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Like many other themes of the story, it would be impossible to accurately describe the origin of Jiu-Jitsu. However, no lacks of hypotheses are. Each culture was found to have some form of wrestling in its history. Normally, unarmed combat appears as close combat and sometimes like pugilism. Chronologically examining the history of combat, it is possible that the fighting techniques of Jiu-Jitsu have been influenced by ancient Greece. The Olympics were one of the traditions of the Greeks, and one of its most popular sports, the pankration, that involved pugilism and close combats techniques, becoming more popular to the Greeks than any of them individually. During his conquests, Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) led the Greek culture for regions he dominated. His victories came to India, where he introduced the customs and ideals of Hellenic culture to the people of that region that was probably the birthplace of Jiu-Jitsu.

The general opinion, accepted by most historians is that systemized martial arts techniques came from India along with Buddhism (Dharma). The theory is that the Shaolin Temple was built in central China, precisely where Dharma introduced Buddhism and pugilism. It is said that Buddhist monks of North India contributed also to the early development of Jiu-Jitsu. In his long journeys through the interior of India, the monks were constantly assaulted by bandits. Their religious and moral values did not allow the use of weapons, so the monks were forced to develop a system of self-defense using their bare hands.

These monks were men of great wisdom and perfect knowledge of the human body. Therefore, they applied the laws of physics, such as a lever system, kinetics, equilibrium, center of gravity, and friction, weight and handling transmission of vital points of the human anatomy in order to create a scientific art of self-defense.

One thing is certain about these stories: the Japanese were responsible for refining the art of wrestling as a system of close combat very sophisticated body called Ju-Jitsu, which was developed in Japan during the feudal period.


Hélio soon realized that due to his frail physique, could not easily perform most of the techniques he had learned to heed the lessons of Carlos. With a determination to execute them efficiently, began to modify them so that they adapt to their fragile physical constitution. Emphasizing the principles of leverage and of timing on strength and speed, Hélio modified virtually all the techniques and, through trial and error, created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

To prove the effectiveness of the new system, Hélio openly challenged all practitioners of most reputable martial arts in Brazil. Participated in 18 fights, including challenges against the former world heavyweight champion of wrestling, Wladek Zbyszko, and the second largest judoka in the world at the time, Kato, whom Hélio choked unconscious and left after 6 minutes of combat . His victory against Kato qualified him to climb into the ring against world champion Masahiko Kimura, nearly 35 pounds heavier. Kimura won the fight, but was so impressed with the techniques of Hélio, who asked him to teach in Japan , assuming that those techniques that Hélio had introduced during the dispute did not exist in Japan was the recognition of the best in the world devotion to Hélio refinement of the art.

After 43 years, Helio and your opponent Waldemar Santana, a former student, beat the world record for the longest fight in MMA history when they fought, incredibly, for 3 hours and 40 minutes without breaks!

Hélio, widely considered the first sports hero in Brazilian history, also challenged boxing icons such as Primo Carnera, Joe Louis and Ezzard Charles. All refused.

A contemporary legend, Hélio Gracie gained international acclaim for his dedication to the dissemination of art and philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Devoted to family, an example of healthy living, Hélio Gracie was a symbol of courage, discipline and determination, and an inspiration to all who knew him.


Born in Belem ( PA ) , on 1 October 1913, Helio was father of 9 sons: Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, Royce, Rherica, Robin, Ricci.


In the 20s, Hélio Gracie was a skinny boy with health problems. So Carlos had received orders from the family doctor not to teach Jiu-Jitsu to his brother. Hélio, very fragile, with dizziness and fainting almost daily, was unable even to attend school and spent the whole day attending classes older brother.

Until one day, as there was a waiting student and Carlos was not enough, Hélio (then 14 years) proposed to pass the class instructions. And he did so that when Carlos arrived, the student asked, from this day forward, your lessons were given by Hélio, who had never received even one class.

With extraordinary talent and persistent to offset their puny 60 pounds, Hélio Gracie perfected the technique to the point of making it practically unbeatable, resulting in what is now known worldwide with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

At 16 in his first fight in public, he won in 30 seconds the Brazilian boxing champion, Antonio Portugal.

At age 18, he defeated vice world champion in MMA, Fred Ebert. He won in four minutes the champion of Caribbean Capoeira which challenged through the press. Faced and overcame, without rest between fights, twelve Brazilian Navy Seals chosen among the strongest of the entire corporation. The lightest weighed 90 pounds. The Japanese Massagoishi, Sumo champion, who was twice the size of Hélio Gracie, was defeated by him in less than five minutes.

