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BJJ Creator Helio Gracie, 95, Passes Away

Helio Gracie

Helio Gracie

Helio Gracie, regarded as the creator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, passed away in his sleep early Thursday in Brazil. He was 95.

Gracie began teaching judo at age 16 but soon realized that the moves were difficult to execute, eventually leading to the development of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, now known as BJJ, which relied more on leverage and positioning as opposed to strength, allowing smaller and weaker practitioners to succeed against larger competition.

The only 10th degree master of BJJ in the world, Helio was the father of professional fighters Rickson, Royler, Royce, Relson, and Rorion. Royce is a UFC hall of famer who won the UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 4 open weight tournaments, while Rorion was one of the founders of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Helio will be buried in Brazil this afternoon. sends its condolences to Helio’s family and friends.

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