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The Art Of… Helio Gracie

Before Brazilians knew anything about jiu-jitsu, the Japanese developed the gentle art. Japanese jiu-jitsu/judo was officially introduced to the Gracies when Japanese martial artist Mitsuyo Maeda and Gastão Gracie met ringside at a fight on November 5th, 1916. Maeda was traveling around the world with his friend and fellow fighter, Satake, demonstrating their techniques by defeating a hundred plus men of other disciplines. Gastão Gracie was a businessman and helped Maeda find his footing in Brazil. In return, Maeda taught Gastão’s son, Carlos, the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu. Carlos took what he learned and began to teach Brazil.

While Carlos was busy throwing people around on the mats, his brother Helio sat on the sidelines, under doctor’s orders. Helio was skinny and weak for no reason anyone could find, so almost everyone was cautious to allow him to train.

As the legend goes, a student showed up, looking for Carlos one day. Helio saw an opportunity and decided to offer to teach the student what he’d memorized watching his brother train in jiu-jitsu. But Helio’s technique was a bit different; he modified movements as needed for his frail frame. Helio’s new student was hooked and said he’d like to return to the mats under Helio’s instruction instead.

Carlos and Helio knew they stumbled on something. They worked together to make sure they modified the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu/judo to leverage the weakness of Helio’s frail body. They found strength in weakness and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was born.

To put their technique to the test, Helio took on challengers. While the size of Helio’s opponents and the results of his matches over the years were correct across the board, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu survived. A large part of the legacy was born out of their publicity. In 1925, Carlos opened an academy in Rio and one advertisement supposedly read, “If you want your face smashed and split open, your backside kicked and your arms broken, contact Carlos Gracie at this address.”

The story came full circle when Helio caught wind of some Japanese challengers in Brazil. Under the leadership of Masahiko Kimura, the Japanese fighters were visiting from the Imperial Academy. Kimura offered Helio the chance to fight his disciple, Kato. The two tangled for the first time on September 6, 1951 in front of a crowd of tens of thousands. While Kato threw Helio around like a ragdoll, their first fight ended in a draw. They came together again for a rematch on September 29, in São Paulo, when Kato found himself caught and choked unconscious. The weak had won.

Kato’s defeat was enough to convince the larger and strongest Kimura to challenge Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and take on Helio. Kimura claimed he would defeat Helio in under three minutes but when the match went much longer, Kimura was dumbfounded. The bout ended in the second round after Kimura briefly put Helio to sleep, and upon waking up, trapped Helio in the arm lock we now know as the kimura. Carlos tapped the mat to surrender and save his brother’s arm from being snapped. Nevertheless, Kimura returned to Japan impressed with how far and advanced the Gracie family had brought Jiu-Jitsu.

Even as jiu-jitsu continues to grow around the world, there is no denying Helio Gracie was integral in the evolution. It was never about winning as much as it was about expressing the art and the technique through embracing weakness and vulnerability. Understanding your limitations brings clarity and Helio transformed the gentle way for the better.

What weakness helps you show the art?

By Daniel Scharch

References:
http://www.graciemag.com/en/the-saga-of-jiu-jitsu/
http://grantland.com/one-hundred-years-arm-bars-gracie-jiu-jitsu-mma/
https://www.bjjheroes.com/bjj-fighters/helio-gracie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo6sG1UqQAs

#97 – STA Finishers SubOnly Breakdown | Valentina Shevchenko Mastery | Show the ART Podcast

ON this episode Abraham and Ames break down the crazy weekend of fights. First Abe talks about the Show the ART Finishers 3 tournament he helped put together over the weekend and the success of the entire event including names of rising stars.

Then they go in depth on UFC Fight Night over the weekend headlined by Valentina Shevchenko. Valentina hit a beautiful armbar on Juliana Pena and they describe the intricate details of its success. Also, Jorge Masvidal’s impressive win over Donald Cowboy Cerrone.

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#68 – Jed Meshew | MMAFighting.com Writer | UFC 205 breakdown | Show the ART Podcast

On this episode we talk to Jed Meshew. Jed is a writer for MMAFighting.com and bloodyelbow.com. You can check his work out every Mon-Fri on mmafighting’s home page titles “Morning Report”. Here he shares the latest MMA news, articles, videos, and social media feeds. He has a wealth of MMA knowledge and is a very intelligent guy. We had a great time talking to him and breaking down future fights!

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Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson on his fight with Macdonald, ‘I knew he was gonna do it’

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a man of spinning back flips, spinning back kicks, and super shiny gold championships in his future. After his exquisitely technical win over Rory MacDonald (UFC Fight Night), he will tell you the title shot is inevitable.

