Apr 26

Keeping the Legacy Alive: The Values of Gracie Barra

Preserving Tradition and Upholding Honor: The Core Value of Integrity

Welcome to the heart and soul of Gracie Barra, where Brotherhood/Sisterhood, Integrity, and Development are not just words – they are our way of life. These are our guiding principles that shape every action and decision. From the highest-ranking black belts to the newest white belts, these Core Values are the foundation upon which our community thrives, fostering respect, trust, and honor among all.

In this blog, we embark on a journey deep into the essence of one of Gracie Barra's values – Integrity. When you become a member of the Gracie Barra team, you quickly understand that we believe strongly in preserving tradition and upholding honor is crucial not only for our community but also for the growth and development of each individual practitioner.

By embracing the Core Values, specifically Integrity, we create a strong foundation that allows us to excel in our development, not only for our Jiu-Jitsu journey on the mats but also in our personal lives where we can become “Everyday Champions.”
There are many definitions of integrity. Some define it as doing the right thing even when no one is looking. And it is that. But integrity can also be being true to oneself or one’s history. Another definition would be a condition of being unified or whole. Within Gracie Barra, all of these definitions contribute to the full meaning of Integrity.

When we define Integrity, it starts with a deep respect for our traditions, but it doesn’t end there. We honor the sacrifices of those who came before us by preserving the essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Take, for example, the decision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to prioritize training in the traditional Kimono in the early 2000s despite the rising popularity of No-Gi grappling. His choice wasn't easy or popular, but it ensured that Gracie Barra remained true to its roots, laying the foundation for the growth of traditional Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu as a sport of its own aside from the popularity it was gaining in the UFC.
Integrity also cements the Brotherhood/Sisterhood that defines Gracie Barra. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. understood that trust and mutual support were essential for the team's success. When you can trust in your brothers and sisters that they will do the right thing, even when no one is looking, then you can rely on them completely.

By fostering an environment of respect and honesty, he created a community where individuals could thrive together. This is evident in the reality that there are over 1,000 schools worldwide bearing the Red Shield. This commitment to Integrity has not only strengthened our bonds on the mats but has also allowed for the transformative impact of bringing Jiu-Jitsu to many communities throughout the world.

To truly understand the significance of Integrity at Gracie Barra, we must look back at the remarkable lives of Grandmasters Carlos and Helio Gracie, whose legacies continue to inspire us today.
Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr.'s influence in Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Barra is self-evident. He is considered the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the creator of the Gracie Dynasty. He played major roles as a visionary, fighter, entrepreneur, teacher, and mentor that shaped our sport's cultural foundation as we understand it today.

Grandmaster Helio Gracie is one of the greatest legends of our sport. He became a national hero in Brazil because of his many epic challenge fights against much bigger opponents. Helio was an outstanding technician and rigorous coach. His obsession with efficiency and precision led to the evolution of Jiu-Jitsu as a system of combat.

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. was a visionary leader who dedicated his life to spreading the art of Jiu-Jitsu worldwide. He understood the importance of preserving the traditions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and acted with unwavering integrity to uphold them. His decision to prioritize training in the traditional Kimono, despite external pressures, is a testament to his commitment to the art and its values.
Similarly, Helio Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, embodied the spirit of perseverance and determination. Despite facing numerous challenges, including physical limitations, Helio revolutionized the world of martial arts with his innovative techniques and indomitable spirit. His legacy continues to inspire generations of practitioners to push beyond their limits and strive for excellence.

As we honor the legacies of Grandmaster Carlos and Helio Gracie, and Master Carlos Gracie Jr., let us remember the values they stood for and the example they set for us all. Let us embody the spirit of Integrity in everything we do, both on and off the mats, and continue to Keep the Legacy Alive for future generations.
If you want to learn more about the legacy of Gracie Barra, the influences that have brought us to where we are today with over 1,000 schools worldwide, and our 3 Core Values that govern the decisions of leaders throughout GB, then consider reading the GB Foundations course at the GB Institute.

But Integrity isn't just about looking to the past; it's also about taking responsibility for the present and the future. As members of Gracie Barra, we have a duty to uphold the values that define us.

Together, we can honor the traditions of Gracie Barra, strengthen the bonds of Brotherhood/Sisterhood, and inspire others to follow in the footsteps of our esteemed founders. Whether it's pushing ourselves to achieve our personal best or inspiring others to join us on this journey, we play a crucial role in Keeping the Legacy Alive.

Blog Written by Dawn Korsen, a Gracie Barra Black Belt

Celebrating 38 Years of Excellence in Jiu-Jitsu.