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Helio Gracie is still alive, turns 95

Kid Nate has a nice tribute to Helio Gracie (the grand daddy of BJJ for you TUF noobs who didn’t know), who turned 95 years old yesterday. I’m not exactly sure what devil’s magic keeps him alive, but that’s some strong voodoo indeed. The dude looked half dead at UFC 1 for fuck’s sake.

Anyways, my favorite bit from Luke’s post was the story of Helio vs Masahiko Kimura:

Finally, thirteen minutes into the bout, Kimura positioned himself to apply a reverse ude-garami (arm entanglement, a shoulderlock). Gracie refused to submit, even after his arm broke, forcing Kimura to continue the lock on Gracie’s broken arm. At this point, Carlos Gracie, Helio’s older brother, threw in the towel to end the match to protect his brother’s health. In 1994, Helio admitted in an interview that he had in fact been choked unconscious earlier in the match, but had revived when Kimura released the choke.

As a tribute to Kimura’s victory, the reverse ude-garami technique has since been commonly referred to as the Kimura lock, or simply the Kimura, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts circles.

Helio’s wikipedia page is full of interesting shit, like the time he beat the shit out of a dude at a tennis club, the time he went to jail for beating the shit out of a dude at a tennis club, and the time he was pardoned by Brazil’s president for beating the shit out of a dude at a tennis club.

Happy birthday, Helio! May the evil energies of jiu jitsu sustain your withered corporeal form for many more decades to come!