“This was the most nervous I’ve ever been before a fight,” Thompson said on the most recent episode (#38) of the Show the ART Podcast. “Just because I really wasn’t sure exactly what he was gonna go out there in the octagon and do.”

A few years back, Wonderboy traveled up north to the famous TriStar Gym, to train with one of the elite coaches in the world, Firas Zahabi. TriStar is the home of legend and long time welterweight king, Georges St Pierre, and his ever evolving protege, Rory MacDonald. So the story goes they had trained together and were always cordial, but had never sparred together. The important thing to point out is that both guys learned about each other’s fight strategies, which played an important role in their highly anticipated fight on June 18, 2016.

“Three weeks before the fight, we were rolling and I was like you know what…watch him try the Ryan Hall flying heel hooks,” Thompson said. Ryan Hall comes from a prestigious Jiujitsu pedigree and is well versed in leg lock attacks. (Google Ryan Hall BJJ matches, he is an incredible grappler!)

“I knew he was gonna do it because I know he’s a heel hook guy,” said Thompson of Rory MacDonald. “I was like watch him go out there, try and throw one of those flying heel hooks in the first round and try and make a statement.”

Rory attempted a couple of solid Imanari roll attacks on Thompson and it truly did make a huge statement in the fight. The first one in particular was very precise and in my eyes, Thompson escaped by the skin of his knees. (If you don’t know what an Imanari roll is, google it haha! Seriously, google it.) It is used mainly to set up heel hook submissions, which are dangerous to the knee. It was popularized by a former MMA fighter by the name of Imanari Masakazu.

“I’ve done some training with Ryan Hall and I knew Ryan would go up to TriStar and do some training up there as well,” Thompson said. Referring to the heel hook (Imanari roll) attacks, Thompson said, “thats something they were working on.”

All in all, Rory MacDonald put up an excellent fight and showed how skillful he is. He did an excellent job complicating the rhythm that Wonderboy likes to fight at, which forced both fighters to become extremely methodical in their “in-game” strategy. In the end though, Thompson’s striking proved to be too much for MacDonald and he won via unanimous decision.

If Wonderboy doesn’t get the next W.W. title shot, it will be a crime against humanity and all that is right with the world.

If you are a little more interested in what Wonderboy had to say, please check out the rest of this podcast episode by visiting iTunes or Stitcher and searching Show the ART Podcast : MMA & Sports.
You can also visit our website and watch all the episodes there!

-Abraham Awad
showtheart.com

Denny Prokopos on EBI 7 Prep, ‘I’m making the best progress’

Denny Prokopos is a man that may be flying below the radar as a favorite in what seems to be one of the most star studded “sub-only” grappling events of the year.

Preperation has already started,” Denny said on a recent episode of the Show the ART Podcast. “I had a European tour where I did a seminar tour…right when I got back, Eddie (Bravo) told me, he’s like…GET READY.

Denny is an EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational) veteren and EBI 2 Champion. He is coming off a loss from EBI 5 and looking to redeem himself after suffering from a terrible staff infection two weeks before the competition. He is back now and has a laser sharp focus on the gold.

Denny went on to talk about his preparation and how visualization and note taking play huge roles in his progression.

I’m very happy with the results I am getting in training,” Denny said. “Especially when I look at all the years of how I was doing in training, when I look back at my notes, as I’m reflecting…I feel that I’m making the best progress on the jiujitsu, the wrestling, the strength & conditioning coming together.” “I have copious notes since the age of twelve. …how I’m doing in training, and how I’m learning, I can learn quicker now.

He explains how his consistent note taking before and after training has helped him improve his game. Going back and reading notes on how he was feeling can benefit him by understand what was going through his mind during the good or bad sessions. He can then harness these feeling to future sessions and/or competitions to help be at his best. His notes also help him track his progress on how he was moving and training with all his training partners.

When you’re fighting, you need to be clear,” Prokopos continued. “The more clear you see things, the more clear victory is.” “Victory is more clear to the one that knows himself better.

His mental clarity is at an all-time high and in his mind is the champion already. It will be a tough task, as he facing some of the best grapplers in the country. People like EBI Champs Eddie Cummings or Geo Martinez will be waiting for him before he can claim the throne. He will have to get passed the dynamic Jose Gutierrez in the first round and the competition will only get increasingly difficult from there.

Click on the video above to listen to the entire interview or download it now (& subscribe) on iTunes.