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Paulo Santana
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Unveiling the Journey: An Interview with Professor Paulo Santana

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), some individuals become not just practitioners, but champions, educators, and community builders. Professor Paulo Santana, the head instructor at Paulo Santana BJJ in Winston-Salem, NC, is a prime example of such an individual. His journey in the Gentle Art began at the age of 14, and over the years, he has emerged as not only a top talent on the mat but also a valued member of the Jiu-Jitsu community.  Introduction: For half of his life, Jiu Jitsu has played a major role in Santana’s story. A native of Goiânia, Brazil, he embarked on his journey into the world of BJJ at a young age. Over the years, Santana has not only won numerous national and international championships but also made significant contributions to the sport by creating “Gatas no tatami,” an all-women’s Jiu-Jitsu class in Brazil. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Universidade Salgado de Oliveira, Santana later immigrated to the United States with his wife. Today, he stands as the head instructor at Paulo Santana BJJ, an affiliate of Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Q1: Professor, please tell us about how you first heard about BJJ and why you decided to start. Professor Paulo Santana: I started Jiu-Jitsu when I was 14 because I felt the need to learn how to defend myself. I had tried another martial art before, but it didn’t resonate with me. When I discovered Jiu-Jitsu, I was drawn to it because I saw smaller individuals effectively control larger and stronger opponents using these techniques. Interviewer: It’s fascinating how practicality and effectiveness drew you to Jiu-Jitsu at such a young age. Your journey truly reflects the martial art’s core principles. Q2: Who is your favorite grappler? And why? Professor Paulo Santana: One of my favorite athletes is Marcelo Garcia. As I mentioned earlier, I saw him win many times against bigger opponents. Interviewer: Marcelo Garcia’s ability to overcome size disadvantages is truly remarkable and an inspiration to many in the BJJ community. Final Summary: Professor Paulo Santana’s journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu reflects not only his personal dedication but also the transformative power of this martial art. From self-defense to becoming a top-level practitioner, Santana’s story is a testament to the effectiveness and inclusivity of BJJ.  You can connect with Professor Paulo Santana here:  As we conclude this interview, we extend our appreciation to Professor Paulo Santana for sharing his inspiring journey with us. If you’re ever in Winston-Salem, NC, be sure to check out Paulo Santana BJJ, where you can experience the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under his expert guidance. Stay tuned for more interviews, celebrating the remarkable members of our BJJ community and their stories.

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Julio Rodriguez
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Journey of Dedication: An Interview with Professor Julio Rodriguez

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are those who walk the path of dedication and passion, and Professor Julio Rodriguez is a prime exemplar of this commitment. With decades of experience in the art, he has earned his stripes, both metaphorically and literally. We had the honor of sitting down with Professor Julio Rodriguez to delve into his remarkable journey through the realms of BJJ. Q1: When did you first hear about BJJ? Professor Julio Rodriguez: Ufc 1 Interviewer: Ah, the inaugural UFC event back in 1993, UFC 1. Witnessing the Gracie family’s remarkable displays of technique and mastery piqued my curiosity, and it was the beginning of a lifelong journey. I think this is the way that a lot of people also started out in BJJ. Q3: Who is your favorite grappler or grapplers? Professor Julio Rodriguez: Rickson Gracie, Royler Gracie, and my instructors, the Machado Bros, and Marcos Santos! Interviewer: Those are certainly legends in the BJJ world, and it’s clear they’ve had a significant influence on your journey. Q4: How has BJJ helped you in your life? Professor Julio Rodriguez: BJJ has made me deal with life differently. It has allowed me to meet so many people who became friends, travel the world, and help many students and Law Enforcement officers. Interviewer: It’s incredible how BJJ can have such a profound impact beyond the mats, connecting people and shaping perspectives. Q5: If you could talk to your white belt self, what advice would you give him? Professor Julio Rodriguez: I would tell him to train Five-Six Days a week instead of two-three days a week and take more private classes! Interviewer: That’s valuable advice, Professor. Consistency and focused training can indeed make a significant difference on this journey. In closing, we would like to extend our gratitude to Professor Julio Rodriguez for sharing his incredible journey and insights with us. You can find Professor Julio Rodriguez on his Instagram account @anacondabjjnjny and explore more about his journey on his website at https://anacondabjjnjny.com/. And, if you’re ever in North Bergen, NJ, you might just find him on the mats, imparting his wisdom and passion for BJJ to his students. We look forward to bringing you more interviews like this, celebrating the remarkable members of our BJJ community. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories and experiences from the world of martial arts.

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Shintaro Higashi
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Lineage article- Shintaro Higashi

