46 Best Helio Gracie Quotes for Body and Mind

Helio Gracie, born in Brazil on October 1, 1913, was a key figure in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), developing the martial art with his brothers.

Known as the Godfather of BJJ, he became a sports hero in Brazil and was honored as Man of the Year by Black Belt magazine in 1997.

A gifted athlete, he engaged in rowing and swimming from a young age and began martial arts training at 16.


Gracie innovated his family’s jiu-jitsu style, notably stepping in to teach a judo class at 16, which led to him becoming a respected instructor and shaping the future of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Best Helio Gracie Quotes


I don’t fight to win; I fight not to lose. ~ Helio Gracie.


You should never have a power, in any area, with the purpose of harming someone. ~ Helio Gracie.


Every child should learn how to swim, ride and fight ~ Helio Gracie.


To do the right thing at the right season is a great art. ~ Hélio Gracie.


I knew I wasn’t going to lose and that was based on the fact that I wanted not to lose. ~ Helio Gracie.

The success comes from art itself, which is good. Whatever you do that is good and is perfect, adept with ease. ~ Helio Gracie.


It’s just that any dead chicken can do what I do. ~ Helio Gracie.

That’s one thing I can do all the time. Since someone to train and a ring around, if there is something that distracts me is that. ~ Helio Gracie.

It has no science, because everything is simple. As long as you know, it works for anyone. Because the moves we make are simple and objective, and do not rely on force. ~ Helio Gracie.


The technique replaces the force sometimes. It’s hard for someone to beat me to this day. ~ Hélio Gracie.

If you count all fights like everybody else does, including Rickson, who says he has 400 fights; if you count like that, I have a million. ~ Helio Gracie.


Fear is something we may or may not have. The things that could make me afraid, I take precautions not to feel. If you send me into a lion’s cage, I will not enter. ~ Helio Gracie.

I believe that preparation and knowledge are the keys to succeeding in any situation. ~ Helio Gracie.

The ills of health enter through the mouth. Not like anything that does not do well. Most people eat the things they like. I just like things that do well. ~ Helio Gracie.


I am pleased to have done something that is of use to anyone. ~ Helio Gracie.

Usually, a well thought answer makes an aggressor think twice. ~ Helio Gracie.

Top Helio Gracie Quotes


I never defeated anybody. I just helped them defeat themselves ~ Helio Gracie.

If he has no values and uses the black belt, who will know? There’s no law for that, do you understand? But he will prove that he is black belt at the time of the competition. As much as I can admit he’s a black belt, I paid to see. ~ Helio Gracie.

I am known to be a man too demanding. Because in my life I only have 17 degrees. 10 who are my sons and nephews, and 7 who are persons of name, of projection, in that country. ~ Helio Gracie.


The quickest way to lose is trying to win. ~ Helio Gracie.

Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you; so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage rather than brute strength ~ Helio Gracie.

A man of peace, confident in himself, dominates his adversary with his moral strength. Not with his physical power ~ Helio Gracie.

A força de vontade é a mais importante das qualidades humanas. ~ Helio Gracie.


Jiu-jitsu is personal efficiency to protect the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force. ~ Helio Gracie.

Wise Helio Gracie Quotes

Jiu Jitsu is for anyone. Anyone who wants to learn, can. There is no male or female difference. It is something that increases the physical potential of anyone. ~ Helio Gracie.


I don’t defeat my opponents, they defeat themselves. ~ Helio Gracie.

Patience. Lose this, lose everything. ~ Helio Gracie.

My favorite meal? I really like noodles. ~ Helio Gracie.

When you have confidence you can mediate and put an aggressor in his proper place without the need of fighting – and that scares the lazy one ~ Helio Gracie.

I created a flag from the sport’s dignity. I oversee the name of my family with affection, steady nerves and blood. ~ Helio Gracie.


Jiu-Jitsu is like a philosophy. It helps me learn how to face life. ~ Helio Gracie.

The problem of being reminded by others is that you have to ask him what he thinks of me. What do I think of me? A well-meaning individual, but whether it’s right or not, I do not know. Only others who can say. ~ Helio Gracie.

Famous Helio Gracie Quotes

Jiu Jitsu is a mousetrap. The trap does not chase the mouse. But when the mouse grabs the cheese, the trap plays its role. ~ Helio Gracie.

The value you have in Jiu Jitsu is nothing you can buy, because it gives us a sense of tranquility. The tranquil man has peace. A quiet man is a tolerant man. ~ Helio Gracie.


Sometimes I may not learn but wonder if they have improved what I have done. ~ Helio Gracie.

A real jiu-jitsu fighter does not go around beating people down. Our defense is made to neutralize aggression. ~ Helio Gracie.

