Gracie: O Criador de uma Dinastia
Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2008
by Roberto Pedreira
September 20, 2013
As Reila previously explained, Carlos had
given Helio and Margarida the job of raising his kids, promising them that she
would get pregnant if they did, which they both believed.
Carlos believed in what might be called now
"free range kids." He didn't want them to learn the ways of a corrupt
society. Schools and such things, clothes, good manners, reading and writing,
arithmetic and so on, these were not what he wanted for his "dinastia."
Margarida had other ideas. She thought the
kids would be better off living in society, where they were after all going to
have to live, with some basic "social skills." She took her job
seriously. Too seriously. She was strict and punished them severely. Helio on the other had was a softy
and tried to ameliorate the excesses of Margarida.
There were now seven kids living with Helio
and Margarida in her four room apartment which also served as a jiu-jitsu
academy. It was not an easy job.
Carlos considered renting a more capacious
apartment for them but decided that wasn't good enough. He had bigger
projects in mind. He invited them to come to Fortaleza and spend some time
there. Helio liked the idea. Margarida liked it also.
Helio and Margarida suffered from
discrimination in Fortaleza because they weren't officially married. But apart
from that everything was ok.
Carlos' decision to invite Helio to
Fortaleza was part of his scheme to get him back into the ring. Soon after
arriving, Helio put on his kimono. Carlos organized a jiu-jitsu show. Helio
would (Carlos planned) fight a challenger, while he (Carlos) would give some
demonstrations. Pedro Hemetério and João Gentil Junior would also be
involved. In addition to Helio's fight, Carlos planned eight other fights
with 16 athletes. Carlos would demonstrate his flexibility. There would
demonstrations of jiu-jitsu against knife, club, and revolver and various other
aggressions, all acted out in slow-motion. Carlos planned to donate the profits
to the Casa do Jornalista do Ceará in appreciation for the contribution that he
press was making in divulging his jiu-jitsu.
Throughout almost the entire month of
January the press provided free publicity. Helio offered 10,000 cruzerios to
anyone who could overcome his defense on the stage of the Theatro José de
Carlos and Helio never had rivalries or
even petty disagreements because they each respected the other's place in the
hierarchy of jiu-jitsu. Even after he had become famous Helio gave his bother
full props. As he told Correio do Ceará1
in 1947, "Carlos is the real introducer and spreader of pure
jiu-jitsu in Brazil."
It was at this time, in Fortaleza, that
Helio and Margarida met Rosa (aka Rosinha). Rosa became their babá das crianças
[au pair]. She would later play a very important role in their lives
and in the Gracie story.2
1948-Introdução ao Jiu-Jitsu.
1. It was in this same
interview that Helio told about how he jumped into the Atlantic Ocean to save a
drowning man. See chapter 25).
2. It is safe to say that
there wouldn't be a Gracie Story without Rosa.
(c) 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.