Last night the Valente Gracie family had the opportunity to once again thank Grand Master Helio Gracie for all his teachings and contributions through out an amazing life of hard work, courage and sacrifice. Over 350 students and friends were present. The ceremony was held on the mat, students wore white kimonos and two very large projection screens mounted next to Grand Master Helio’s picture over the tatame portrayed historic and recent moments on and off the mat.
Professor Pedro Valente opened the tribute thanking everyone in attendance and reading a message sent by Dr. Pedro Valente Sr. Professor Pedro continued with an inspiring speech recounting the creation process of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and how Grand Master Helio Gracie revolutionized the relation between the physically week and the physically strong, providing the week with a power that had never been materialized in the history of the Martial Arts. Professor Valente then invited black belts Carlos Villares and Dr. Anire Okpaku to impart some of their experiences with Helio Gracie. Next, a video, by student Eric Mainade, showed images of HG in his last seminars in our school. Following the video, Professors Pedro, Gui and Joaquim shared some intriguing stories of their lives a side the Grand Master. To finalize, the Valente brothers presented an edifying and beautiful slide show with pictures, from the 30’s to January of 2009, revealing a little of Grand Master Helio’s amazing and inspiring life.
We would like to thank all their students and families for being part of a legacy that will live on forever. Thank you Helio Gracie.