Friday, January 30, 2009

Grand Master Helio Gacie has passed away....

The legendary master and head of the Gracie family, Helio Gracie has passed away at the age of 95. Helio was a father to 9 children including UFC great Royce Gracie. It was said to be believed that Helio passed away while he was in his sleep, but prior to that he was admitted into a local hospital in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil due to pain in his stomach. Helio Gracie passed away in his home in Itaipaiva a small town in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 
Helio Gracie was the youngest of 8 childrren and started to learn the disciplines of Jiu Jitsu by watching his Brother Carlos teach classes and later made changes to the techniques to call it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Helio was known for going to Japan to challenge Masahiko Kimura, a fight in which his brother Carlos had to throw in the towel after Kimura had broken his arm after applying a shoulder lock that now in modern day MMA is a known submission hold.
Gracie's son, Rorion was the man who first implemented the Ultimate Fighting Championship back in 1993 where back in that time the fights were a no holds barred like atmosphere in the Octagon which was known as the dark days of the sport where Helio's son, Royce won the first ever UFC tournament which pretty much cemented his legacy as a mixed martial artist.
Helio is survived by his wife, Vera his sons, Royce, Royler, Rickson, Rorion, Rolker, Relson, Robin his daughters Rerika and Ricci and a large number of nephews, nieces and grandchildren as well.


Even that my Jiu Jitsu style doesn't come from Helio Gracie I respect him for what he did to this great martial art we have today. Helio was also the founder of the first Jiu Jitsu Federation in Brazil, and today became the International Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Even being a Grand Master Helio was always learning and teaching new things too, and at the age of 95 years old he still wore his Gi for training. I didn't have a chance to meet him but I leave here my word to say THANK YOU Helio Gracie for what you've done to Jiu Jitsu and wherever you are rest in peace.

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