Certainly, I can incorporate the keywords “Lineage” and “BJJ Lineage” into the article for SEO purposes. Additionally, I’ve adjusted the credit to the photographer accordingly. Here’s the revised article: — Title: Shintaro Higashi: A Judo Maestro and BJJ Black Belt Warrior In the world of martial arts, lineage and legacy hold a special place, and Shintaro Higashi is a living testament to both. Known as @judoshintaronyc in the vast and diverse landscape of martial arts, he stands tall as a 6th-degree Judo red and white belt, carrying with him a rich lineage of knowledge and expertise. Shintaro’s journey is marked by dedication, resilience, and an unwavering passion for grappling. From Judo Prodigy to Two-Time World Team Member Shintaro Higashi’s lineage in Judo is illustrious. He is a two-time world team member, a former 43rd world ranking holder, a two-time national champion, and an all-state wrestler in the bustling high school and college scene of New York. His journey began at the tender age of three when he first stepped onto the Judo mat, and since then, he’s never looked back. A Warrior’s Spirit Shintaro’s indomitable spirit was put to the test in September 2022 when he suffered an ischemic stroke due to atrial fibrillation, a condition he had battled throughout his life. Undeterred by adversity, he underwent a heart ablation surgery and was put on blood thinners. Remarkably, within just a month, he was back on the mat, showcasing not just physical prowess but an unwavering warrior’s spirit. A Multifaceted Life Beyond the dojo, Shintaro’s life is multifaceted. He’s a successful entrepreneur, owning two dojos and managing Higashi Properties, a real estate holdings LLC. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he is a single father to an adorable five-year-old daughter named Yumi, who has already begun her journey on the mats. Shintaro’s academic achievements are equally impressive, holding a Master’s degree in teaching English and an MBA from NYU Stern. A Legacy of Martial Excellence Shintaro’s lineage in martial arts runs deep. He inherited the art of Judo from his father, Nobuyoshi Higashi, who passed down not just the techniques but also a legacy of dedication and love for the sport. In the realm of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Shintaro received his black belt from none other than @bzglick, further enriching his lineage. Morning Rituals at Essential BJJ Shintaro’s journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues with vigor. He dedicates his mornings to training at Essential BJJ alongside renowned figures like @jtorresbjj. The mat is his canvas, and his favorite classes are those taught by @nickdomgjonibjj, @mrj_cgq, and @chazzcanas.bjj, where he hones his skills and pushes his limits. Presently, a Black Belt and a Keeper of Lineage Today, Shintaro Higashi stands as a black belt, not just as a symbol of his relentless pursuit of martial excellence but also as a keeper of lineage, passing on the traditions and knowledge to future generations. His journey is a testament to the unyielding spirit of a warrior who refuses to be defeated by life’s challenges. This feature would not be complete without acknowledging the original post by @people_of_jiu_jitsu and the captivating photography of @mike_klk, whose work brings Shintaro’s story to life in a single image. In the world of martial arts, Shintaro Higashi is more than just a fighter; he is an embodiment of dedication, passion, and the indomitable human spirit. His journey serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that with determination and heart, we can overcome any obstacle life throws our way. Shintaro Higashi: a name etched in the annals of martial arts history, a true warrior both on and off the mat, and a guardian of lineage.

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Eddie Bravo Origins

Eddie Bravo Despite being considered “wacky” by some for his unorthodox approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a tendency to give unusual opinions on various topics, Eddie Bravo is undoubtedly a legend in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  The controversial figure and founder of the 10th Planet franchise of gyms, Eddie’s outlook to the art of Jiu-Jitsu is considered unorthodox for its emphasis on the use of rubber guard and other non-traditional techniques. Bravo first began learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the early 90s and received his black belt from the legendary Jean-Jacques Machado in 2003. Eddie rapidly became renowned in the jiu-jitsu world for his novel system, which he named “10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu”. This system, which he started teaching in 2004, stresses the utilization of rubber guard and other unorthodox moves that are not normally taught in standard Brazilian jiu-jitsu dojos. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu puts an enormous amount of focus on the ability to make use of flexibility and leverage in order to gain command of a foe and submit them instead of depending solely on power. Many of Bravo’s pupils have obtained accomplishments in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) contests on the most elevated levels and as consequently, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu is held in great regard by both BJJ and MMA fighters around the world.  1. Rubber Guard The rubber guard system is built around the principle of utilizing a flexible guard, giving the practitioner the ability to employ their legs in a highly active and dynamic manner.  It is a style that requires great flexibility and dexterity and involves using the legs to control the opponent’s posture and movements, making it difficult for them to pass the guard or escape from submissions. The system includes several key techniques, such as the rubber guard itself, the lockdown, the tornado guard, the truck, the worm guard, and others. The sweeps and submissions related to rubber guard are not commonly taught in traditional BJJ, making it a demanding system for practitioners to learn. Not all members of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community embrace the rubber guard style, as it is relatively new and unconventional compared to traditional BJJ. It is not widely taught or utilized in traditional BJJ systems. The system heavily relies on the use of hooks to control the opponent’s upper body and posture, which is not a common technique in traditional BJJ. Additionally, the techniques used in rubber guard, such as the tornado guard, the truck, and the worm guard, are not frequently seen in traditional BJJ competitions, making it a unique and unorthodox approach. 2. Eddie Bravo’s Influence Eddie Bravo has made a significant impact in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community as a trainer and coach to notable fighters, including several Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) champions such as Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon, and Geo Martinez. He is also the founder of the Eddie Bravo Invitational, a submission-only grappling competition that he established in 2014. The event has become a platform for grapplers to display their skills and compete in various weight categories. Despite his controversial views on various issues, such as conspiracy theories and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in combat sports, he remains a highly respected figure in the jiu-jitsu communit 3. The Eddie Bravo and the invention of Combat Jiu Jitsu For many years, Eddy Bravo was of the opinion that rules-based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments had become too filled with stall strategies and impractical techniques. In 2013, he unveiled the plan for combat Jiu Jitsu and was initially met with derision from some of the more experienced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu participants. Despite this criticism, Bravo remained convinced that the rules of tournaments like the IBJJF had gone away from the original intent of the martial arts and could become less useful as a way to defend oneself.  He sought to create a more accurate representation of real-life fights by introducing open-handed strikes into the ground-based grappling. CJJ has similarities to the Japanese hybrid wrestling promotions, such as Pancrase, which was popular in the beginning of the 2000s. However, it has more of a connection to the Kodokan Judo Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie in the early 1900s. In fact, video recordings from the 1980s and 1990s demonstrate the Gracies using slaps and punches to progress their position. After establishing CBJJ, Bravo arranged competitive matches at his tournaments. At EB11, Chad George, JM Holland, Sheridan Moran, and Nick Honstein fought for the bantamweight championship. The 135 lbs battles were the most thrilling ones for the spectators, with the powerful slaps generating applause from the people present. Concurrently, both top-tier MMA and BJJ athletes have lent credibility to the matches through their posts on social networks, even though a few likened the competitions to Russian slapping tournaments. The invitationals have served to arouse more interest in Combat Jiu Jitsu, prompting more Jiu Jitsu athletes to give the slapping and grappling sport a try. Subsequently, Bravo began organizing Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds events, with the inaugural one held in 2018. 4. 10th Planet and Eddie’s Lineage There are several Eddie Bravo students who have started their own gyms and are now teaching the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system. Some notable examples include: These are just a few examples of Eddie Bravo’s students who have started their own gyms and are now teaching the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system.  There are currently over 50 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu gyms worldwide, operated independently by certified instructors who have trained under Bravo and received permission to open their own locations. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu has gyms all around the globe, including in America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Asia. To receive the affiliation of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, a person needs to have trained and met a specific standard in the system. 5. 10th Planet Affiliation To become affiliated with 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, an individual must first train and achieve a certain level of proficiency in the system. The individual should seek out a certified 10th Planet instructor and train under

