Hélio Gracie Documentary


I fought to prove that my art was good.To prove that the jiu-jitsu I practiced was superior to other fighting systems.In the 30's Brazilian sports had only one hero: the fighter called Hélio Gracie.A sick and frail boy who had never taken a class. Suddenly starts to teach... suddenly projects himself and becomes the best fighter in the world. He developed a jiu-jitsu that could be practiced by people like him,weak, skinny, and debilitated.The other fighters didn't even know how they lost.He had a very heavy hand my friend. He was a modern day samurai warrior.To prove the superiority of his technique,Helio transformed his sons and nephews into an army of fighters.No other family has developed so manychampions, practicing the same art over so many years.If I'm a Gracie, I am ready to represent my family name.If I'm a Gracie, I don't believe that another martial art can defeat me.Helio Gracie was a determined and controversial man.We the Gracies, if we are not hated, we are definitely disliked by millions and millions ofpeople. Invincibility itself is enough to make a person unlikeable.He came here with a mission and accomplished the mission in a very honorable wayand for this he was protected as well.Blood, sweat, and tears.That was my father's life. There is no other story.Hélio Gracie was the first hero of Brazilian sports.In Brazil there has never been and there will never bea more famous person than I was during my time.Along with his brother Carlos,he challenged all the fighters and customs of his time.Both Carlos and Hélio were never modest individuals in recognizing their own value.In fact, they were greatly aware of their own value.And this confidence had a reason: jiu-jitsu.He was so sure that his art was better than the others that he would say..."Bring it on, 300 kilos? Bring it on! I will get him."Placing ads in the papers since the 30's.He was ready to die for jiu-jitsu. He had so much conviction in his art that everything had to be proven on the spot.He was a phenom. A phenom who utilized a system that no one knew at the time.The story of the Brazilian samurai began in the north of Brazil.Hélio Gracie was born on October 1, 1913 in Belém do Pará. The origin of the Gracie name is Scottish.Hélio's father, Gastão, was an entrepreneur.Among the businesses he developed, he created a circus, the American Circus.It was in the circus that the Gracie family metthe mysterious Japanese fighter Count Koma.At that time no one knew jiu-jitsu in Brazil.Count Koma was the person who brought this Japanese art to Brazil.Since my father was the oldest of the brothers and very mischievous andundisciplined, my grandfather decided to take him to learn jiu-jitsuwhen he was 14... 15 years old.In 1922, the Gracie family would move to Rio de Janeiro.It was the beginning of a family crisis.It seems that my grandma had noticed that grandpa was fooling around once in a while. Apparently he had a girlfriend and caught him misbehaving with a loveror something, and decided to leave my grandfather.Uncle Hélio was the one who suffered the most with the disorganization of the family nucleus.The break up sunk the family into a financial crisis.Hélio was temporally forced to live rent-free at Botafogo's rowing clubwhere he quickly expressed a part of his personality.He tells a story of a guy at the time nicknamed Fifi.The guy would go workout, and for whatever reason he did not like him.He would hide about five meters away from the guy and watch himdo his weight workout and would keep saying Fifi ...Fifi...Fifi.The guy then changed his workout time.He used to come at 8 AM. Then I asked: " Where is Fifi?"He comes earlier now. At what time? 6 AM.Next day the guy was there all relaxed I showed up and said,Hey Fifi!! The guy left the club.During his childhood Hélio faced an illness that no doctor could explain.He couldn't do any thing... very skinny. He said that he was subject to fainting spells.No one knew why he had that type of weakness.Due to this... I think... emotional instability.Because at the time he was examinedand no physical problem was found.The life of this skinny boy would only begin to change in 1925,when his brother Carlos established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.Uncle Hélio and Uncle George went to live with him.From that point on, he practically became the father of the two younger brothers.Jiu-jitsu was a novelty in Brazil. In order to get students,Carlos adopted a bold strategy.He would promote fights and challenge matches, and would advertise in the newspaper,if you would like to have your arm broken or your ribs cracked look for Carlos Gracie.How could he prove this? In a real fight.Challenging