Helio Gracie (1913-2009)
In the early 1900s, Brazilian businessman and politician, Gastao Gracie, befriended Japanese prize fighter Mitsuyo Maeda. In exchange for his friendship and hospitality, Maeda offered to teach Gracie’s son, Carlos, the Japanese martial art of Jiu-Jitsu.
Helio Gracie learned from Carlos Gracie, who founded a martial arts academy to pass on this knowledge to his family. However, Helio Gracie, while understanding the techniques in theory, had trouble executing them due to his frail physique. He modified the martial art to place more of an emphasis on leverage and timing over strength and speed, thus creating "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu".
Helio Gracie challenged all reputable fighters in Brazil, including boxers, wrestlers, and judokas. His victories proved the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and he has often been referred to as the first sports hero in Brazilian history.
With my Military obligations and service to our great nation, I found myself traveling from one great Gracie Academy to another. O2 Martial Arts - 2010 -2014, Bushido Martial Arts - 2014 - 2018 to today living and training in Ocala, Florida, where I have the privilege's to work closely with Professor Eddie Kone, from EKBJJ Association (www.ekbjjonline.com) to continue the Self Defense Legacy we practice today.