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Lineage Origins Story

1. The First Gracie Academy The first Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu School was established in 1925 on Rua Marquês de Abrantes 106, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the age of 23, Carlos Gracie discovered the advantages of Jiu-Jitsu in addition to the numerous advantages it offered to one’s life. Establishing a school was a huge step in establishing Jiu-Jitsu as a national sport in Brazil. In addition, founding a Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school was a significant step in building Jiu-Jitsu as a national sport. He taught his younger brothers Oswaldo (1904), Gastão (1906), George (1911), and Helio (1913) in addition to his siblings. When Carlos Gracie was establishing the foundation of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Marquês de Abrantes school was not a powerful source of inspiration. Apart from a small house, Carlos could only afford to set up a living room as a training area. Helio Gracie The Marques de Abrantes school opened its doors in 1925 when Helio Gracie was still a youngster. Helio was born in Belém in 1913 and was the youngest of Gastao Gracie’s five sons. At the age of 12, he was too young to help out with the classes or operate the institution. Carlos was already busy running the family business and teaching, so Helio’s Jiu-Jitsu education began with his other brothers Gastão and Oswaldo when he was 16. Carlos eventually noticed Helio’s talent and began devoting more time to his training. Because Helio’s size and physical condition were not optimal for some of the techniques, Carlos had to develop new Jiu-Jitsu strategies, which worked for him. Leverage and timing rather than strength and speed were the key ideas he discovered. Helio quickly realized that performing the moves of judo was more challenging than he had initially expected. He adapted Mitsuyo Maeda’s iteration of the martial art, which was already comprised of ground combat maneuvers when he began his training. These tactics enabled those who were smaller and weaker to defend themselves and even gain the upper hand against bigger and stronger adversaries, similar to judo. Helio learned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu techniques and adaptations through trial and error, resulting in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s further development and refinement. Through his brother’s, instructor, and mentor Carlos’, tutelage, Helio fought countless times, including a 3-hour 43-minute battle against Valdemar Santana, a former student. Helio’s bravery, tenacity, and discipline made him a national hero. As Carlos became more interested in nutrition and exercise as well as his spiritual quest, Helio took charge of the Gracie business and became a real crusader in running the Gracie School. In downtown Rio de Janeiro, the school was larger at this point.  Because of his dedication and commitment, Helio became extremely involved in running the Gracie School. All four brothers helped to expand Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil in the early 20th century by assisting in the creation of the first Gracie champions. Masahiko Kimura, one of Helio’s toughest opponents, stated that Helio held a sixth-degree black belt in judo. Throughout his fighting career, Gracie competed in 20 professional contests, with a record of 10 wins, 2 losses, and 8 draws. He began fighting professionally in 1932, quickly submitting boxer Antonio Portugal in 30 seconds. Later that year, he faced American wrestler Fred Ebert and lost in a 14-round, 3-minute match. In 1934, Gracie faced Wladek Zbyszko, a wrestler from Poland in a match that went over three, 10-minute rounds. Despite Zbyszko being a former world champion and being nearly twice Gracie’s size, Gracie managed to hold his own resulting in a draw. Later, Gracie defeated Taro Miyake, a judo practitioner and wrestler from Japan. Gracie’s victory was noteworthy as Miyake was an experienced professional fighter. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to the United States by Helio Gracie’s son Rorion. Rorion’s brother, Royce Gracie, was the first-ever UFC champion. He received training from Helio for UFC 2 and UFC 1. Helio Gracie passed away in his sleep in 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, due to natural causes. His legacy continues to live on, through the many students and practitioners of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu all over the world. Helio’s Legacy After Helio Gracie’s defeat to Valdemar Santana in 1955, Carlson Gracie (1932-2006) emerged as the top fighter in the Gracie family. At the age of 43, Helio’s physical condition did not allow him to compete at his highest level. The defeat of Helio Gracie by Valdemar, a former student, damaged the reputation of the Gracie family, so Carlson was brought in to restore the family’s name to its previous prestige. Carlson Gracie defeated Valdemar Santana and became the main fighter of the Gracie family for many years to come. His numerous fights made him a well-known figure and it increased his desire to open his own Gracie school. He established his own branch in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, and began to build his own group of students and fighters.  Carlson played a significant role in fostering competition in Jiu-Jitsu, which further contributed to the technical development of the art. Being competitive himself, Carlson formed a strong team of young athletes that performed exceptionally well in the 1970s and 1980s in the various Jiu-Jitsu tournaments held in 3. Rolls Gracie fter adding an enormous contribution to the development of Jiu-Jitsu, Rolls was another genius who was a link between “old Jiu-Jitsu” and “modern Jiu-Jitsu” practised today, according to Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Rolls was the link between the “old Jiu-Jitsu” and “modern Jiu-Jitsu” practised today, according to Gracie.  Rolls, in addition to being a genius in Jiu-Jitsu, was a significant player in the sport’s survival in Brazil in the 1970s. Rolls used his talent, charisma, and leadership abilities to persuade an entire generation of young people in Rio de Janeiro to practice Jiu-Jitsu and a healthy lifestyle. Rolls Gracie was a natural student of Jiu-Jitsu. At the age of 12, he helped his uncle Helio teach classes at the Gracie School. Rolls was also very close to his older brother, Carlson, who taught him a great deal. Rolling was extremely

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History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu History of BJJ.

