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