the biggest capoeira fighters and boxers,the Gracie brothers quickly became celebrities in Rio de Janeiro.But Hélio would always stay out.Hélio could not teach because he was very skinny and sick.He would not teach... But he would watch.Since he was there watching class everyday, he ended up learning and memorizing everything.One day, he tells this notorious story,Carlos arrived late and could not teach the class.Dad offered to teach the class."My brothers are not here. If you would like I can teach you the class."When Carlos arrived, the student said, "from now on I want to take classes from Hélio Gracie."And that is when Hélio started to get into jiu-jitsu.He believed in his older brother's idea, who he idolizedalmost as a father, that jiu-jitsu was a way of life, a religion.Defending their art became their objective.At fifteen years of age Hélio would dedicate all his time to jiu-jitsu,and began to develop his own style based on the principles of leverage.He developed a jiu-jitsu that could be practicedby people like him: skinny, weak, and debilitated.He really had much more impetus than a man of such a thin frame could have.He was a man who did not demonstrate any signs of weaknesseven though he knew that he was a weak man.But Hélio would have to fight a lot to establish his place in the clan.The family already had a main fighter, George, known as the "Redhead Cat."Reddish blond hair, you know, blue eyes, handsome guy. He was a great fighter,but he liked to celebrate and party.He ended up rebelling and not wanting to submit to my father's rules and orientation 100%It was Hélio's chance. And so he transformed jiu-jitsu into a new style...Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.Then he developed a jiu-jitsu which is much more detailedand much more favorable for the weak to defeat the strong.The Gracie marketing was always the skinny defeating the strong.I never went into a fight to win.Don't loose… If you don't lose, It's just a matter of how you are going to turn it around and win.Stand up fighting is very pretty in the movies. It's artistic.But a real fight is decided on the ground.Takedown and finish on the ground; on the neck, which is the only organwhich can be squeezed and cause the opponent to pass out.And Hélio was determined to challenge the greatest of his time.Uncle Hélio against Fred Ebert had media coverageof international movie celebrity status.The American freestyle wrestling champion, Fred Ebert, was 30 kilosheavier than the18 year old teenager.Go fight with a guy five kilos heavier than you. It's very complicated.The papers predicted a massacre but the fight was interrupted by the police.I asked my father who won the fight? He said, "I went home, he went to the hospital."The new style surprised everyone, but the fighter Manuel Rufino dos Santosaccused the Gracies of fixing their fights.A fight that could smell like a fix… for them it was heresy.And then they were very aggressive.Rufino came walking, two brothers held the gateso that no one could get in or out of the club and the other two stayed on the sidewalkso no one would break up the fight. Dad told him: "Rufino I heard you were sayingthat our fights are fixed? I'm going to show you how they are fixed.I beat him up. Pow!After that Hélio developed a love / hate relationship with the media. It's normal. If a soccer team beats everyone, everybody cheers that another teamwill beat that team.In a few months, Hélio would become the star of the Gracie family.In the early 30's Hélio and his brotherswere the talk of Rio de Janeiro. In spite of the critics against violence, the public would go wild with jiu-jitsu demonstrations.Fighting events started to standout.For the people at that time, who did not have a lot of entertainment, it was very attractive.Thanks to his innovative technique, Hélio had become the star of the Gracie Clan.Shunted aside, George decided to break away from his brothers.My family at this early stage already started to displaytheir differences publicly.Then, at the peak of their success in 1934, Hélio and his brotherswould be convicted of battery against Manuel Rufino dos Santos.They were sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison and began to serve their sentence.When President Getúlio found out that the Gracie Brothers were in jail,he began to be pressured by the public to release them.He then signed a presidential pardon releasing all of them from prison.And so there were comic books with Hélio Gracie,huge articles in the top Brazilian magazines: Manchete, Cruzeiro, in all of them.It was time for Hélio Gracie to test Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu against a Japanese Master.The chosen opponent was