Whilst some have argued that the roots of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s could be traced back beyond feudal Japan, but to Ancient China and India, but its widely accepted that the art was developed in Brazil in the early 20th century. Compared to Kung Fu, boxing, Taekwondo and the various South East Asian kickboxing martial arts such as Muay Thai and Lethwei, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a fairly young martial art. Mitsuyo Maeda and Kodokan Judo The grappling discipline, derived from Kodokan Judo was introduced to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant. Kodokan Judo was a streamlined version of the Japanese art of Jujitsu and coincided with a time when Japan had opened its borders to trade both goods and ideas with the rest of the world. Maeda, a student of Judo’s founding father, Kano Jigoro was just one of many pupils sent by his master to spread Judo across the world. These pupils would demonstrate the efficacy of the art, whilst taking challenges from other martial artists. Maeda, along with his fellow students would travel to the US in 1904 and demonstrate “Kano Jujitsu”, with his most impressive display against champion wrestler, Cadet Tipton at West Point. Despite catching Tipton in an armbar, and forcing him to submit, it was argued by the crowd and officials that Kano had already been pinned by the American. After this, Maeda would travel to Europe and become known as Count Koma, a ring name he earned fighting in Spain, Belgium and France. He returned West and visited the island of Cuba, where he would instil a longstanding obsession with Judo into its populace. Throughout his travels, Maeda picked up various catch wrestling techniques which he would include in his judo practice. Maeda finally found himself in Brazil in 1914. He would visit the country multiple times over the following seven years, accepting challenging matches before opening his own academy in 1921. In doing so, he aided the Brazilian and Japanese governments to make an arrangement which would enable Japanese immigrants to live in Brazil. The Gracie Academy Origins According to “Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation”, Maeda was demonstrating his discipline in De Paz Theatre in Belem, where he met Gastao Gracie. Gastao, a business partner of the American Circus, was of Scottish heritage and was quite concerned with the lack of discipline displayed by his teenage son, Carlos. This concern led to fourteen-year-old Carlos being sent to Mitsuyo’s judo classes. Gastao’s wish came true and Carlos would make Jiu-Jitsu his lifelong pursuit at the age of 22. In 1925, Carlos opened the first Gracie academy in Rio de Janeiro. Carlos would teach his younger siblings, George, Gastao, Oswaldo and Helio. As a child, the young Helio had been sickly, prone to fainting spells and unable to fully participate in his older brother’s lessons. Helio’s frail body had great difficulty executing the movements Carlos had taught him and was forced to rely on timing and leverage. Through trial and error, the five brothers would develop the foundation of what they called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and later, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This new art which incorporated both Kodokan Judo and the catch wrestling movements which Maeda had discovered through his travels would be developed further by the Gracie brothers, with a focus on the ground fighting stage, or ne-waza. Helio in particular was able to gain a greater advantage on the ground against his bigger, stronger brothers by utilizing superior leverage. The Other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Lineage Whilst the Gracies still believe gaining and holding the top position is the most dominant and best method to win the fight, they explored other positions, including the trunk position, which was seldom used in judo. The Gracie’s examination of the trunk or dō-osae position would yield great results and would develop into the guard position, which allowed them to out grapple practitioners of other arts. Whilst the Gracies are undoubtedly the most dominant name in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s development, there is another lineage of instructors less commonly talked about. This lineage began with Luiz Franca Filho, who trained with both Maeda and another Japanese Kodokan Judo pupil, Soshihiro Satake, who followed Maeda’s journey three years after Mitsuyo left Japan.  A black belt in judo and jiu-jitsu under Maeda and Satake, Franca would move to Sao Paolo to continue training under a third early pioneer of the art, Geo Omori. After training with Omori, Franca finally moved to the outskirts of Rio, where he would teach military personnel, police officers and poorer people living in the favelas. One of his students was a marine named Oswaldo Fadda, who after receiving his black belt from Franca continued to teach the poor, as the Gracies instructed the upper middle classes of society and charged high prices to their students. Fadda would often teach Jiu-Jitsu in unorthodox locations such as beaches and public parks without charging his students a penny. Oswaldo felt that jiu-jitsu could help the physically and mentally handicapped, particularly Rio’s numerous polio victims. As his instruction provided no real income, Fadda was forced to place his advertisements in the obituary sections of local newspapers.  Outcasted by the Gracies, Fadda would open his own academy in 1950 and would specialize in the use of foot locks, which had been ignored by the mainstream jiu-jitsu curriculum.  Fadda came to challenge the Gracies in 1955, stating “We wish to challenge the Gracies, we respect them as the formidable adversaries that they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the challenge.” Helio would accept and the Gracies would take on Fadda’s pupils in the Gracie Academy. The outcome of the challenge is unclear, with various sources providing dissenting results.  In 1956, a luta livre (free fight, akin to early MMA) fight between Valdemar Santana and Carlson Gracie had a second series of Fadda vs Gracie challenges. Despite receiving heckles from Gracie students who would yell “sapateiro!” (shoemaker) for their