I created Jiu Jitsu, called Jiu Jitsu, which is exactly the best fight there is. Because I got through the weight and age that I have to fight with 100kg men, world champions. ~ Helio Gracie.

Ultimate Helio Gracie Quotes

The Jiu Jitsu I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and strong. ~ Helio Gracie.

Quem fuma é fraco ou ignorante. ~ Helio Gracie.


For the choke, there are no ‘tough guys’. ~ Helio Gracie.

Every aggression, no matter what, whatever it is, between its beginning and end, has a space where it gets weaker. I get everybody in that space ~ Helio Gracie.

Besides being the most efficient martial art in the world, it is an art that reassures us and increases our confidence, without creating in us a power of inefficiency, violence and exaggerated confidence. It is a security that does us good and can only benefit everyone. ~ Helio Gracie.

The moment I make a move, my son who is much stronger does much better than I do. So whatever I develop I convey to them. ~ Helio Gracie.

I’ve always tried to do the right things. My intention was this. I could do the wrong thing out of ignorance. ~ Helio Gracie.

So these were the 45 top Helio Gracie quotes and sayings for body and mind.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Robin Wall Kimmerer quotes and Garrett Morgan quotes.

Short Biography of Helio Gracie

Hélio Gracie a Brazilian martial artist born in 1913, co-founded Gracie jiu-jitsu, also known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), with his brothers.


Dubbed the Godfather of BJJ, Gracie became a national sports hero and was celebrated in martial arts circles globally.

Despite being a naturally talented athlete engaged in rowing and swimming from a young age, Gracie faced challenges in executing traditional judo techniques due to his size.

Responsive Table
Full Name Hélio Gracie
Other names “Caxinguelê” (“Squirrel”), “O Caçula” (“The Youngest”)
Born 1 October 1913, Belém, State of Pará, Brazil
Died 29 January 2009 (age 95 years), Petrópolis, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Children Royce Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Rorion Gracie, MORE
Martial arts Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo, Catch wrestling
Grandchildren Rener Gracie, Kron Gracie, Ryron Gracie, MORE
Books Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Siblings Carlos Gracie, Oswaldo Gracie, Gastão Gracie, Jr., George Gracie, Helena Gracie, Mary Gracie, Ilka Gracie
Teacher(s) Donato Pires Dos Reis, Carlos Gracie, Orlando Americo da Silva, Chugo Sato
Rank 10th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 6th degree red/white belt in Judo
Years active 1932-1937, 1951-1955
Notable students Rolls Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Royler Gracie, Royce Gracie, Relson Gracie, Rorion Gracie, Carlos “Caique” Elias

This led him to adapt and evolve the judo he learned into Gracie jiu-jitsu, emphasizing ground fighting and enabling smaller individuals to defend against larger opponents.

Gracie’s fighting career began at 18, showcasing his skills in various matches against boxers, wrestlers, and judo practitioners, often overcoming significant weight disadvantages and earning respect for his technique and resilience.

Quick Facts about Helio Gracie

  • Hélio Gracie was born on October 1, 1913, in Belém, Brazil.
  • He co-founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), with his brothers.
  • Gracie was dubbed the Godfather of BJJ and was a pioneer in Brazilian sports history.
  • Black Belt magazine named him Man of the Year in 1997.
  • As a child, he was an athlete and trained in rowing and swimming.
  • He started martial arts at 16, beginning with judo, then known as “Kano jiu-jitsu.”
  • Gracie also trained in catch wrestling under Orlando Americo “Dudú” da Silva.
  • He modified judo techniques to create Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, adapting them for smaller practitioners.
  • Gracie’s fighting career began at 18, with his first match against boxer Antonio Portugal in 1932.
  • He competed against professional wrestlers and judokas, adapting his style along the way.
  • Gracie’s most notable bout was against Masahiko Kimura in 1951, after which the Kimura lock was named.
  • He faced Valdemar Santana in a grueling vale tudo match in 1955 that lasted almost four hours.
  • Gracie and his brothers assaulted Rufino Dos Santos in 1936, leading to a short prison sentence.
  • He was married to Margarida for 50 years and had seven children from two relationships.
  • Gracie was involved with Brazilian Integralism and had connections with political figures.
  • He died on January 29, 2009, at the age of 95, from natural causes.
  • Gracie was instrumental in bringing BJJ to the U.S. through his son, Rorion.
  • Royce Gracie, his son, won the first UFC championship with Helio coaching from outside the cage.
  • Gracie’s family has produced numerous BJJ black belts, including his grandchildren.
  • An ESPN documentary series about the Gracie family is in production, directed by Chris Fuller.
  • Gracie’s professional debut was in a “jiu-jitsu vs. boxing” event, where he won by submission.
  • His match against Fred Ebert in 1932 lasted almost two hours and ended without a clear winner.
  • In 1934, Gracie faced Miyaki and won by rendering his opponent unconscious with a gi choke.
  • Wladek Zbyszko, a renowned wrestler, fought Gracie to a draw under jiu-jitsu rules in 1936.
  • Gracie’s bout with Orlando Americo “Dudú” da Silva in 1935 ended in a Gracie victory after a demanding fight.
  • His rematch with Yasuichi Ono in 1936 showcased significant improvement, although it ended in a draw.
  • Gracie retired from competition in 1937, only to return in 1950 for more challenges.
  • The Gracie family faced Oswaldo Fadda’s academy in 1953, which highlighted the rivalry in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Despite his tough exterior, Gracie’s late-life quote revealed a dismissal of love as a weakness.
  • His final professional fight was against Santana, marking an end to an illustrious career before his retirement.

