Author Topic: The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie  (Read 3340 times)

Offline MARK GERRY

  • Global Moderator
  • Black Belt
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • WORLD MARTIAL ARTS MASTERS
The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:50:24 AM »


It is with great sadness to announces the passing
of Grandmaster Helio Gracie. The 95 year old patriarch of the
Gracie family passed quietly in his home in the district of
Itaipava in the mountains above Rio de Janeiro.

We wish to express our condolences to Grandmaster's
wife, Vera, sons and dauthters, Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker,
Royler, Royce, Rherica, Robin, Ric, and all of the extended Gracie
family.

The martial arts world has lost one of the most important and
influential Master Teachers in history.The lives of millions of
people around the world have been affected by Grandmaster and his
lifelong passion for the martial arts, his dedication to his
family, and for the example he set as a human being.


Please visit:
http://www.martialinfo.com/helio-gracie/
for comments and updates

« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 11:52:01 AM by MARK GERRY »
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do

Offline MARK GERRY

  • Global Moderator
  • Black Belt
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • WORLD MARTIAL ARTS MASTERS
Re: The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 11:54:14 AM »
Biography

In the early 1900's, a Japanese jiu-jitsu instructor by the name of Esai Maeda went to the state of Para in Northern Brazil. There he befriended Gastao Gracie, an influential businessman, who helped the Japanese get established. To show his gratitude, Maeda, also known as "Count Koma," offered to teach the traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu to Gastao's oldest son, Carlos.

The youngest son of Gastao and Cesalina Gracie's eight children, Helio, was always a very physically frail child. He would run up a flight of stairs and have fainting spells. Nobody could figure out why. So, after completing second grade, he convinced his mother that he shouldn't go to school anymore.

When the family experienced some financial hardships following their move to Rio, some of the children were scattered to live with other relatives. Helio was sent to live with some aunts and through these family contacts, he found work as a coxman for a popular local rowing team, eventually moving into the team dorms. His indomitable spirit, great sense of humor and tireless aptitude to drive people nuts, earned him the nickname of "Caxinguele," which means "squirrel." He raised hell!

After a couple of years, when he was about 14, he moved in with his older brothers who lived and taught jiu-jitsu in a house in Botafogo, a borough of Rio de Janeiro. He would spend the next few years limited to only watching his brothers teach, especially Carlos, since doctors had recommended that they keep Helio away from any physical activity.

One day when he was 16 years old, a student showed up for class and Carlos was not around. Helio, who had memorized all the moves and words of his older brother, offered to start the class. When the class was over, Carlos showed up very apologetic for his delay. The student answered, "No problem. I enjoyed the class with Helio very much and, if you don't mind, I'd like to continue with him." Carlos agreed and Helio became an instructor.

He soon realized that some of the techniques he had memorized from watching Carlos teach were not very easy for him to execute. He then started to adapt those moves to his frail body's abilities, improving the leverage in the execution of some of those techniques. He dared to break away from the traditional jiu-jitsu his brothers had learned and were teaching, and through trial and error, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was born.

Helio eventually fought 17 fights including matches against the world wrestling champion, Wladek Zbyszko and a qualifying fight against the #2 jiu-jitsu fighter in the world, Kato, who Helio choked unconscious in 6 minutes. This victory enabled him to enter the ring with the world champion, Masahiko Kimura, who outweighed Helio by over 80 pounds. Helio Gracie holds the record for the longest match in history for a battle against his former student, Waldemar Santana, which lasted an amazing 3 hours and 40 minutes!

Helio, the first sports hero in Brazilian history, also challenged boxing icons Primo Carnera, Joe Louis and Ezzard Charles. They all declined.

Outside of the ring, always looking for a challenge, he enjoyed breaking wild horses and bulls. In an event worthy of a Hollywood movie, he once jumped into shark infested waters in the Atlantic Ocean to save a man's life, which earned him a medal of honor.

Helio's relentless contribution to the perfection of jiu-jitsu techniques, his philosophy on life and his unique teaching methodology have been an example for his children and his students worldwide. These are the pillars on which the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy was built.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do

Offline Danjo

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 882
  • Kajukenbo Forever!
Re: The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 12:36:17 PM »
Wow. That was one of the big ones. Talk about somebody that made us all have to up our ground game! RIP.
"Rank Without Honor is Nothing."
Dan Weston
3rd Degree Black Belt under Prof. Bishop
FMAA
Don't tell me how much you honor Sijo, if you don't respect his wishes.

Offline MARK GERRY

  • Global Moderator
  • Black Belt
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • WORLD MARTIAL ARTS MASTERS
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do

juribe

  • Guest
Re: The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 08:15:51 PM »
God bless Helio, may he rest in peace and may we continue to train hard and remain humble in his memory.