May 1

Master Marcio Simas: A Legacy within Gracie Barra

Prepare to be inspired as we delve into the extraordinary journey of Master Marcio Simas, a true pioneer whose dedication to Jiu-Jitsu has left an indelible mark on Gracie Barra and, specifically, the Florida region. With a lifetime of commitment and a passion that knows no bounds, Master Marcio's story is one of resilience, camaraderie, and unwavering dedication to the art.

And if you are lucky enough to attend the Gracie Barra World Summit 2024 in Florida, you will witness the extremely rare promotion of a Master. Master Marcio will be promoted in May to a Coral/White belt. This is an accomplishment that few will have the opportunity to achieve and is well deserved due to his years of passionate dedication to Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Barra.

Let’s take a look at his unique Jiu-Jitsu journey to this amazing accomplishment…

From Copacabana to Florida:
A Journey Ignited

Master Marcio's journey in Jiu-Jitsu began amidst the vibrant streets of Copacabana, Brazil. His first contact with Jiu-Jitsu was when a friend took him to watch the training at the Gracie school in Copacabana, where Rolls Gracie was teaching.

For those who are familiar with the history and growth of Jiu-Jitsu, this was very early, even before the school moved to where Rolls Gracie and Carlson Gracie started teaching together at Figueiredo Magalhaes, which was also in Copacabana.
Although he fell in love with the art at first sight, his financial situation would not allow him to start training yet. He was 15 years old and didn’t have a job yet. It would be nearly three years later that he would finally be able to begin training.

Master Marcio recalls when he had the opportunity to begin his journey, “I am close to 18 years old and a friend of mine, Tarcisio Moreno, after he got his black belt and started teaching in Copacabana right on the corner of Street Bolivar close to my house, invited me to join his school and start training Jiu-Jitsu with him. I fell in love immediately with this martial art.”

After his friend Tarcisio got married and moved to another city, it was suggested that Master Marcio join Rolls Gracie Academy, which he did. Professor Marcio Feitosa said it best, “Not many people that are still active had the honor and opportunity to take classes from Rolls Gracie.”

Under the guidance of legends like Rolls Gracie and a growing friendship with Carlos Gracie Jr., Master Marcio's passion blossomed, laying the foundation for a lifelong commitment to Jiu-Jitsu.

Forging Bonds on the Mats

Sharing the mats with others on a daily basis, Master Marcio found more than just a martial art; he found a family. His bond with Carlos Gracie Jr. transcended beyond training sessions, evolving into a deep friendship rooted in their shared love for Jiu-Jitsu. Together, they pushed boundaries, honed their skills, and embarked on a journey of growth and camaraderie that would shape the future of Jiu-Jitsu.

As their friendship deepened, Marcio and Carlos Gracie Jr. would spend time working out at Carlos’ house, at the beach, and during holidays, would travel to Carlos’ family house in Teresopolis City, where they would work out and train Jiu-Jitsu. Marcio remembers these early years fondly, as he would learn the foundations of Jiu-Jitsu from Carlos and his brothers and also developed strong bonds of friendship.

Inspired by his deep love for Jiu-Jitsu and driven by a vision to share the art with a wider audience, Master Marcio began contemplating a move to America. He saw the potential to introduce Jiu-Jitsu to a new culture, create opportunities for growth and development, and share the art he loved with others.

Planting Seeds of Jiu-Jitsu in the Sunshine State

Marcio moved to the United States to begin a new life. In 1994, Master Marcio's passion took root in the heart of Orlando, Florida, where he established the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Central Florida. With a wish and unwavering determination to expand Jiu-Jitsu in Florida, he asked Master Carlos Gracie Jr. for his support.

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is the founder of the International Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), an organization that hosts many of the largest Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in the world, including the Pan-American Championships.

Marcio felt that bringing the prestigious IBJJF Pan American tournament to Florida would bring inspiration to the region, fueling the growth and expansion of the art throughout Florida. Master Marcio recalls, “When we wished to expand Jiu-Jitsu in Florida I called Carlos and asked him to bring the Pan American tournament to Florida.” Master Carlos agreed, and Florida has hosted the Pan-American tournament many times since.
Through his pioneering efforts, Master Marcio paved the way for countless practitioners and Gracie Barra schools to thrive, leaving an enduring legacy that continues to inspire generations. He has founded or co-founded 5 schools in Central Florida and has graduated dozens of black belts who have been shaped and transformed on his mats.

He states, “I am very proud to be able to say that I am responsible for expanding Jiu-Jitsu in the State of Florida.”

A Legacy of Growth and Innovation

Master Marcio's impact on Jiu-Jitsu in Florida is nothing short of monumental. As Professor Marcio Feitosa rightly puts it, Master Marcio is a "lifelong student of Jiu-Jitsu," whose dedication to the art has shaped the landscape of Jiu-Jitsu in the region.

In addition to Master Marcio’s belt promotion, he will be inducted into the Development Wing of the Gracie Barra Legacy Hall at the Gracie Barra World Summit 2024, Master Marcio's legacy will be immortalized for generations to come due to his commitment to the development of Jiu-Jitsu in his region.

“I, Marcio Simas could not be more proud of see Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Martial Art that I love so much, to grow beyond anyones imagination.”

As we celebrate Master Marcio's remarkable achievements, let us remember his unwavering dedication, his passion for growth, and his relentless pursuit of excellence. Join us in honoring a true legend whose legacy continues to resonate within the Jiu-Jitsu community and beyond.