Taro Miyake. Whenever a Japanese fighter would come to Brazil,there would be a mobilization of the entire jiu-jitsu community,because it would be an opportunity to display and evaluate their knowledge of jiu-jitsu.He was famous all over the world. They would tie a rope around his neck.Two men pulling, one from each end, and he would resistGrandmaster Hélio Gracie got him in a chokehold. He did not tap. Went to sleep.The victory over Miyake spurred Hélio to challengeincreasingly more impressive opponents.They were constantly searching for someone who could stop this man.With these challenges: Miyake, Massagoichi, Yano...A lot of people would come and fight him, like Ono.These fights were taking place and Hélio Gracie's prestige continued to increase.Looking back, I realize that those guys were traumatized by my presence.Because the fights that I had... sometimes I can not understandhow I beat men of that size.He fought without hate, you understand.He did not believe he was superior to anyone, but that his technique was unsurpassable.He always told me before a fight, "son, don't hit your opponents."And I would say, "but wait daddy, don't hit my opponents?"When you try to punch someone, you also expose yourself to being punched."But now it's my turn, let me hit someone dad. Let me beat someone up."He told me, "Son, you are big and strong. "To him I was big. "If you land on top of your opponents, there is no need to hit and break the guy's face.”With his victories, soon women were pursuing him.I never had relations with a woman who did not want to have children.He would look at a woman and say, "what child would come out of this woman?"A man's life is directed towards fighting. A woman's is to procreate.To carry a child for 9 months… nurture and Breast-feed the child.He believed this to be such an important thing for the human race, for human beingsthat he believed this to be women's main mission.When I started to compete I remember he came to meand told me, "you are too pretty to be fighting."Women were made exclusively to be a wife, mother, and take care of children.Every woman who doesn't do exactly this is not right.But at that time women were not even allowed to vote.So there is this mentality of the men of that era.Women did not have rights. But things evolved and in the Gracie family it was no different.In 1937, Hélio meets Margarida the mother he would choose for his children.Mom was very friendly, very refined, and very classy.Margarida was only 18 years old and was already divorced with two children.Her father was a powerful businessman.And when dad got close to her, my grandfathernaturally thought "this is another gold digger coming around." Eventually mom decided that she was marrying dad anyway and said"this is the deal, I will marry Hélio and that's it."It was the beginning of a new phase in the life of Hélio Gracie.But his most important fights were yet to come.Hélio had become a husband, a teacher, and a famous fighter.But his biggest dream was to become a father.He wanted to have his little team also - since uncle Carlos had his kids.He always wanted to have kids. The idea of family - he was very connected to these kinds of things. He always liked children a lot.Carlos Gracie, who recently had been widowed would make Hélio an unusual proposition. Uncle Carlos had a lot of children and married another woman who did not treat the children very well.The partnership between him and uncle Hélio was so close thatwhen my dad married for the second time, he gave his first seven children (the children from his first marriage plus 2 others he had)to uncle Hélio to raise.And dad who loved children and was dying to have kids said: "Of course!"He adopted Carlos' seven children and they came to live with him.One day dad and mom had no children, the next day they instantly had seven.And they were not babies.In 1947, the brothers Carlos and Hélioopened a new academy that would make history.They began to teach and it became a Brazilian Kodokan.And one of the greatest jiu-jitsu teams of that era was formed.What Hélio Gracie did with the Gracie Academy wasa samurai school.The self-defense method he created attracted people from all walks of life;the poor, the rich, and very important people; successful businessmen, politicians, and heads of state.You drive around the streets of Rio and see the street names you realize,"Wow", dad taught those guys. So many important people who have streets named after them were Hélio Gracie's students.Hélio gave great emphasis to self-defense.And, in addition to jiu-jitsu's technical efficiency, there was a philosophy about life.They would encourage the youth not to smoke or drink alcohol.I never tried a beer or