Hélio Gracie

Today I had the unique experience of meeting the man that created BJJ, and to see Hélio Gracie, 95 years old, so vigorous and so lucid was just impossbile to express with words. Me and Rafael Haubert went to visit Royce Gracie in his house close to Barcelona, and we talked about life, the sport, and it was such a warm welcome that I have no doubts to say that its a day I will never forget.

Both father and son have shown simplicity and shared their vision of the sport. Grandmaster Hélio Gracie said that Jiu Jitsu is not about winning on points or advantage, it is a system of self defence for the weak, and the ultimate weapon to a real fight.

¨Today´s tournaments are not the Jiu Jitsu I developed¨, said the old man, with a spark in his eyes that could only come from someone so experienced in the rings an in life. Wise words, grandmaster, its such an inspiration for me to have the chance to meet you and listen a few words about the sport you created and that is an essential part of my life.

Special thanks to Royce that opened the doors of his house and chatted with us like a friend, even lending his gi and belt for me and Rafael to take pictures with his father. Of course we could never thank him enough for opening the doors of the World to our style of Jiu Jitsu, and now I realize that he is a guy in a mission, his father developed the art and he is making it known to the whole world.

Roberto Atalla





3 responses to “Hélio Gracie

  1. Great example for all the sports in the World. He’s like Jigoro Kano, he’s one the greatest athlethes of the entire story of martial arts.
    Roberto, you have been very lucky to meet him.
    Ciao ciao, il tuo amico Erik da La Spezia.


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