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Helio Gracie dead at 95

copticorthodoxboy

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Posting this in "free-for-all" because 1) Helio wasn't Orthodox and 2) I'm not specifically asking anyone to pray for Helio (though, if you wish you may pray for him)

Helio Gracie, the father of BJJ and Gracie family patriarch, dead at 95
by Dann Stupp on Jan 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm ET
Helio Gracie, the Gracie family patriarch and instrumental figure in the rise of early mixed martial arts, has passed away at the age of 95.

With his older brother Carlos, Helio, who died early Thursday is Rio de Janiero, helped create what we know today as Brazilian jiu jitsu.

With a slight build and weighing no more than 150 pounds, Gracie adapted traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu principles so that leverage and position could make up size differences between opponents.

Called Gracie jiu jitsu, which son Rorion used to help launch the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, the fighting style would soon prove dominant. Another one of Helio's nine sons, UFC hall-of-famer Royce, successfully implemented the strategies in early UFC events despite facing significantly larger opponents.

Royce's and the fighting style's success sparked the explosion of modern jiu jitsu among the martial-arts world.

The discipline, now better known as Brazilian jiu jitsu, remains a key foundation in any MMA education.

Helio, himself, also fought, oftentimes to prove jiu jitsu's dominance over disciplines such as boxing, wrestling and judo. Many of the fights took place in front of remarkably large crowds as Helio became one of Brazil's biggest sports stars.

In one of martial arts' first super fights, nearly 20,000 people watched Helio fight Masahiko Kimura in 1951. Kimura, who outweighed his opponent by nearly 80 pounds, eventually won the fight with a submission that now bears his name.

Four years later, in his final match, Helio fought former student Valdemar Santana in a nearly four-hour Vale Tudo ("no holds barred") match. Santana won the fight after Helio tired, but his nephew Carlos eventually avenged the loss, a common occurrence for a clan committed to the family's honor.

Helio remained a fixture in MMA circles as the family continued his legacy in recent decades. He was oftentimes seen ringside as Gracie members flourished in top MMA organizations around the world.


http://mmajunkie.com/news/13859/helio-gracie-the-father-of-bjj-and-gracie-family-patriarch-dead-at-95.mma
 

Veniamin

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Moved to Other Topics because A) we don't post threads in the parent FFA board....as the bolded thread at the top of that page states, and B) because it is not a hot topic of a polemical nature, which is the purpose of FFA.
 
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