any alcoholic beverage in my life,because of what I learned from him, because of his example and my father's.They created a religion. Jiu-jitsu became a true religion, a life doctrine, a philosophy,a really impressive thing. The only way to understand it is to be around them. It's no wonder they have such a legion of followers.With the academy going strong, Hélio began to challengethe greatest Brazilian and international fighters.Hélio Gracie challenged a group of Japanese that was in Brazilat the time. They were part of Kimura's team.Upon challenging Masahiko Kimura, the world jiu-jitsu champion,Hélio received a disappointment.Kimura didn't accept the challenge, arguing that he was the world championand Hélio Gracie was nobody.Kimura weighted almost twice as much as Hélio Gracie, thereforeit was no big deal for a heavyweight world champion to defeat a much lighter fighter. Kimura said, "if you want to fight someone, fight Kato, who is the second in the world. He is only 20 kilos heavier than you and, like me, will easily beat you."But before the fight with Kato,Hélio Gracie would break a rib during practice.The doctors didn't want to let him fight. They were afraid it could puncture his lung,which is very dangerous. They fought anyway in Maracanã, their first fight - September 1951. It was a draw.Afterward he told Carlos, "I think if I fight him again, with a healthy rib, I can beat him."Rematch in São Paulo.Hélio beat up the guy. He beat him with the kimono. A choke with the kimono which is... you need to have a lot of skill!Hélio Gracie got him in a choke from the guard, turned to the referee and said: "he is sleeping"The referee replied: "He did not tap, keep going!" So Hélio said, "Do you want me to kill this man?"Hélio let go. The guy turned on his side and passed out and that was it.Consequently, Kimura came up to the ring and at that moment he acceptedHélio Gracie's challenge.Kimura declared to the newspapers that if he did not defeat Hélio Gracie in three minuteshe would consider Hélio Gracie the winner of the fight.It was a historical fight. The first time a Brazilian ever foughtagainst a world champion.Hélio Gracie withstood Kimura, a man of 98 kilos who was smothering him.Many times he ran out of air.Dad said that he felt he was inside a blender. He couldn't think about anything.Half way through the second round it was more of the same, and so he said:"There is no way to beat this guy."Things got to a point where eventually, in the third minute of the second round, Kimura applied an arm-lock on my dad. It became known as the Kimura lock in his honor.His arm was so twisted that he could see his own hand over here.Hélio did not tap, so Carlos interrupted the fightto prevent Hélio's arm from being broken.After lasting 13 minutes against Kimura, Hélio's first defeat in fact had a taste of victory.After he got back to Japan, Kimura said that he never expected to find such an advanced jiu-jitsu in Brazil.To lose to Kimura was the pinnacle of his technical developmentin terms of recognizing his work in the development of jiu-jitsu.For Hélio there was only one challenge left; to create his own army to conquer the world. A legend in the ring, Hélio still had a challenge to come;to have his own children.He kept trying for 12 years, but couldn't have any children.Then he started to get frustrated.His wife, Margarida, could not imagine that she could not have children.My grandma, Carmelita, was a very authoritarian woman. It seems that my momhad had her tubes tied in order to prevent her from having more children in the future.So my mother didn't know she could not have children.She was 18, playing with dolls here and there. She had no idea what was happening. Unsettled, Hélio would ask for his brother's advice. Carlos suggested an uncommon solution.Mom, who had always been in love with my dad, agreed to the ideathat my father could have children with someone else. You understand;the children would not come from her, but they would be accepted as her own sons.Margarida, was a very intelligent and sensitive woman and could understand all that,despite her natural frustrations.In 1952, Hélio's first child would finally be born;Rorion Gracie. In the following years Relson and Rickson would come.The choice of names given to the children would follow a logic developed by Carlos.Uncle Carlos' idea was to give names that did not exist. With a completely new name the childwould not have the influence of the people who came before them with that same name.It clears a path...everyone with his or her own name. I don't know how well that worked,because there are all kinds of Gracies.The fact that everyone had their own path does not mean that they are