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Paulo Santana

Unveiling the Journey: An Interview with Professor Paulo Santana

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), some individuals become not just practitioners, but champions, educators, and community builders. Professor Paulo Santana, the head instructor at Paulo Santana BJJ in Winston-Salem, NC, is a prime example of such an individual. His journey in the Gentle Art began at the age of 14, and over the years, he has emerged as not only a top talent on the mat but also a valued member of the Jiu-Jitsu community.  Introduction: For half of his life, Jiu Jitsu has played a major role in Santana’s story. A native of Goiânia, Brazil, he embarked on his journey into the world of BJJ at a young age. Over the years, Santana has not only won numerous national and international championships but also made significant contributions to the sport by creating “Gatas no tatami,” an all-women’s Jiu-Jitsu class in Brazil. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Universidade Salgado de Oliveira, Santana later immigrated to the United States with his wife. Today, he stands as the head instructor at Paulo Santana BJJ, an affiliate of Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Q1: Professor, please tell us about how you first heard about BJJ and why you decided to start. Professor Paulo Santana: I started Jiu-Jitsu when I was 14 because I felt the need to learn how to defend myself. I had tried another martial art before, but it didn’t resonate with me. When I discovered Jiu-Jitsu, I was drawn to it because I saw smaller individuals effectively control larger and stronger opponents using these techniques. Interviewer: It’s fascinating how practicality and effectiveness drew you to Jiu-Jitsu at such a young age. Your journey truly reflects the martial art’s core principles. Q2: Who is your favorite grappler? And why? Professor Paulo Santana: One of my favorite athletes is Marcelo Garcia. As I mentioned earlier, I saw him win many times against bigger opponents. Interviewer: Marcelo Garcia’s ability to overcome size disadvantages is truly remarkable and an inspiration to many in the BJJ community. Final Summary: Professor Paulo Santana’s journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu reflects not only his personal dedication but also the transformative power of this martial art. From self-defense to becoming a top-level practitioner, Santana’s story is a testament to the effectiveness and inclusivity of BJJ.  You can connect with Professor Paulo Santana here:  As we conclude this interview, we extend our appreciation to Professor Paulo Santana for sharing his inspiring journey with us. If you’re ever in Winston-Salem, NC, be sure to check out Paulo Santana BJJ, where you can experience the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under his expert guidance. Stay tuned for more interviews, celebrating the remarkable members of our BJJ community and their stories.

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Julio Rodriguez

Journey of Dedication: An Interview with Professor Julio Rodriguez

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are those who walk the path of dedication and passion, and Professor Julio Rodriguez is a prime exemplar of this commitment. With decades of experience in the art, he has earned his stripes, both metaphorically and literally. We had the honor of sitting down with Professor Julio Rodriguez to delve into his remarkable journey through the realms of BJJ. Q1: When did you first hear about BJJ? Professor Julio Rodriguez: Ufc 1 Interviewer: Ah, the inaugural UFC event back in 1993, UFC 1. Witnessing the Gracie family’s remarkable displays of technique and mastery piqued my curiosity, and it was the beginning of a lifelong journey. I think this is the way that a lot of people also started out in BJJ. Q3: Who is your favorite grappler or grapplers? Professor Julio Rodriguez: Rickson Gracie, Royler Gracie, and my instructors, the Machado Bros, and Marcos Santos! Interviewer: Those are certainly legends in the BJJ world, and it’s clear they’ve had a significant influence on your journey. Q4: How has BJJ helped you in your life? Professor Julio Rodriguez: BJJ has made me deal with life differently. It has allowed me to meet so many people who became friends, travel the world, and help many students and Law Enforcement officers. Interviewer: It’s incredible how BJJ can have such a profound impact beyond the mats, connecting people and shaping perspectives. Q5: If you could talk to your white belt self, what advice would you give him? Professor Julio Rodriguez: I would tell him to train Five-Six Days a week instead of two-three days a week and take more private classes! Interviewer: That’s valuable advice, Professor. Consistency and focused training can indeed make a significant difference on this journey. In closing, we would like to extend our gratitude to Professor Julio Rodriguez for sharing his incredible journey and insights with us. You can find Professor Julio Rodriguez on his Instagram account @anacondabjjnjny and explore more about his journey on his website at https://anacondabjjnjny.com/. And, if you’re ever in North Bergen, NJ, you might just find him on the mats, imparting his wisdom and passion for BJJ to his students. We look forward to bringing you more interviews like this, celebrating the remarkable members of our BJJ community. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories and experiences from the world of martial arts.

