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Friday, January 30, 2009

Helio Gracie passed away ? RIP


Helio Gracie, legendary patriarch of the Gracie family and father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has passed away at the age of 95, according to a report by GracieMag.com.

Gracie passed in his sleep early Thursday in Itaipaiva, Rio de Janeiro, said another report on Sherdog.com, after he had been admitted to a local hospital a few days prior for stomach problems.

Gracie was recognized worldwide for his accomplishments in the sport of jiu-jitsu, as well as crossing over into other formats, while also serving as father to legends like Royce, Rickson, and Rorion Gracie, who helped found the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A 10th degree red belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Helio was a national hero in Brazil. His family name has carried on for generations of some of the best grapplers in the entire world, with their style defining a sport.

Last October, Gracie celebrated his 95th birthday. He will be remembered throughout time as the man who helped build this generation of fighters and grapplers that compete worldwide.

Known for many matches throughout his life, Gracie took on fighters from numerous different disciplines to help promote the jiu-jitsu legacy. One fight that attracted thousands of fans and even the president of Brazil was a match pitting Helio against Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura.

The two warriors battled it out and in the end it was Kimura who applied a shoulder and arm lock that actually broke the arm of Helio, although he refused to tap. From that point on the hold known as the “reverse ude-garami” was forever referred to as the “Kimura,” a move still used in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts today.

In an interview with GracieMag.com, Gracie said about his death, “I’ve already told my sons that when I die I want there to be a party. No drinking, no debauchery.”

The world has one less legend today after the passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie

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