all enlightened.The new Gracies would leave the nursery predestined to become jiu-jitsu fighters. They come out rolling. They are born rolling on the mat.The kimono is a toy. The academy is your playground.On their first birthday, the cake was a little ringwith some dolls dressed in kimonos.Even today, anyone who is born a Gracie will always be a fighter.To continue the tradition, you need to get in the ring at least once.Later you can do whatever you want.I already had that talk with my boys. I have a 13, an 11, and an 8 year oldand my daughter asks: "what about me daddy?" "You too!"Since we were very little, something that was done to me, and I do to my kids,is we play with the hands; to give them a notion of defense or movement.I started to train when I began to walk. I say this playing around.I started to train as soon as I learned how to walk.My father was always... "You're training with him. Let me see who is better."Always making us fight each other. Always confrontation. Always testing."Get out of here, you are nothing!"No other family has developed over the years so many champions practicing the same art.This is due to Hélio Gracie.My father was always a general.And the general is only a good general when he has good soldiers.Ultimately, he was creating leaders. This is something the Gracie family has a lot of.There are many chiefs, and few Indians.To house the family that only kept growing; the brothers, Hélio and Carlos, bought ahouse in Teresópolis, which would become a retreat for the Gracies in the following decades.I've never seen such a wonderful house.It was almost like maintaining a hotel. It was structured like a hotel.The refrigerators were always full. The pantry was always full. It was like shopping for an army. When people would drive past the house in Teresópolis,they would see all the kimonos neatly hanging outside, looking like straitjackets.You would look at the grassy area at the center of the house, and on the canvasin the grassy area, there were people training. It looked like a mental asylum...crazy people... 35 children grappling with each other.They actually formed a tribe. It was a community... the Gracie community.To feed the tribe, Carlos created a special diet.Carlos created a dietary regimen which was spectacular.If all Brazilians would follow it we would be supermen.This diet was based on food combining. To avoid fermentation. Avoid acidity.So that it does not weaken the system, or allow degenerative and infectious diseases.Based on these concepts. I believed in my brother.I'm 89 years old. I can't remember the last time I got sick... I don't Remember, I don't know.If I, Rorion, today, have to choose between jiu-jitsu and the diet. I would choose the diet.The result was that everyone grew in a very healthy manner. Dad credits his healthfor enabling him to fight 3 hours and 45 minutes with Waldemar Santana,which is the longest fight in history, because his health allowed him to do it.Even a lion cannot fight for 3 hours and 45 minutes.This historic fight would be his last official fight.Waldemar grew up drinking jiu-jitsu juice at the Gracie Academy.Hélio gave him all the knowledge. He was a Gracie.Being influenced by Hélio's enemies, he decided to challenge Hélio,and Hélio with his warrior spirit he always had...On March 24, 1955, Waldemar Santana fought against Hélio Gracie.At the vibrant age of 25... 90 kilos of muscle. Trained in fighting, since he never lifted weights.A leopard! A leopard!Hélio was 42 years of age. Out of shape. He was able to fight for3 hours and 43 Minutes nonstop, no rounds... something unimaginable.Nobody understood how I could have fought in those conditions, with that (weight) difference,against that guy and how I fought for so long.For him it counted as a victory, because he fought with heart. He fought for honor.It was not a pre-arranged fight. There was no money involved. It was for honor.and he felt satisfied.In spite of Hélio's defeat, the next day, 125 new students enrolled at the Gracie Academy.Beyond victory, he wanted jiu-jitsu... the family, to keep winning.So, it was much more than his victories. So much so that after he lost to Waldemarhe was fine with it. He tells Carlson, "Now lets continue," and kept preparing his children.Months later Carlson Gracie would defeat Waldemar Santana avenging the family.Hélio began to dedicate himself fulltime to teaching jiu-jitsu.As long as I can remember, I would sit down and watch my father teach.Astonished at how my father presented a technique.Although he fought, first and foremost, he considered himself a jiu-jitsu professor.The majority of people who searched for jiu-jitsu or who are looking for jiu-jitsu now,are people