Top Questions about Helio Gracie

Q: Did Helio Gracie ever lose a fight?

A: Yes, Helio Gracie did experience a loss in a grappling match against Orlando Americo da Silva due to disqualification for a forbidden hold. He also faced Erwin Klausner in 1937.

Q: Who was Helio Gracie?

A: Helio Gracie is celebrated as a pioneering figure in the martial arts world, credited with creating Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art that has gained international recognition.

Q: Did Helio Gracie hold any significant ranks in Jiu-Jitsu?

A: Yes, Helio Gracie held the prestigious rank of 9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, marking him as a seminal figure in the discipline.

Q: What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as?

A: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also referred to as BJJ, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, gi/nogi Jiu-Jitsu, and submission grappling, with its Portuguese name being Jiu-Jitsu Brasileiro.

Q: Who managed to defeat Helio Gracie in a match?

A: Masahiko Kimura was the individual who defeated Helio Gracie, leaving a notable mark in martial arts history.

Q: When was Hélio Gracie born, and where did he originate from?

A: Hélio Gracie was born on October 1, 1913, in Belém, Brazil.

Q: What significant martial art did Hélio Gracie co-found with his brothers, and what is it also known as?

A: Hélio Gracie, along with his brothers, co-founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

Q: What title was Hélio Gracie honored with by the American martial arts publication Black Belt magazine in 1997?

A: In 1997, Hélio Gracie was named Man of the Year by the American martial arts publication Black Belt magazine.

Q: At what age did Hélio Gracie start training in martial arts, and which styles did he initially practice?

A: Hélio Gracie began training in martial arts at the age of 16, starting with judo (then referred to as “Kano jiu-jitsu” or simply “jiu-jitsu”) and catch wrestling.

Q: How did Hélio Gracie adapt judo techniques to create Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and what was its significance?

A: Hélio Gracie adapted Mitsuyo Maeda’s brand of judo, focusing on newaza ground fighting techniques, to create Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. This adaptation allowed smaller and weaker practitioners to defend themselves and even defeat much larger opponents.

Q: Can you describe Hélio Gracie’s first professional fight and its outcome?

A: Hélio Gracie’s first professional fight was against boxer Antonio Portugal on January 16, 1932, during a “jiu-jitsu vs. boxing” event. Gracie won the fight by submission, likely using an armlock, in just 40 seconds.

Q: Who was Hélio Gracie’s opponent in his notorious match on October 22, 1951, and what was the outcome?

A: On October 22, 1951, Hélio Gracie fought the renowned judoka and professional wrestler Masahiko Kimura. Gracie was defeated by a gyaku-ude-garami, which later became known as the Kimura lock.

Q: What was the nature of the challenge between Academia Gracie and Academia Fadda, and what was the result?

A: The challenge between Academia Gracie and Academia Fadda was a series of matches to prove the effectiveness of their respective styles of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Fadda’s academy, known for using leg locks and training the poor, won the majority of the matches.

Q: How did Hélio Gracie’s fight with Valdemar Santana end, and what was the significant difference between them?

A: The fight between Hélio Gracie and Valdemar Santana, a former student of Gracie’s, ended with Gracie being knocked out by a soccer kick to the head after Santana lifted and slammed him on the mat. Santana was 16 years younger and 60 pounds heavier than Gracie.

Q: What incident led to Hélio Gracie and his brothers being convicted and later pardoned, and what was the conflict about?

A: Hélio Gracie and his brothers were convicted for assaulting Manoel Rufino dos Santos in front of his teaching place after a public dispute and criticism in newspapers regarding Carlos Gracie’s jiu-jitsu credentials. Their connections to President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil led to their pardon.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar

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