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Shintaro Higashi

Lineage article- Shintaro Higashi

Certainly, I can incorporate the keywords “Lineage” and “BJJ Lineage” into the article for SEO purposes. Additionally, I’ve adjusted the credit to the photographer accordingly. Here’s the revised article: — Title: Shintaro Higashi: A Judo Maestro and BJJ Black Belt Warrior In the world of martial arts, lineage and legacy hold a special place, and Shintaro Higashi is a living testament to both. Known as @judoshintaronyc in the vast and diverse landscape of martial arts, he stands tall as a 6th-degree Judo red and white belt, carrying with him a rich lineage of knowledge and expertise. Shintaro’s journey is marked by dedication, resilience, and an unwavering passion for grappling. From Judo Prodigy to Two-Time World Team Member Shintaro Higashi’s lineage in Judo is illustrious. He is a two-time world team member, a former 43rd world ranking holder, a two-time national champion, and an all-state wrestler in the bustling high school and college scene of New York. His journey began at the tender age of three when he first stepped onto the Judo mat, and since then, he’s never looked back. A Warrior’s Spirit Shintaro’s indomitable spirit was put to the test in September 2022 when he suffered an ischemic stroke due to atrial fibrillation, a condition he had battled throughout his life. Undeterred by adversity, he underwent a heart ablation surgery and was put on blood thinners. Remarkably, within just a month, he was back on the mat, showcasing not just physical prowess but an unwavering warrior’s spirit. A Multifaceted Life Beyond the dojo, Shintaro’s life is multifaceted. He’s a successful entrepreneur, owning two dojos and managing Higashi Properties, a real estate holdings LLC. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he is a single father to an adorable five-year-old daughter named Yumi, who has already begun her journey on the mats. Shintaro’s academic achievements are equally impressive, holding a Master’s degree in teaching English and an MBA from NYU Stern. A Legacy of Martial Excellence Shintaro’s lineage in martial arts runs deep. He inherited the art of Judo from his father, Nobuyoshi Higashi, who passed down not just the techniques but also a legacy of dedication and love for the sport. In the realm of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Shintaro received his black belt from none other than @bzglick, further enriching his lineage. Morning Rituals at Essential BJJ Shintaro’s journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues with vigor. He dedicates his mornings to training at Essential BJJ alongside renowned figures like @jtorresbjj. The mat is his canvas, and his favorite classes are those taught by @nickdomgjonibjj, @mrj_cgq, and @chazzcanas.bjj, where he hones his skills and pushes his limits. Presently, a Black Belt and a Keeper of Lineage Today, Shintaro Higashi stands as a black belt, not just as a symbol of his relentless pursuit of martial excellence but also as a keeper of lineage, passing on the traditions and knowledge to future generations. His journey is a testament to the unyielding spirit of a warrior who refuses to be defeated by life’s challenges. This feature would not be complete without acknowledging the original post by @people_of_jiu_jitsu and the captivating photography of @mike_klk, whose work brings Shintaro’s story to life in a single image. In the world of martial arts, Shintaro Higashi is more than just a fighter; he is an embodiment of dedication, passion, and the indomitable human spirit. His journey serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that with determination and heart, we can overcome any obstacle life throws our way. Shintaro Higashi: a name etched in the annals of martial arts history, a true warrior both on and off the mat, and a guardian of lineage.

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Eddie Bravo Origins

Eddie Bravo Despite being considered “wacky” by some for his unorthodox approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a tendency to give unusual opinions on various topics, Eddie Bravo is undoubtedly a legend in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  The controversial figure and founder of the 10th Planet franchise of gyms, Eddie’s outlook to the art of Jiu-Jitsu is considered unorthodox for its emphasis on the use of rubber guard and other non-traditional techniques. Bravo first began learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the early 90s and received his black belt from the legendary Jean-Jacques Machado in 2003. Eddie rapidly became renowned in the jiu-jitsu world for his novel system, which he named “10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu”. This system, which he started teaching in 2004, stresses the utilization of rubber guard and other unorthodox moves that are not normally taught in standard Brazilian jiu-jitsu dojos. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu puts an enormous amount of focus on the ability to make use of flexibility and leverage in order to gain command of a foe and submit them instead of depending solely on power. Many of Bravo’s pupils have obtained accomplishments in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) contests on the most elevated levels and as consequently, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu is held in great regard by both BJJ and MMA fighters around the world.  1. Rubber Guard The rubber guard system is built around the principle of utilizing a flexible guard, giving the practitioner the ability to employ their legs in a highly active and dynamic manner.  It is a style that requires great flexibility and dexterity and involves using the legs to control the opponent’s posture and movements, making it difficult for them to pass the guard or escape from submissions. The system includes several key techniques, such as the rubber guard itself, the lockdown, the tornado guard, the truck, the worm guard, and others. The sweeps and submissions related to rubber guard are not commonly taught in traditional BJJ, making it a demanding system for practitioners to learn. Not all members of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community embrace the rubber guard style, as it is relatively new and unconventional compared to traditional BJJ. It is not widely taught or utilized in traditional BJJ systems. The system heavily relies on the use of hooks to control the opponent’s upper body and posture, which is not a common technique in traditional BJJ. Additionally, the techniques used in rubber guard, such as the tornado guard, the truck, and the worm guard, are not frequently seen in traditional BJJ competitions, making it a unique and unorthodox approach. 2. Eddie Bravo’s Influence Eddie Bravo has made a significant impact in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community as a trainer and coach to notable fighters, including several Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) champions such as Eddie Cummings, Garry Tonon, and Geo Martinez. He is also the founder of the Eddie Bravo Invitational, a submission-only grappling competition that he established in 2014. The event has become a platform for grapplers to display their skills and compete in various weight categories. Despite his controversial views on various issues, such as conspiracy theories and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in combat sports, he remains a highly respected figure in the jiu-jitsu communit 3. The Eddie Bravo and the invention of Combat Jiu Jitsu For many years, Eddy Bravo was of the opinion that rules-based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments had become too filled with stall strategies and impractical techniques. In 2013, he unveiled the plan for combat Jiu Jitsu and was initially met with derision from some of the more experienced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu participants. Despite this criticism, Bravo remained convinced that the rules of tournaments like the IBJJF had gone away from the original intent of the martial arts and could become less useful as a way to defend oneself.  He sought to create a more accurate representation of real-life fights by introducing open-handed strikes into the ground-based grappling. CJJ has similarities to the Japanese hybrid wrestling promotions, such as Pancrase, which was popular in the beginning of the 2000s. However, it has more of a connection to the Kodokan Judo Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie in the early 1900s. In fact, video recordings from the 1980s and 1990s demonstrate the Gracies using slaps and punches to progress their position. After establishing CBJJ, Bravo arranged competitive matches at his tournaments. At EB11, Chad George, JM Holland, Sheridan Moran, and Nick Honstein fought for the bantamweight championship. The 135 lbs battles were the most thrilling ones for the spectators, with the powerful slaps generating applause from the people present. Concurrently, both top-tier MMA and BJJ athletes have lent credibility to the matches through their posts on social networks, even though a few likened the competitions to Russian slapping tournaments. The invitationals have served to arouse more interest in Combat Jiu Jitsu, prompting more Jiu Jitsu athletes to give the slapping and grappling sport a try. Subsequently, Bravo began organizing Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds events, with the inaugural one held in 2018. 4. 10th Planet and Eddie’s Lineage There are several Eddie Bravo students who have started their own gyms and are now teaching the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system. Some notable examples include: These are just a few examples of Eddie Bravo’s students who have started their own gyms and are now teaching the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system.  There are currently over 50 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu gyms worldwide, operated independently by certified instructors who have trained under Bravo and received permission to open their own locations. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu has gyms all around the globe, including in America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Asia. To receive the affiliation of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, a person needs to have trained and met a specific standard in the system. 5. 10th Planet Affiliation To become affiliated with 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, an individual must first train and achieve a certain level of proficiency in the system. The individual should seek out a certified 10th Planet instructor and train under

