The Hyatt Regency in Irvine California was packed this weekend as Gracie Barra Team members from all over the world arrived to see what the conference had to offer. With presentations from Carlos Gracie Jr., Marcio Feitosa, Ricardo Almeida, Flavio Almeida, Marco Joca, Felipe Guedes, and Ze Radiola everyone knew they were in for a treat.
The meeting was opened by Gracie Barra Association’s CEO Flavio Almeida who then introduced the founder Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to give the first speech. He discussed some of his history as well as discuss his reasoning behind starting Gracie Barra. The discussion dove into GB’s decision to become a franchise as well as how the instructors benefit from being a part of the franchise system.
Up next Flavio Almeida returned to discuss the business side of Gracie Barra Association and take questions regarding the schools. When Flavio was finished he passed the microphone to GB Wear’s leader Marco “Piu Piu” Joca. Marco opened with a quote from American author Mark Twain with what was perhaps the quote of the day;
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
He then discussed the benefits behind Gracie Barra having as dress code as well as their own retail company as well as the future plans for Gracie Barra Wear. Gracie Barra Wear aslo had a booth wear they introduced two new Gi’s that are being produced including the soon to be released Legacy Gi.
The next presentation was by far the most touching story of the evening. Professor Ricardo Almeida took to the podium to share his story about his struggles between balancing a school, a fighting career, and taking care of his family. He also shared the 4 Pillars of Success for Martial Artists which were:
Next on the podium was Professor Marcio Feitosa who discussed teaching Jiu Jitsu for Everyone as well as the new Fundamentals, Advanced, and Black Belt Programs. He shed light on how Gracie Barra’s programs are constantly evolving to suit everyone’s needs. He gave examples of how the fundamentals will have more modern self defense while still keeping the Gracie self defense methods, the advanced program will focus on more self defense, and how the Black Belt program will give advanced students a more in depth understanding of the guard and how it works.
Felipe Guedes took the podium to then discuss Future Champions 3.0. He gave advice on how to both grow and run a kids program at a Gracie Barra school. He talked about the efforts that were being made by the team to help promote the anti bully movement.
To finish the great conference Master Carlos then awarded Professor Ze Radiola with a plaque to thank him for all of his hard work with the competition team over the past couple of months. Professor Radiola was at a lost for words and shed many tears in his acceptance speech. Professor Radiola told the audience that it was the happiest day of his life. There was a beautiful atmosphere in the room as many of the audience members fought back tears and had goosebumps watching Professor Radiola talk.
At the end the competitors gathered to take a group picture followed by the entire conference. It was an extraordinary event that is sure to send a ripple effect of positive energy throughout the Gracie Barra community.