history

Our goal is merely to make this history accessible to a broader audience through film and, perhaps ambitiously, slightly change the perception we have of our own history.

“Know your roots”

Production Team

Executive Producer Robert Drysdale

Robert Drysdale is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and a history major. His accomplishments in BJJ include: IBJJF World Champion (black belt), ADCC World Champion (absolute division), Undefeated MMA fighter. He is the owner of Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu and co-founder of Zenith BJJ team. When he is not travelling and teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminars at his Zenith affiliate schools around the world, he is teaching at his own school in Las Vegas, and researching martial arts history.

Assistant Producer & ChoreographerJames “Jay” Coleman

Jay Coleman is a visual artist, lifelong practitioner of martial arts, and student of martial arts history. He holds black belts in Brazilian Jiujistu, Judo, and Japanese Jiujitsu, as well as a degree in Art Theory and Processes. As a painter and sculptor he has participated in over 100 exhibitions, and has directed and choreographed numerous short films.

Director of Photography Stephen Jeter

Stephen Jeter is a Washington DC-based filmmaker. He has a degree in Linguistics and Arabic from Georgetown University and specializes in international documentary projects, having worked in over 40 countries throughout Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. The short film “Un Architecte” about a school for disabled boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which he co-produced and filmed, won a CINE Golden Eagle award.

EditorDaniel Jeter

Daniel Jeter has over 10 years of experience in the film and television industry. He graduated from Regent University with a degree in Cinema & Television and has filmed, directed, and edited a variety of documentaries, TV shows, short films, and humanitarian projects around the world. Daniel also specializes in stop-motion animation and has directed and animated several short films including an award winning animation production.

In Partnership with


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