In the words of Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, "Everything is worth it if the soul is not small." The day she was born, no one could know what a major impact Professor Yvone Magalhaes Duarte, First Female Black Belt (1990), would have on the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The more you grow in the sport, the more you want to know about the roots of your new found addiction. BJJ has grown substantially since Professor Magalhaes Duarte received her black belt. This trailblazer paved the way for today's women in the sport. Knowing how she did it and the strength it took during the time she did it (mid 70s-90s) should make us all want to leave a more profound legacy for BJJ generations to come.
Professor Magalhaes Duarte's start in BJJ began with her brother and mentor, now a coral belt, Master Pascoal Duarte. She came along during the "golden age of Jiu Jitsu when the best BJJ fighters showed up, the best time in all times, Royler Gracie, Cassio Cardoso, Rolls Gracie, Sergio da Penha, De Larriva, Jan Jack, Marcelo Behring, Rickson Gracie, Otavio Peixotinho, Fabricio Costa, Paulo Caruso...and many others! The best time of BJJ!" She rose through the ranks alongside Marina Alcantara, Laila Zalfa, Ana Maria D'Avila, Fernanda Bulhoes and Lucia Moraes. Unfortunately the other women never received their black belts.
Early on in her career Professor Magalhaes Duarte recognized developing her own unique approach to her matches was crucial to ascend in the sport. She trained as often as possible. She was a petite fighter and was explosive. Her ambition was as admirable as her drive noting "during different periods Jiu Jitsu was the major thing in my life. I have always wanted to fight! I want the honor to teach my grandchildren." She originated from the academy of the renowned 9th degree red belt, Master Osvaldo Alves. Diversity at this academy ran the gambit from professional fighters to philosophers.
Rio was a melting pot and anyone willing to take up the noble art of Jiu Jitsu was welcomed with open arms. Once Professor Magalhaes Duarte received her black belt in October of 1990, one part of her journey had come full circle. She had become THE FIRST...The first of many to come. After receiving her black belt she became an instructor at the Police Academy, her classes grew immediately. Fast forward to the present and Professor Magalhaes Duarte is still as dynamic as ever. She makes her presence known fighting for sociopolitical and economic deficits. "My fights today are for others. I am working and fighting for human rights. I fight for the demarcation of indigenous lands. I fight for a society without inviolable refuge!” These words for are explosive and indicative of why the professor has become such a major pioneer not just for women in Jiu Jitsu, but for the world of Jiu Jitsu. She displays passion for what she loves. She is a pioneer full of grace, poise, and knowledge that hopefully future fighters will aspire to.
Professor Magalhaes Duarte has nothing but fond memories as a competitor, no regrets indicating "my Jiu Jitsu victories are now good memories; I have given my contribution. The principles of this fight are still with me and I want to keep sharing with others." She currently resides in Rome and lucky for the BJJ world, there are no signs of her slowing down. If you want to find out how far a culture has come, you need only look to its foundation. In order to know where you are going, you must remember where you have been. Our history can do one of two things for us. It can provide us with building blocks for future success or condemn us to a perpetual state of arrested development. The path is ours to choose. This pioneer has blazed the way from the CBJJE to the IBJJF, who’s got next?
ROYLER GRACIE SEMINAR TOUR IN TEXAS (AUSTIN & DALLAS)
Royler Gracie, 5th son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie, and arguably the greatest lightweight jiu-jitsu competitor of all time, will be teaching two seminars in Texas to go over the key techniques that helped him win 4 World Championships and 3 Abu Dhabi Championships!
Kauai's own Bobby "Da-Punisher" Castle. Bobby is a green belt, just turned 15 years old in February. He has over 75 medals, 10 championship swords & 2 Absolute Belts. Approx 60 of his medals being GOLD. He is dedicated and committed to his training, he pours his heart and soul into it. Bobby trains 6 days a week, sometimes up to 3 classes a day. He trains 9 Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes a week and 1 wrestling class. He was recently crowned 2011 Kids/Teens World Champion in Riverside, Ca, against 15-17yr green/blue belts and the following day won the Gold in the mens rooster purple belt division at the Southbay Open in Carson, Ca. We live in Hawaii and he travels to compete in the mainland several times a year which can be a very heavy weight on us but he talent is too great to surpress, we would like to expose his talents as much as we can to help him get sponsor to continue on in his quest. You may youtube him "Bobby Castle" to see a samples of his abilites. Bobby is a humble and respectful kid and has a bright future ahead of him.
Guy Neivens from the ADCC responds to Royler Gracie's letter. Guy reveals more of the proposed deal and details surrounding the apparent fallout.
Mentioning "veteran matches" that would help promote the sport such as: Renzo Gracie vs Mario Sperry and the Royler vs Eddie match as a natual fit.
BJJ fans, grappling fans - it looks like it has come down to money plain and simple. It's good to see that $25K can be raised for a veteran match in this sport and hope other opportunities persist for the veterans like Royler, Renzo, Mario and Eddie.
Royler Gracie reported to Caleb at the FightWorrksPodcast.com (also a contributor to BJJ Legends Magazine). That he'll be fighting Eddie Bravo, most likely, at the ADCC 2011 championships in September 23-24 in England. Royler commented that everything has been worked out however no contract had been signed. Until the contract is signed, if you follow these superfights, anything can happen.
The 2003 ADCC match of Royler vs. Eddie was a huge upset where Eddie won the fight as a huge underdog.
Here's an email Royler sent to FWP that is also posted on the site.
Rickson Gracie, Rolyer Gracie and Flavio Canto Join Forces for Rio Benefit.
Wednesday, January 19th at 8:30 PM at the Escola de Educação Física do Exército, in Urca, three BJJ Legends are donating their time to assist in alleviating the effects and devestation in Rio this past week. Brothers, Rickson Gracie and Royler Gracie will join Olympic medalist Flavio Canto and conduct a seminar for the victims of the tragedyf rom Região Serrana do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.
There's been some buzz around Gracie Barra and their franchising changes that may soon come to their affiliates. Link this to more information and at least one academy dropping from the GB ranks to join Gracie Humaita and a recent decision to deny Gracie Barra their trademark on a logo submitted by a group called Gracie Barra Franchise Systems and there's some news.
Recent posts on BJJ Forums - such as this one on Jiu Jitsu Forums.com, indicate a change is coming. There's nothing tangible right now that we can point to, but the forum was buzzing in August and talk has been heard. GB, claims to have over 300 affiliated schools on 5 continents, which is a good size for any franchising organization
Açai Roots, a leading supplier of natural Brazilian açaí products, officially announced the signing of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend and former MMA superstar, Royler Gracie, to its team of brand ambassadors. Royler Gracie, is featured in the current issue of BJJ Legends Magazine and DVD.
Call it Brand Ambassador or spokesperson, Royler has been a consumer of Brazilian açaí since childhood. He has included açaí in his diet and lifestyle throughout his entire life. Royler is a fan of the fruit and a connoisseur of how this Brazilian tradition can be beneficial to its consumers.
Ships May 15, BJJ Legends Mag. With a massive 32 techniques and bringing Legends of Jiu-Jitsu, MMA and Grappling to you. Royler Gracie, World Champion, Wander Braga - MMA champ, Megumi Fujii: ADCC, MMA and grappling Champ plus 2 young guns of Jiu-jitsu from the East Coast: JT Torres and Jarad Weiner both with significant wins under their Black Belts in major tournaments.
Then learn more about the Knee, injuries and rehab with Dr. Park and Missy (MisfitLA.com) shows how to work the Kettlebell for strength and endurance.