In 1986 – the year Gracie Barra was founded – the jiu-jitsu team was being born that would revolutionize the gentle art scene around the world. We started climbing step by step until we achieved our hegemony in championships, both nationally and internationally. During that time we got many trophies and medals, faced many challenges and behind all of that, there was a great feeling of union driving us.
The years passed and when Master Carlos Gracie Jr gave us a new direction, many hopped off. Taking the “Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone” has then become our new mission. As expected, not every changes pleases everyone. At that moment, the Master was idealizing a change for making things better. Many loved – and still love – that championships adrenaline and “checking in” in trainings. Yes, the championships did continue to be part of our routine, but our priority with that new mission: to introduce the BJJ to people around the planet, showing them what this sport is and what it means to be “Gracie Barra”.
We introduced our sport and changed the lives of thousands of people in the four corners of the planet. The gentle art has the power of showing to anyone that regardless of weight, height, sex or age, Jiu-Jitsu does work and is effective thanks to its techniques.
You must be thinking, “Okay, jiu-jitsu changed many lives. But where will the ‘being Gracie Barra’ thing enter into this story?”
No need to go too far. We do not preach only the technique teaching. We show people the lifestyle associated with the atmosphere around the mat. We show in our schools that more than exercising the body, we daily strengthen our spirit and learn, even before being a BJJ fighter, to be people with a good character.
Thus, with that same united mindset that led great names of GB to the top of the podiums, we every day take people to find in the Gracie Barra a family for them. The color of our shield does not only serve to identify ourselves among the crowd. It serves to show off that there’s a special family over there. All with different last names, ethnicities, gender, nationalities, but equal and united by the same team.
A sport that for many other teams is seen as an individual modality, for us is something collective. It’s a fight where a member representing the team goes to the combat, but behind him there’s the whole school cheering him on, vibrating and motivating him, even when all seems lost.
Being a Gracie Barra is loving jiu-jitsu unconditionally, of course, but it is not limited to that. Being Gracie Barra is using what is learned on the mat as a way to grow as a human being. It is defending that unknown guy who wears our “armor”, simply because we see him as a team brother. It is showing to the planet, not with words but actions, why we are so respected and united.
Being Gracie Barra is actually something difficult to define in words. Only who wears this shield, only those who live this experience in our schools can FEEL what is really being a GB.