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Global Training Report

From Brasil, Thailand, Japan, and Korea

Est. 2000


Book Review


Carlos Gracie: O Criador de uma Dinastia

 Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2008

By Reila Gracie

Reviewed by Roberto Pedreira  

Posted  May 3, 2013


Chapter 10. Carlos Gracie x Manoel Rufino dos Santos


In 1931 the Gracie brothers stepped up their efforts to divulge jiu-jitsu and demonstrate its efficiency by engaging in matches with representatives of luta romana, luta livre, and capoeiragem. The luta livre and capoeiragem people were already rivals. Jiu-Jitsu was simply one more variety of fight on the pro-wrestling scene. 

In chapter 10 Reila describes jiu-jitsu battles with luta livre (Manoel Rufino), luta Romana (Joćo Baldi and Jayme Ferreira), and capoeira  (Mario Aleixo). The Manoel Rufino contest was the most historically significant, because Rufino was the only one of the four who had legitimate qualifications and was not either old, or fat, or both. It was also the only fight that there is any record of Carlos participating in (apart from the mysterious match with "Samuel"). 

The fight took place on August 22, 1931. Carlos won, according to himself. According to the judges, and everyone else, including his brother George, he lost. Carlos felt that he had won because he thought that Rufino had "desisted." The fight was set for five 5-minute rounds. Observers agreed that Rufino had the edge in the first two rounds. In the third round, Carlos managed to apply a dangerous front choke [perigosa gravata] near the edge of the ring. Rufino dragged Carlos toward the outside of the ring area. Carlos said at that point that Rufino gave the signal to desist. Rufino denied that. The judges discussed the matter and asked the fighters to return to the center of the ring and resume the dispute, as provided by the rules. Carlos refused, claiming that he had already won, and went home. The judges declared Rufino the winner, because Carlos "abandoned" the ring (as was the convention). George agreed that Carlos lost because he had abandoned the ring, something that he said he would never do. The next day, Carlos wrote a letter justifying his decision to go home in the middle of the fight. According to Carlos, Rufino tapped out, but the judges didn't witness it. Rufino denied it, needless to say. Essentially, Carlos stopped because he felt that he had won. It was that simple. He never fought again.

Reila also briefly describes the contests between Oswaldo and George and luta romana representatives Joćo Baldi and Jayme Ferreira, respectively.  The Gracie brothers won easily. Both fights demonstrated that a smaller, younger man who knew ground fighting could defeat an older, larger (in Baldi's case, "obese" is a more accurate word) man, who had no ground fighting background, and indeed, probably no training at all. It was advertised as a victory for for jiu-jitsu, the secret oriental art of the samurais by which a weak man can defeat a strong man. It didn't make much more sense then than it does now but it was effective marketing.  Joćo Baldi 's name was invariably mentioned when Oswaldo was opening a new academy or attempting to stimulate demand for tickets to his latest wrestling match.

Reila also mentions George's fight with Mario Aleixo, Carlos' sister Helena Gracie's use of jiu-jitsu in a real-life self-defense situation, and the brothers' attacks on Joćo Baldi  and Donato Pires dos Reis.

Reila doesn't go into great detail. Her subject is Carlos Gracie. Readers who want to know the (fully documented) details about the fights and other incidents will have to wait for Choque.




Chapter 11. Helio Sobe Ao Ringue.








(c) 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.


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