It has been almost 17 years I am involved with this sport, and he is one of the best instructors of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I ever saw teaching. Under rated at least, Helio Soneca Moreira started to train BJJ in Teresopolis at the age of 8, and later on moved to Rio de Janeiro to improve his skills and started to train at the Gracie Club (later changed its name to Gracie Barra). Taught by the Machado brothers, Ze Henrique Leão and Renzo Gracie, he quickqly developed his own style, adapting BJJ to his body tipe and abilities.In December of 1990, when I started at Jean Jaques school in Barra da Tijuca, he was one of the instructors, along with Roberto Correa Gordo, and helped me with my basics since day one. Small, humble, friendly and funny, he is the opposite of the stereotype people have of a Jiu Jitsu fighter. Very technical and inovative, Soneca was fundamental to me as he was always pushing me harder and quickly became one of my best friends.
At 22, he finally got the deserved black belt he had been dreaming of; a prestige that few people had at that time.
Now a fourth dan black belt, Soneca broke up with the political structure a few years ago and decided to carve his own path in America. He teaches out of Kentucky now but he helped grow the sport when he was in California, Florida and Tenesse, not to mention the seminars he does all over North America and more ocasionally in other parts of the World. A true pioneer of the sport, Soneca has given classes in Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Italy and Japan.
To see more pics and facts visit his official website: Helio Soneca.com