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Lineage Origins Story

1. The First Gracie Academy The first Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu School was established in 1925 on Rua Marquês de Abrantes 106, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the age of 23, Carlos Gracie discovered the advantages of Jiu-Jitsu in addition to the numerous advantages it offered to one’s life. Establishing a school was a huge step in establishing Jiu-Jitsu as a national sport in Brazil. In addition, founding a Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school was a significant step in building Jiu-Jitsu as a national sport. He taught his younger brothers Oswaldo (1904), Gastão (1906), George (1911), and Helio (1913) in addition to his siblings. When Carlos Gracie was establishing the foundation of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Marquês de Abrantes school was not a powerful source of inspiration. Apart from a small house, Carlos could only afford to set up a living room as a training area. Helio Gracie The Marques de Abrantes school opened its doors in 1925 when Helio Gracie was still a youngster. Helio was born in Belém in 1913 and was the youngest of Gastao Gracie’s five sons. At the age of 12, he was too young to help out with the classes or operate the institution. Carlos was already busy running the family business and teaching, so Helio’s Jiu-Jitsu education began with his other brothers Gastão and Oswaldo when he was 16. Carlos eventually noticed Helio’s talent and began devoting more time to his training. Because Helio’s size and physical condition were not optimal for some of the techniques, Carlos had to develop new Jiu-Jitsu strategies, which worked for him. Leverage and timing rather than strength and speed were the key ideas he discovered. Helio quickly realized that performing the moves of judo was more challenging than he had initially expected. He adapted Mitsuyo Maeda’s iteration of the martial art, which was already comprised of ground combat maneuvers when he began his training. These tactics enabled those who were smaller and weaker to defend themselves and even gain the upper hand against bigger and stronger adversaries, similar to judo. Helio learned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu techniques and adaptations through trial and error, resulting in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s further development and refinement. Through his brother’s, instructor, and mentor Carlos’, tutelage, Helio fought countless times, including a 3-hour 43-minute battle against Valdemar Santana, a former student. Helio’s bravery, tenacity, and discipline made him a national hero. As Carlos became more interested in nutrition and exercise as well as his spiritual quest, Helio took charge of the Gracie business and became a real crusader in running the Gracie School. In downtown Rio de Janeiro, the school was larger at this point.  Because of his dedication and commitment, Helio became extremely involved in running the Gracie School. All four brothers helped to expand Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil in the early 20th century by assisting in the creation of the first Gracie champions. Masahiko Kimura, one of Helio’s toughest opponents, stated that Helio held a sixth-degree black belt in judo. Throughout his fighting career, Gracie competed in 20 professional contests, with a record of 10 wins, 2 losses, and 8 draws. He began fighting professionally in 1932, quickly submitting boxer Antonio Portugal in 30 seconds. Later that year, he faced American wrestler Fred Ebert and lost in a 14-round, 3-minute match. In 1934, Gracie faced Wladek Zbyszko, a wrestler from Poland in a match that went over three, 10-minute rounds. Despite Zbyszko being a former world champion and being nearly twice Gracie’s size, Gracie managed to hold his own resulting in a draw. Later, Gracie defeated Taro Miyake, a judo practitioner and wrestler from Japan. Gracie’s victory was noteworthy as Miyake was an experienced professional fighter. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to the United States by Helio Gracie’s son Rorion. Rorion’s brother, Royce Gracie, was the first-ever UFC champion. He received training from Helio for UFC 2 and UFC 1. Helio Gracie passed away in his sleep in 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, due to natural causes. His legacy continues to live on, through the many students and practitioners of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu all over the world. Helio’s Legacy After Helio Gracie’s defeat to Valdemar Santana in 1955, Carlson Gracie (1932-2006) emerged as the top fighter in the Gracie family. At the age of 43, Helio’s physical condition did not allow him to compete at his highest level. The defeat of Helio Gracie by Valdemar, a former student, damaged the reputation of the Gracie family, so Carlson was brought in to restore the family’s name to its previous prestige. Carlson Gracie defeated Valdemar Santana and became the main fighter of the Gracie family for many years to come. His numerous fights made him a well-known figure and it increased his desire to open his own Gracie school. He established his own branch in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, and began to build his own group of students and fighters.  Carlson played a significant role in fostering competition in Jiu-Jitsu, which further contributed to the technical development of the art. Being competitive himself, Carlson formed a strong team of young athletes that performed exceptionally well in the 1970s and 1980s in the various Jiu-Jitsu tournaments held in 3. Rolls Gracie fter adding an enormous contribution to the development of Jiu-Jitsu, Rolls was another genius who was a link between “old Jiu-Jitsu” and “modern Jiu-Jitsu” practised today, according to Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Rolls was the link between the “old Jiu-Jitsu” and “modern Jiu-Jitsu” practised today, according to Gracie.  Rolls, in addition to being a genius in Jiu-Jitsu, was a significant player in the sport’s survival in Brazil in the 1970s. Rolls used his talent, charisma, and leadership abilities to persuade an entire generation of young people in Rio de Janeiro to practice Jiu-Jitsu and a healthy lifestyle. Rolls Gracie was a natural student of Jiu-Jitsu. At the age of 12, he helped his uncle Helio teach classes at the Gracie School. Rolls was also very close to his older brother, Carlson, who taught him a great deal. Rolling was extremely

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History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu History of BJJ.