with problems; problems of insecurity. The person who was humiliatedin the streets. A boy who was humiliated in school. Therefore, a jiu-jitsu instructor must act as a psychologist; in this aspect Hélio was ingenious.Reinforce their ego. Call him a champion. Hélio was an expert at this and so was Carlos. Students asked, "Did you study psychology?" I would say no. I learned from Hélio Gracie.A guy is a nobody and now he feels like a man. He is a coward and becomes brave.Can you put a price on this? I want to see the student become better than me.The teaching methodology my dad developed to help the student is unparalleled.It's what we do to this day with great pride. We exist to preservethis memory and this teaching methodology.But with 3 children, Hélio would still dream about a large family.They would come from a relationship with Vera, one of his employees.I was coming back from the academy and he asked me: "Son, would you like to have more brothers?" I said: "Sure, I would like to have more brothers"How many more? If I could I would have 20 more brothers. He looked at me and said, "You don't have 20 more brothers, but you have 4 more."Even though Margarida found out about the existence of another family,Margarida stayed married to Hélio.My dad would sleep at my house every night. He was an artist.You understand. He did not sleep away on weekends. He slept at home every night.Since I was the youngest of the first generation, I witnessed my mother crying around the house many times.But that's the thing. The situation already existed. It wouldn't change. My dad was resolutein his commitment to continue to support his new children, which I agreed with 100%.He had to support them. My mom was not going to stay by herself. So she agreed and accepted the situation.Margarida was convinced that the children should be the focus.It wasn't about the woman. It was about the children... respecting the children.She actually had a relationship with Vera. They would go out and do things together.They got close to each other. But deep in her heart, I don't know if she ever liked this.I have the impression that she did not like the situation.I grew up calling Rorion's mother (Margarida), "mom" as well.My mother was "mom". Margarida was "mommy".Margarida would introduce us as her kids as well.Hélio would live long enough to see his children transform Gracie Jiu-Jitsuinto an international success.In the late 70's, Hélio's firstborn, Rorion Gracie, would move to the United States.Dad never told me not to go. He always supported my idea.He always encouraged me in everything I did.Flipping burgers, working construction, cleaning toilets.He had a rough time. He even had to beg for money in the streets.When I arrived here, he was already teaching in his garage.At this point, jiu-jitsu would begin to take over the world.He would place challenges in the newspaper, "if you like to get beat up come to my garage." I would tell my students, there's a karate guy coming to fight me tomorrow night. The guy would show up at the garage, and the fight was on.The Los Angeles garage would quickly attract famous students.While Rorion and Royce were conquering the United States.Rickson, trained by Hélio, would become one of the best fighters in the world.I felt that everything to him was jiu-jitsu.If I got straight Fs on my report card, he'd be indifferent. He wouldn't be upset.But if I won a fight, it was the right time to get whatever I wanted from the old man.After my fights he never became euphoric...he was never surprised that I won."You won? There is no reason to celebrate." Oh my god I can't believe I won!"You don't believe you won? Why did you train then? To lose?"In 1991, Margarida would die of cancer. It was the end of amarriage and a partnership of 52 years.After Margarida passed away, my father called all of usand asked for our permission to marry our mom.I remember saying, "of course dad, let me think for a minute.Sure, go ahead, get married."The following year, Rorion had an idea that would popularize his father's jiu-jitsu.Let's create an event, the UFC, where we place representativesof all martial arts in a cage and only one will come out.It had to be round, so nobody would get stuck in a corner.There were a lot of reasons why we made it that way. At first we thought of making something with alligators surrounding it...an electric fence. We had all kinds of ideas. It's Hollywood, you know?!And then you had karate, muay thai, boxing...The guys had no idea what to expect. "Everything goes? Punches, kicks, head-butts?"I said "everything goes." Then at the end I was able to gather a groupof 7 fighters. The most qualified that I found at the time.And I put Royce to