Gracie Jiu-Jitsu founder and grandmaster, Helio Gracie has died. GracieMag.com released a statement this morning stating,”At 95 years of age, the great icon and one of those most responsible for Jiu-Jitsu’s success in Brazil and the world died this morning at home in the district of Itaipava, in the mountain region of Rio de Janeiro.”
Lets take this time to look back at the legend that is Helio Gracie. The younger brother of Carlos Gracie, Helio’s initial foray into martial arts consisted of him watching studiously from the side as his older brother was taught the traditional art of Jiu Jitsu from the Japanese champion Conde Koma.
Being a man of frail statue, Helio did not have the physical attributes to consistently train with his older brother. So Helio, ever the innovator, began to take the techniques he saw his brother practicing and began to modify these techniques to his frail frame. As such, modern Gracie Jiu Jitsu was born.