The Japanese began to show concern about the invincibility of a Brazilian in this ancient martial art of Japan, and from there began to send their best fighters to face Helio Gracie , who faced several Japanese opponents and still undefeated . To definitively topple the unbeaten Brazilian, came from Japan the two greatest fighters the world champion, Kimura, and vice, Kato. Even having two fractured ribs in a workout, Hélio Gracie faced Kato on a skating rink on the lawn of Maracana Stadium and the fight ended in a draw. In the rematch in Sao Paulo, the victory of Helio, in six minutes left perplexed Japanese colony.

The fight against world champion Kimura, 10 years younger and 40 pounds heavier, was a milestone in the life of Helio Gracie. On the dais at the Maracana , Helio resisted 18 minutes , eliciting cheers from the opponent during the struggle , and was only foiled when his brother , Carlos , threw in the towel , fearing serious fracture. The next day, Kimura went to Helio Gracie ‘s house and invited him to go to Japan. The Brazilian chose to continue his work in Brazil .

The last fight of Helio Gracie was the longest in the history of Jiu-Jitsu: after three hours and 45 minutes without interruption, excelled physical strength of his burly former student Waldemar Santana , 20 years less , who won the battle of dramatically. The rematch was assumed by Carlson Gracie, who won Santana Overwhelming mode.

During a trip to Fortaleza, with his brother Charles, in the boat Itanajé , an unknown man threw himself into the sea , in a shark infested region near the Abrolhos , in Bahia’s coast. A small boat and 6 sailors went down to try to save the suicidal, but had orders to return if they could not save the man. Facing big waves and pulling the man by the hair they realize were unable to bring the man back to the boat. So Hélio Gracie decided to plunge. Swam faster when the boat has returned under the screams of terrified sailors with the presence of sharks , saved the man and put him into the boat, and also led the sailors that were not able to the waves with their oars , and received back gold Medal and Diploma of Honor at the National Radio sponsored by Standard Oil .

The public opinion hailed as a hero of flesh and bone. For several decades, the victories of Hélio Gracie occupied the front pages of major newspapers in the country

From the 50 to the Gracie Academy in Rio Branco Avenue came to be frequented by people of all ages and social classes, including by national influential figures, as businessmen, journalists, military and government ministers.


On the influence of Carlos Gracie, Helio adopted frugal life. Where did the art and the dignity of the sport and a flag today , in the lucidity of its 95 -year-old before he died , was saddened against the misuse of this technique and the misrepresentation of ancient knowledge that led to martial arts .

Protesting against the image of violence many unscrupulous mercenaries of various forms of martial art he called for accountability of academies and associations in the moral training of young athletes and advocates greater rigor to the functioning of such entities, on behalf of the ethical principles and high philosophical traditions of Jiu-Jitsu.

His sons, nephews and disciples convey the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu around the world and participate victoriously major international competitions. His son Rorion Gracie, now living in the United States, created a health Jiu-Jitsu and Royce Gracie was enshrined as one of the greatest champions of the world in this mode.


The techniques passed seven decades ago by the Gracies transcend a simple fight or sports practice , especially among the young, who are the true Jiu-Jitsu wholesome activity , a technique of safe and positive self-defense , in response to the difficult and violent world in which live . With its strong personality, Hélio Gracie came to symbolize uprightness of character, honesty, courage and health.

As a teacher and creator of a form of Jiu-Jitsu, Helio Gracie developed a technique that revolutionized the world of martial arts and now benefits thousands of people.


“Jiu-Jitsu that I created was to give chance to the weakest face the heavier and stronger and did so successful that they decided to make a sport competition Jiu-Jitsu. I would like to make it clear that I am in favor of sports practice and preparation technique for any athlete, whatever your specialty besides good nutrition, sexual control, and avoidance of unhealthy habits. The problem consists in creating a competitive Jiu-Jitsu with rules, inadequate time and that favors the most trained, strong and heavy. The objective of Jiu-Jitsu is primarily benefitting the weakest that so not have physical gifts are subdued by others. My Jiu-Jitsu is an art of self-defense that does not accept certain regulations and certain time. Such are the reasons why I cannot with my presence, support shows which portrays a kind of anti-Jiu-Jitsu.”