compete in it too.In my family you have to fight in order to gain this opportunity.Everyone wants to be good. Everyone is good.To face this challenge, Hélio came to the United States to train his son Royce.I would go to lift weights, and he would come along. If I went swimming, he wouldcome along too. He would sit down and watch me swim. It was almost like he was living life through me, through fighting.It was a success because Royce was a skinny guy, and people would look at him and feel sorry for him. "Poor thing! What is he going to do in there?"And Royce defeated them all, proving that jiu-jitsu isthe most efficient martial art for hand-to-hand combat.This made Hélio feel extremely happy and proud, because his dream was realized:to bring jiu-jitsu to the world.He was right about what he was trying to prove: his art was better.But in October of 1994, Hélio would receive news of the death of his older brother, Carlos.The relationship between dad and Uncle Carlos was unbelievable. You don't see that any more.Carlos was a charismatic person and had a lot of influence over my father.He practically guided my father's foot steps.He always said, "Carlos was a father to me."Soon after, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu arrived on the other side of the world.Rickson would become an icon in Japan.This made Hélio very proud, because Rickson fought, in his first fight in Japan, withone of Kimura's direct students, Nishi, and he won.The pride he felt while I was warming up... the expectation he had that I was goingto do a good job... I knew he had my back and that this would increase my powers.And I always did well because of this.As he approached 90 years old, Hélio kept himself active byfollowing his sons around the world.Up to 90 years old, every day he would put on a kimono and teach a class.He never stopped. He kept his mind active until he passed away in his mid 90s.He would stay here at the academy folding towels.I'm going to make watermelon juice. "Let me do it!"...and was the first to run to the kitchen.He was always here helping, working, and playing with the students.We had to be careful with the translation. Sometimes, there was a strong guy and he..."Get the strongest guy in here and tell him to hold me tight."So sometimes we had to translate a little... "Dad asked for you to hold him.""Did you tell him to hold me with a lot of strength?" "I told him dad."How do you defend a head-butt. Tell him to hit me. If you close your eyes you might think you are fighting a teenager, but when you open themyou see a 90 year old man. Fragile, skinny... with a heavy hand, my friend.This would keep him alive.Hélio Gracie lived until his last days with a samurai's discipline.But in January, 2009, at 95 years of age, he could not fight off pneumonia.He would always tell me, "my son, I'm already going to another world and you guys arestaying here" and we would tell him, "Come on Master! You're still going to live a lot more!"He always taught us to face the passing to the next life as something naturaland not to be sad.For me when he died he simply changed his address. It is as if he told me, "Rorion,I went to China and I'm living in China now. We see each other when we can.But we are not going to see each other again." It's the same thing.Hélio Gracie simply moved from a physical form, tired and happy, to aspiritual form, eternal and happy. You have to be ready.Give me just one minute.Determination, perseverance, justice, balance, courage;every human virtue you can imagine he left for all of us.To sacrifice in order to accomplish things. That was the biggest lesson he taught me.He was a modern day samurai warrior. He had that mentality, always ready to dieto defend his principles, to defend his ideals.If you believe in what you do, be willing to die for it. This became a part of us.Today, jiu-jitsu is the foundation of hand-to-hand combat of the U.S. militaryand is practiced in thousands of academies throughout the world.Helio Gracie, without a doubt, realized his biggest dream, to share his knowledge.Jiu-jitsu with its philosophy is a profession for thousands of people.It's a great source of pride for every Brazilian to learn about the art and thehistory of Helio Gracie and Carlos... to know what this family did.It's very cool to have a family where all your heroes are your relatives.And that's it. We need to continue his work, because we can never do too much for him.He was such an exceptional and special man...I would fight to prove that my art was good.To prove that the jiu-jitsu I practiced was superior to other fighting arts.This was proven and therefore I'm happy that my life's mission was accomplished.

No comments:

Post a Comment