View Full Version : Helio Gracie: A Bow of Respect

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Roy Dean
01-29-2009, 12:08 PM
Please take a moment to honor the memory of Helio Gracie, founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, who passed away this morning at the age of 95. Although I never had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his contributions, I will strive to put this art in the best light possible and share it with as many as I can.

Ron Tisdale
01-29-2009, 02:03 PM
Osu! We all probably owe him a debt. All that training and lives to 95?


Kevin Leavitt
01-29-2009, 02:14 PM
Here is a link to an article.


01-29-2009, 09:56 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of this icon of the Martial Arts.

William Hazen

01-29-2009, 10:09 PM
What a great loss to the MA community. My condolences to his family and students.


John Connolly
01-30-2009, 02:29 AM
He was an artist. He lived his life fully and with joy. The outward expression of this engaged life that we most cherish is BJJ, which has had great influence on all martial arts (whether they know it or not, and whether they are ready or not). May we all live and experience and explore as much as possible. I have no doubt with the activity in his life and the amazing community of people he was surrounded by, that his life, even late and frail, was full of joyful moments. May we all be so lucky. I believe that martial arts are about community, even the "hard" ones, so much more so than being about fighting. Helio Gracie was the great example to follow in this regard.

Rest in peace.

Stephen Kotev
01-30-2009, 12:18 PM
Sherdog has some nice photos and a brief article too:

I would like to join the others and also pass on my respect and condolences at his passing.

Stephen Kotev

02-02-2009, 10:04 AM
My condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. His contributions to martial arts is sincerely appreciated.

-- Jun

02-02-2009, 11:17 PM

Thanks for sharing that Sherdog link.


Toby Threadgill
02-05-2009, 01:52 PM

Around a decade ago I visited the Gracie Academy in Southern California. I was invited there to shoot a formal portrait of Helio Gracie with his eldest son Rorion. Upon entering the school I soon spied this martial arts legend rolling on the dojo floor with a group of beginning students. Helio was slowly and methodically taking the students from a mount into a simple armbar submission. Next he would swap position, teaching them how to take him into the same submission.

The portrait session and afternoon that followed was lighthearted and relaxed. During the photo session Helio joked about damaging my expensive looking Hasselblad camera's with his homely looks. Later during conversation he talked with pride about his sons and his extended family.

I was quite taken with his easy going demeanor and impressed to find him behaving like any another guy, totally unconcerned with appearing like someone of any special importance. To Helio Gracie, he was simply just a guy named Helio. I walked away from that afternoon photo shoot admiring Helio Gracie more than I ever suspected I would. I found he embodied an all too rare mindset and persona, one all true budo teachers should try to emulate.


Toby Threadgill

Jeremy Hulley
02-05-2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks for that Toby..
really great.

Kevin Leavitt
02-05-2009, 08:27 PM
Toby, thanks for that special memory. I wish I had the opportunity to meet him.

04-13-2009, 07:16 AM
He will be remembered. Best wishes to the family.