The 2016 Olympic Games are fast approaching in Rio, Brazil. The world's best athletes will congregate after four long years to once again determine global superiority. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu won't be there. Some say politics and controversy have held us back. Some say it's for the best. Others lament our loss. Still, some say it doesn't matter.
Our games took place on October 23, 1951 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. 20,000 people gathered including the president of Brazil to witness Masahiko Kimura and Helio Gracie in a modified Judo match. Kimura had the size advantage of at least thirty pounds. He had a cultural advantage hailing from Japan and studying Judo within the most elite lineage. Yet, Helio had demanded the match. He had earned it. He was well aware of the implications of fighting the current World Champion in his own backyard.
Helio would lose the match. Yet, he would win the hearts of millions of fans and followers around the world. His tenacity – the quality of continuing to exist – was extraordinary. He survived longer than any of the Kimura's previous competition had in ten years. Prior to the fight, Kimura had supposed that if Helio persevered more than three minutes, then Helio would be declared the champion. At one point, Helio slipped into unconsciousness under the Count's pressure. Yet he continued to persist in his performance. His heart was matched only by his technique born out of a relentless zeal to overcome the limitations of his often weaker, smaller frame. In the finishing frame Helio's arm would break. Even then he refused to stop existing and his corner intervened.
techNACITY: The implication of knowledge and principles in order to continue to exist; persistent performance of a scientific procedure.
In Rio, on that October night in 1951, Helio exhibited an exactness of techNACITY. He created his own game. He put us in the Games. As the 2016 Olympics in Rio approach, here's to HeliOlympicO 1951!
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