08 Mar / 2015


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Brazilian jiu-jitsu has its unique challenges, especially when it comes to sparring partners. No one is perfect, true, but some partners may leave something to be desired. If you have been practicing jiu-jitsu for some time, you might have come across one or a few of these guys. 

25 Mar / 2015


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Las lesiones son lo mejor o lo peor que le puede pasar a tu jiu-jitsu. Todo depende de como tomamos cada lesión, y se nos viene la pregunta RODAR o NO RODAR he ahí el problema! ...y para muchos otros comienza el "no debi hacer..." o "..si lo hubiera.." 

Aquí les dejamos un video de Rener Gracie y Alex Ueda, compartiendo algunas experiencias y lesiones a tomar en cuenta, muchos se sentirán identificados, otros recordarán algunos dolores!

09 Feb / 2015


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Waldemar Santana, aka the Black Leopard, is one of the most underrated and forgotten fighters in MMA history. If you think Sakuraba, or even Eddie Bravo, play the role as the Gracies’ biggest foe, you are wrong. Waldemar was getting into the Gracies’ heads more than 60 years ago. The humble Brazilian was a blue-collar worker at the Gracies’ academy at the beginning of the 50´s. The huge athlete was one of the clan’s best students, besides being Master Helio’s most loyal employee. The Black Leopard also had great boxing and Capoeira skills. He was a true mixed martial artist from Bahia, a state well known to develop great combat sports athletes like Junior dos Santosand the Nogueira brothers. Waldemar’s biggest skill was his athleticism. He was famous for rolling for hours in a row with full power and strength. Master Helio Gracie had noticed that and made him a sparring partner and even an instructor when Jiu-Jitsu’s biggest legend was away from the gym.

waldermar-santana-vs-helio-gracieThe relationship between Waldemar and Helio wasn’t all roses. The Leopard kept complaining about the way Master Helio treated him at the gym. The Gracie was accused of being crude and boorish. He was concerned that all the Master’s attention was focused on other athletes, like João Alberto Barreto and Helio Vigio. Waldemar was only scheduled to fight on preliminary bouts and undercards.

The main reason that the partnership between Helio and Waldemar ended is still a mystery. There are two main versions why the Black Leopard left the Gracie Clan. The first and most famous tale is that Waldemar booked a pro wrestling fight without the concern of any of his masters. Helio raged because he was totally against arranged bouts and felt that Waldemar disrespected the clan’s hierarchy.

The second version is a bit more intriguing. Waldemar used to do cleaning work at the Gracies’ gym. One weekend he forgot to close the main tap, and the location was flooded by Monday. Helio was furious and didn’t measure words to repress his student. Waldemar felt disrespected, and for the first time, exchanged rude words with his Jiu-Jitsu mentor.

As soon as he was fired from the academy, Waldemar started to train with Mr. Haroldo Brito, a Gracie dissident himself. Shortly after breaking up with MMA’s first family, and strongly advised by his coach, Waldemar challenged his Master Helio Gracie.

Helio accepted the challenge pronto, even being 44 years old and 60 pounds lighter than Waldemar.

They battled for almost four hours, a record in combat sports history. Helio was a mature man and handled the pressure until the point that he was exhausted. Tapping was not an option to the Gracies back then, so Waldemar was able to lift the tired small frame body to the sky and slam it fiercely to the ground. The huge takedown was followed by a deadly soccer kick that turned the lights out for Master Helio. Waldemar became the new people’s champ. He had just crushed a guy that possessed all the mystics of a legend. The Black Leopard became famous and was enjoying his glory traveling nationwide showing his fight skills.

The Gracies were seeking for revenge since they considered the match unfair due to the difference of age between fighters. But the weight was not subject to complaints, facing bigger opponents was a walk in the park and the Gracies’ trademark.

The clan member chosen to pursue retaliation was a rising star in the family, the one and only Carlson Gracie. Carlson is one of the most polemic figures in the family. Extremely well-read and educated, Carlson has graduated a handful of famous black belts in our time. Names like Victor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante, Paulo Filho and many others were Carlson students back in the day.

waldermar-santana-vs-carlson-gracieThe fight between Waldemar and Helio was barely a freak show of violence and blood. They had to deal with almost four hours of uninterrupted no rules combat with a semi-lethal soccer kick in the end. The Brazilian public was scared and reluctant to attend violent shows again. Vale Tudo was prohibited right after Carlson agreed to face the Black Leopard. The only way that Carlson could revenge his family name was in a legal Jiu-Jitsu fight. They were scheduled to fight in Maracanazinho, Brazil’s biggest gymnasium, and that was the most hyped fight ever. Forget the 55,000 people going nuts overGeorges St-Pierre. That was the 50’s and people were almost killing each other for one of the 40,000 tickets. The event was sold out, and a failure. Neither fighter found the submission and the fight was considered a draw after five 10-minute rounds. Lots of boos could be heard in Rio; the public wanted a winner.

A few months later, Vale Tudo was back in legality and Carlson had another shot against Waldemar. This time, in a Vale Tudo bout, the Gracie finally avenged his uncle with a TKO victory over the Leopard. The two fighters would meet another four times. Yes, you read it right, four rematches. Carlson had another win and the rest of the bouts were boring draws. Carlson’s retirement fight was in 1970 against the Black Leopard.

waldermar-santana-vs-carlson-gracie 1Waldemar never took the rivalry outside the ring; he had mad respect for Helio Gracie. Waldemar was never able to repeat the hype of his bouts against the Gracies, but lived the rest of his short life in combat sports. He also fought twice the Japanese champ, Masahiko Kimura. He had a draw and a loss against the first man to beat Helio Gracie. Waldemar and Helio ended up making peace.

Waldemar was arrested accused of being a communist during the Brazilian military government. Helio Gracie had huge influence with the politicians and soldiers, and was able to free his former friend and foe. Waldemar died of a stroke at the early age of 54, right after the opening of his newest gym.

Fuente: http://www.mmaweekly.com/waldemar-santana-the-first-gracie-nightmare

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