R.I.P. Hélio Gracie
January 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
Inventor and pioneer of the famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu style of fighting, Grand Master Hélio Gracie has passed away. I had the opportunity to study at an official Gracie school in Philadelphia and it was an amazing experience. Hélio’s philosophy was always to empower the smaller, weaker opponent against a larger, stronger enemy. In his last interview taken from the Gracie website he talks about the future of the sport and some of his concerns about it’s current use.
“The Jiu-Jitsu that I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and strong. It was so successful that they decided to create a sportive version of it. I would like to make it clear that of course I am in favor of the sportive practice and technical refinement of all athletes, whatever their specialty may be, as well as good nutrition, sexual control, avoidance of addictions and unhealthy habits. The problem lies in the creation of a sport-oriented Jiu-Jitsu, based on rules and time limits, which benefits the heavier, stronger, and more athletic individuals. The primary objective of Jiu-Jitsu is to empower the weak who, for not having the physical attributes, are often intimidated. My Jiu-Jitsu is an art of self-defense in which rules and time limits are unacceptable. These are the reasons for which I can’t support events that reflect an anti Jiu-Jitsu.”
-Grand Master Helio Gracie (October 1, 1913 – January 29, 2009)