The passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie:
Helio Gracie died on the morning of January 29, 2009 in his sleep in
Itaipava, Rio de Janeiro. The cause of death was natural causes. “I
created a flag from the art’s dignity. I oversee the name of my family
with affection and nerves of blood,” were his last words. Helio was the
creator of Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu and father of Royler Gracie, whom i
recieved my blackbelt from.
When Helio was 16 years old, he found the opportunity to teach a Judo
(at that time Judo was commonly referred to as Kano Jiu-Jitsu or simply
Jiu-Jitsu) class, and this experience led him along with his brother
Carlos to develop Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The Director of the Bank of
Brazil, Dr. Mario arrived for class as scheduled. The instructor Carlos
was running late and was not present. Helio offered to begin the class
with the man. When the tardy Carlos arrived offering his apologies, the
student assured him it was no problem, and actually requested that he be
allowed to continue learning with Helio instead. Carlos agreed to this
and Helio Gracie began as an instructor. Helio realized, however, even
though he knew the techniques theoretically, in fact, the moves were
much harder to execute.
Due to his smaller size, he realized many of the judo moves required brute strength that his diminutive stature did not allow. He began adapting the moves for his particular physical attributes, and through trial and error learned to maximize leverage,
thus minimizing the force that needed to be exerted to execute the move.
From these experiments, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu aka Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was
created. Using these new techniques, smaller and weaker opponents gained
the capability to defend themselves and even defeat much larger
opponents. He has 7 sons (Rickson, Royler, Rolker, Royce, Relson, Robin
and Rorion, the man who brought BJJ to the U.S.A) was a great uncle to
Renzo, Charles, Ralph and the late Ryan. In his final years, the creator
of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu often spoke of his satisfaction with his life’s
work. He openly stated that he had accomplished everything he had set
out to do, displaying his preparedness for the transition into the afterlife.
The Grand Master believed that such a transition should be seen as a
positive step in one’s spiritual evolution.
There are 2 upcoming tournaments next month:
Grapplers Quest on SATURDAY, MARCH 7th @ Wildwood Convention Center
4501 Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey
and the Man Up, You Sissy Tournament. on Sunday march 15th @137 N. Main Street
Telford, PA 18969
If you plan on doing either on these tourns, you need to start training
NOW and LMK if you are going to do them. Saying “I’m gonna train and
decide that day IS NOT AN OPTION!! You need to mentally prepare yourself
and visualize and “deciding that day” is not the way to mentally
prepare. Set your goal for the tourn and “go for it!”
If you are training 2x a week or more, i suggest you purchase a 2nd Gi.
Bring a Friend deal
We still have our “Bring a Friend” deal: get a friend to come train and join and get a free month or free gi for you! This is the season of “New Year Resolutions” but many people have a hard time just getting started. Just bring them in and you know they’ll get hooked after a trial class!
I leave you with this little essay about people putting of getting started in BJJ.
Beginning BJJ: Top Three Excuses To Delay Starting BJJ
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is very popular right now, thanks in large part to the many submissions you see in the UFC. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the vast majority of people interested in the sport never actually get around to training in it.
Here are the excuses I hear most often:
1 Some people will tell you that they really want to train, BUT they first want to get in shape and then get onto the mat. The funny thing is, that a year later they’ll tell you the exact same thing: any day now they’ll get in shape and then start training. If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that line about wanting to get into shape before starting to train… At some point you’ve just got to bite the bullet, get your butt onto the mat and let BJJ training itself get you into shape.
2 Other people feel awkward about signing up because they wouldn’t be able to train more than once or twice a week. They want to know, “will I really be able to make progress, training only once a week”? Listen to me: the answer to that question is YES. You can make progress, even with infrequent training, so don’t let this stop you from starting BJJ! Of course it would be better if you could train four times a week, but training once a week is about a hundred times better than not training at all! You WILL make progress – remember the parable about the tortoise and the hare! Sometimes it’s even best to make slow and steady progress, rather than go all out right off the bat.
3 Another common excuse goes like this “I’m too busy right now. Maybe I’ll start training BJJ three months from now when things quiet down a bit…”
Please don’t get me wrong: if your work and/or family commitments make it impossible for you to train right now then I have a lot of sympathy for you. Although it’s sometimes hard to admit, family does come first. But… …if you’re ‘too busy’ to train and still manage to watch 2 hours of TV, or spend your whole weekend playing video games, or going to nightclubs and drinking alcohol, then you’re NOT too busy. It’s just that you’ve got different priorities. At some point you have to make the decision “do I want to learn BJJ”, and if the answer is “yes!” then you have to adjust those priorities accordingly.
Good luck and see you on the mat!!
Also, check out this video: http://bjjengineer.com/?p=203