Arse-Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Mitsuyo Maeda
Perhaps you’ve played his lifestory? It’s called “Street Fighter II”
If you’ve ever seen somebody’s face punched into the canvas during an MMA bout, you have Maeda Mitsuyo to thank for that. Despite his very Japanese name, he’s one of the founders and innovators of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as we know it today. In his career as a prizefighter Maeda was so domineering he even once let an opponent have a knife, just to give the guy a chance.Born in a small Japanese village Maeda originally tried to learn the art of sumo, but upon realizing that his ass lacked the appropriate girth he quickly turned his attention to judo. Even at a young age Maeda understood the cool factor of a bitching wristlock and hip toss.
Maeda’s affinity for judo was instantly apparent as the 5’4″ uppercut salesman ascended through the ranks of judo so fast his hand shake became Tokyo’s number one cause of broken fingers. It only took Maeda a few years to obtain a 4th dan black belt in the sport, which is when he decided that he wanted to punch a person of every nationality on Earth. Starting with America.
Upon arriving in the states, Maeda wasted no time in arranging dozens of events in which he could show off his martial arts prowess. After gathering a crowd to show off his moves Maeda and the less awesome people he’d brought with him would invite anyone to try to knock them over. He would invariably pick the biggest people he could find in the crowd (usually football players and soldiers) just to make it look even cooler when he fused their DNA with the floor.
Which is when Maeda came to the conclusion that using his fancy Eastern martial art and under the guise of a tiny Japanese man, he could easily Mortal Kombat his way across the entire freaking world. Utilizing his superior skills and tiny baby, man hands Maeda challenged and bested dozens (or thousands, depending on the source) of opponents across the globe. Almost all of them heralded from fighting styles radically different from his own. Yes, Maeda was doing MMA before MMA was a thing, that’s how metal he was.
Along the way he earned the badass and rather dashing nickname of “The Count of Combat.” But Maeda’s dedication to both money and ass-kicking didn’t stop at fighting large sweaty men with a lifetime of wrestling experience, he also doled out beatings to the regular man too, because he was an equal opportunity ass-kicker.
While in Mexico it’s noted that Maeda issued an open challenge. If anyone could throw him, or resist one of his own throws, they’d earn 500 and 100 pesos respectively from Maeda’s own pocket. Though a large (yet unknown) number of people took Maeda up on this offer, no one is ever have reported to have taken his money, though this may have been because normal sized hands wouldn’t reach into his pockets.
This isn’t even him dressed up; this is his arse-kicking suit.
Maeda’s abilities and confidence in them were so great that not only did he take challenges from men twice his size, but in one case he even allowed a Capoeirista (think Eddy Gordo fromTekken) to use a knife while fighting him. A Capoeirista is already someone capable of kicking you in the back of the head while twirling at 80 mph, attaching a knife to any one of his limbs would be like strapping a shotgun to a train. Yet Maeda effortlessy dispatched this foe like he was made of cheap toilet paper. Though the only source for this featis in Portugese, we don’t think we’ve ever wanted something to be more true than we have at this exact moment so we’re going to leave it in, out of hope and possibly fear if Maeda has living descendents.
After travelling and punching people from across the globe, Maeda eventually settled in Brazil where he ended up teaching a variation on his style to one Carlos Gracie, a.k.a. history’s biggest name in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (other than Maeda’s if you use size 52 font). Meaning that Maeda literally taught the guy, who taught the guys, who taught the guys who are currently terrorizing the world of MMA. And he did it all while looking so sharp and handsome he could make papercuts pregnant. Man this guy was cool. If you’re waiting for a punchline, there isn’t one, we just think this guy is really awesome.
Source: Man Cave Daily