Helio Gracie - Brazil's Jiu-Jitsu Legend


Helio Gracie (bottom) with Carlos Garcie, his younger brother, the two men responsible for developing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

RIP Grand Master Helio


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The following is borrowed from: http://sugarmob.com/2009/01/30/helio-gracie/

Hélio Gracie, inventor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 95

Hélio Gracie, inventor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 95 in suagrmob

Hélio Gracie was surely one of the greatest, grittiest and most innovative martial artists of our time, of all time. The measure of a champion as we all know, isn’t in how they win, but how they lose. Well, Hélio Gracie never lost, he just occasionally passed out during matches from sheer exhaustion. In his own mind, Hélio, a 6th dan in judo and a 10th red belt in the style he created, was motherfucking Sol Invictus, the unconquered sun (that occasionally set at night, from exhaustion.) This is an account of Gracie’s fight against another champ, Masahiko Kimura, a sixteen year Japanese jujutsu champion, five year world champion, nine years younger and 80 pounds heavier than Hélio:

“20,000 people came to see the bout including President of Brazil. Helio was 180cm and 80 kg. When I entered the stadium, I found a coffin. I asked what it was. I was told, “This is for Kimura. Helio brought this in.” It was so funny that I almost burst into laughter. As I approached the ring, raw eggs were thrown at me…

Hélio Gracie, inventor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 95 in suagrmobWhile continuing to throw him, I was thinking of a finishing method. I threw him by O-soto-gari again. As soon as Helio fell, I pinned him by Kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame. I held still for 2 or 3 minutes, and then tried to smother him by belly. Helio shook his head trying to breathe. He could not take it any longer, and tried to push up my body extending his left arm. That moment, I grabbed his left wrist with my right hand, and twisted up his arm. I applied Udegarami. I thought he would surrender immediately. But Helio would not tap the mat. I had no choice but keep on twisting the arm. The stadium became quiet. The bone of his arm was coming close to the breaking point.

Finally, the sound of bone breaking echoed throughout the stadium. Helio still did not surrender. His left arm was already powerless. Under this rule, I had no choice but twist the arm again. There was plenty of time left. I twisted the left arm again. Another bone was broken. Helio still did not tap. When I tried to twist the arm once more, a white towel was thrown in. I won by TKO. My hand was raised high. Japanese Brazilians rushed into the ring and tossed me up in the air. On the other hand, Helio let his left arm hang and looked very sad withstanding the pain.”

Helio, in another incident, “lost” a nearly-four hour match against a former student, again form exhaustion. He is considered one of Brazil’s greatest sports heroes and he is the patriarch of a dynasty that, among other things, founded UFC. Next time I participate in a panel discussion or group interview, I’m bringing a coffin for the other participants.

The following is borrowed from: http://www.onzuka.com/graciepix.html

Helio Gracie was the youngest of the Gracie brothers and because of his age, he was the last to learn Jiu-Jitsu. He primarily learned it through his brothers. Prof. Helio is credited as being the person who really created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because he took the techniques that his older brothers sifted through had kept from the effective art of Jiu-Jitsu and innovated them to require less power and implemented more leverage into the techniques due to his fraile physique.

Prof. Helio transitioning to an arm bar on his son Rickson Gracie.

Helio Gracie, Margarita (2nd wife) and Rorion Gracie.

Prof. Helio Gracie applying a "Kimura" key lock at the Gracie family ranch.

Helio Gracie's match with Kato in 1951. This match was needed in order to qualify him to fight Masahiko Kimura. Part of this match was featured in Gracie In Action I.

Helio Gracie vs Masahiko Kimura collage
Masahiko Kimura (1917-1993), Japan's greatest Jiu-Jitsu/Judo practitioner in history. A photo in his youth at age 18, already a 5th dan in Judo and in advanced years. He stood 5'6" (170 cm) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84kg).

Picture of Masahiko Kimura before his match with Prof. Helio Gracie


Helio Gracie getting thrown by Masahiko Kimura. O Soto Gari was Kimura's favorite throw. Prof. Helio's strategy was to go along with the throw instead of fighting it to end up in a better position to start off the match.
Masahiko Kimura applying his infamous key lock on Prof. Helio Gracie. This technique would be named after him by the Brazilians. You can see Prof. Helio's incredible flexibility.

Helio Gracie (44yrs old, 67kg) vs. Waldemar Santana (26yrs old, 94kg)
This fight took place in 1962 after Waldemar Santana, a former student of the Gracie Academy Challenged Helio Gracie. Against advice, Helio fought and the match lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Prof. Helio choking his son, Royce Gracie

Prof. Helio Gracie skydiving in his late 80's.
Rorion (Helio's eldest son) & Prof. Helio
Source: Rorion Gracie