Hélio Gracie – Jiu-jitsu Inspiration

Hélio Gracie was to prove the effectiveness of his new system. After openly challenging all of the reputable martial artists in Brazil, he fought 18 times. These matches included one-time world heavyweight wrestling champion, Wladek Zbyszko, and the #2 world ranked Judoka at the time, Kato. Hélio Gracie choked Kato unconscious in six minutes. This victory qualified him to enter into a challenge with the world champion, Masahiko Kimura, who is known as Japan’s best ever Jiu-Jitsu fighter, and who outweighed Hélio Gracie by almost 80 pounds. Although Kimura won the match, he was inspired by Hélio’s techniques and claimed that they did not exist in Japan, and so asked Hélio to teach in Japan. The recognition by the world’s best furthered Hélio‘s dedication to the refinement and perfection of the art, and he is widely recognized as the Brazil’s firth sports hero.

In the early 1990s, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second, and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, and Jiu-Jitsu thus became and international fighting style. Royce often fought against significantly larger opponents, who were also practicing other styles such as boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, wrestling, and Tae Kwon Do. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now a chief fighting style for many MMA fighters, and is responsible for bringing attention to the importance of ground fighting.