Brotherhood, Integrity, Development
In a lifetime dedicated to the growth and development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. has always guided his efforts and actions by the values of brotherhood, expansion, and integrity. Simply stated by himself:
“My life is dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu. My goal was simply to build a brotherhood to lead the expansion of Jiu-Jitsu while respecting the essence of our art. My students are an extension of my family. I want each one of them to achieve their personal best while helping spread Jiu-Jitsu. We must do that honoring the traditions and efforts of those who came before us.” – Carlos Gracie Jr.
The values and principles that build Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s personal philosophy have defined to a great extent the culture of Gracie Barra Westlake. The table to the right summarizes each one of Carlos’ core values and how they have impacted Gracie Barra as an organization:
Our team color is the red, our team flag is the Red Shield. The Red Shield connects the Gracie Barra community, our students taking their first class, our Black Belts graduating, our athletes in battle, our instructors teaching, our Schools keeping the legacy alive.
The Red Shield was created by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. with the purpose of unifying all of those who represent Gracie Barra, defend the Red Shield and pass forward the legacy transferred down from Grandmaster Carlos Gracie, and other Jiu-Jitsu legends such as Hélio Gracie, Rolles Gracie and Carlos Gracie Jr.
The Red Shield’s credibility was built over the years through hard work and excellence shown by the Gracie Barra students, athletes and instructors involved in sport Jiu-Jitsu competitions, teaching programs and community work. The Gracie Barra Red Shield is one of the most recognized symbols in Jiu-Jitsu today and all of those who carry it feel a deep sense of loyalty and commitment to Master Carlos Gracie Jr, Gracie Barra and the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone movement.
Athletics at Gracie Barra Westlake is represented by a sport Jiu-Jitsu competition team known as EQUIPE GB. Athletics within Gracie Barra builds community and pride through the engagement of students, staff, parents, and friends, and creates a portal through which everyone can enjoy the GB experience. Successful athletic performance generates a unique excitement across the Gracie Barra Schools and community, help strengthen bonds among the various arms of our organization, build students loyalty in a healthy manner, and give Gracie Barra members yet another reason to be proud to represent the legacy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and defend the red shield.
Athletic participation helps Gracie Barra students grow, learn, and enjoy themselves while developing their body, mind and spirit. Our competition team, values the lessons that have long been taught by sport Jiu-Jitsu competitions: the pursuit of excellence through personal development and teamwork, ethical and responsible behavior on and off the mats, leadership and strength of character, and sportsmanship – respect for one’s opponents, acceptance of victory with humility, and acknowledgement of defeat with grace. By embracing these values, EQUIPE GB members create habits which will lead to a better lifestyle and well-being. While winning is not an end in itself, at Gracie Barra Westlake we believe that the efforts by our athletes to be their best will lead them to succeed throughout their lives.
Gratitude, Appreciation, Legacy
We all should learn from our past to educate the future. The pictures on the walls of every Gracie Barra School tell our story from the early twentieth century to today. First in line, Mitsuyo Maeda, the Japanese with unparalleled skill who brought the gentle art to Brazil. Next, Carlos Gracie Sr., Maeda’s first student and the first Gracie to ever learn Jiu-Jitsu. Third, Hélio Gracie, Carlos’ brother and the best Gracie fighter of his time. Fourth, Rolls Gracie, a true jiu jitsu innovator and champion of Brazilian jiu jitsu philosophy. And finally, Carlos Gracie, Jr., the founder of Gracie Barra, and the visionary of the Jiu-Jitsu for everyone project. Its our tradition of recollecting the lives of great Masters and practitioners, both as a mark of gratitude and appreciation, and as a source of inspiration from which we may still learn.
♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu ♫
In times of trouble, or when we have a challenge ahead, we know the importance of family and friends. In the sporting arena is no different. Whenever an athlete enters the arena of competition, the positive energy of the crowd is contagious and makes it can make his performance grow.
To prove that our motto is true and show that we really are organized as a team and we fight like family, Gracie Barra calls all who carry the Red Shield GB on their chest to unite in one crowd, supporting our competitors with a unique energy coming from different neighborhoods, cities, states and even countries.
Therefore, in the next competition look around in the venue and find the ones wearing the red shirts or holding the Gracie Barra flag and join this family, your family, and this increasingly strong support, which is only going to keep growing. The harmony between the schools will help Gracie Barra become even greater.
How we dress identifies us as a group and sets, for many people, the values we represent. What we use transmits to the others an idea about who we are. Wearing the red shirt is representing the GB Family.
The “Proud to be part of this GB Family” is stamped on the Red Shield. And have you ever wondered why the red color?
“I want red because it represents heart, blood, and love; All my students fight with heart, have GB Jiu-Jitsu in their blood, and they love our team… Gracie Barra!” – Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Wearing the red shirt is saying it loudly to the world: I believe in Gracie Barra.
The red shirt seeks to promote a sense of unity among the members of the GB team around the world. It promotes unity, support, equality, identity, philosophy and proud of being part of Gracie Barra. Wearing the red shirt is saying: I am a Gracie Barra Westlake Team Member.
The red shirt seeks respect, brotherhood, friendship, loyalty and love for the GB Team. Wearing the red shirt is having it on your chest: I am Gracie Barra!
“When I put the red t-shirt on and drive to the tournament…I automatically become someone stronger, faster, and unbeatable…because I know that, there will be hundreds of GB brothers and sisters wearing the same t-shirt, representing the same values, and supporting me on the battlefield by either competing along side with me, or cheering from the stands. That’s Gracie Barra!”- Prof. Philipe Della Monica
Around the world people are faced with the GB red sea. They identify our uniform and know that there exists a family member from Gracie Barra defending our mentality, representing our philosophy and our values. Wearing the red shirt means keeping our legacy alive.