Whilst some have argued that the roots of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s could be traced back beyond feudal Japan, but to Ancient China and India, but its widely accepted that the art was developed in Brazil in the early 20th century. Compared to Kung Fu, boxing, Taekwondo and the various South East Asian kickboxing martial arts such as Muay Thai and Lethwei, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a fairly young martial art. Mitsuyo Maeda and Kodokan Judo The grappling discipline, derived from Kodokan Judo was introduced to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant. Kodokan Judo was a streamlined version of the Japanese art of Jujitsu and coincided with a time when Japan had opened its borders to trade both goods and ideas with the rest of the world. Maeda, a student of Judo’s founding father, Kano Jigoro was just one of many pupils sent by his master to spread Judo across the world. These pupils would demonstrate the efficacy of the art, whilst taking challenges from other martial artists. Maeda, along with his fellow students would travel to the US in 1904 and demonstrate “Kano Jujitsu”, with his most impressive display against champion wrestler, Cadet Tipton at West Point. Despite catching Tipton in an armbar, and forcing him to submit, it was argued by the crowd and officials that Kano had already been pinned by the American. After this, Maeda would travel to Europe and become known as Count Koma, a ring name he earned fighting in Spain, Belgium and France. He returned West and visited the island of Cuba, where he would instil a longstanding obsession with Judo into its populace. Throughout his travels, Maeda picked up various catch wrestling techniques which he would include in his judo practice. Maeda finally found himself in Brazil in 1914. He would visit the country multiple times over the following seven years, accepting challenging matches before opening his own academy in 1921. In doing so, he aided the Brazilian and Japanese governments to make an arrangement which would enable Japanese immigrants to live in Brazil. The Gracie Academy Origins According to “Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation”, Maeda was demonstrating his discipline in De Paz Theatre in Belem, where he met Gastao Gracie. Gastao, a business partner of the American Circus, was of Scottish heritage and was quite concerned with the lack of discipline displayed by his teenage son, Carlos. This concern led to fourteen-year-old Carlos being sent to Mitsuyo’s judo classes. Gastao’s wish came true and Carlos would make Jiu-Jitsu his lifelong pursuit at the age of 22. In 1925, Carlos opened the first Gracie academy in Rio de Janeiro. Carlos would teach his younger siblings, George, Gastao, Oswaldo and Helio. As a child, the young Helio had been sickly, prone to fainting spells and unable to fully participate in his older brother’s lessons. Helio’s frail body had great difficulty executing the movements Carlos had taught him and was forced to rely on timing and leverage. Through trial and error, the five brothers would develop the foundation of what they called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and later, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This new art which incorporated both Kodokan Judo and the catch wrestling movements which Maeda had discovered through his travels would be developed further by the Gracie brothers, with a focus on the ground fighting stage, or ne-waza. Helio in particular was able to gain a greater advantage on the ground against his bigger, stronger brothers by utilizing superior leverage. The Other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Lineage Whilst the Gracies still believe gaining and holding the top position is the most dominant and best method to win the fight, they explored other positions, including the trunk position, which was seldom used in judo. The Gracie’s examination of the trunk or dō-osae position would yield great results and would develop into the guard position, which allowed them to out grapple practitioners of other arts. Whilst the Gracies are undoubtedly the most dominant name in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s development, there is another lineage of instructors less commonly talked about. This lineage began with Luiz Franca Filho, who trained with both Maeda and another Japanese Kodokan Judo pupil, Soshihiro Satake, who followed Maeda’s journey three years after Mitsuyo left Japan.  A black belt in judo and jiu-jitsu under Maeda and Satake, Franca would move to Sao Paolo to continue training under a third early pioneer of the art, Geo Omori. After training with Omori, Franca finally moved to the outskirts of Rio, where he would teach military personnel, police officers and poorer people living in the favelas. One of his students was a marine named Oswaldo Fadda, who after receiving his black belt from Franca continued to teach the poor, as the Gracies instructed the upper middle classes of society and charged high prices to their students. Fadda would often teach Jiu-Jitsu in unorthodox locations such as beaches and public parks without charging his students a penny. Oswaldo felt that jiu-jitsu could help the physically and mentally handicapped, particularly Rio’s numerous polio victims. As his instruction provided no real income, Fadda was forced to place his advertisements in the obituary sections of local newspapers.  Outcasted by the Gracies, Fadda would open his own academy in 1950 and would specialize in the use of foot locks, which had been ignored by the mainstream jiu-jitsu curriculum.  Fadda came to challenge the Gracies in 1955, stating “We wish to challenge the Gracies, we respect them as the formidable adversaries that they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the challenge.” Helio would accept and the Gracies would take on Fadda’s pupils in the Gracie Academy. The outcome of the challenge is unclear, with various sources providing dissenting results.  In 1956, a luta livre (free fight, akin to early MMA) fight between Valdemar Santana and Carlson Gracie had a second series of Fadda vs Gracie challenges. Despite receiving heckles from Gracie students who would yell “sapateiro!” (shoemaker) for their

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