Helio Gracie vs. Masahiko Kimura

After several challenge matches in Brazil Grandmaster Helio Gracie found out that the best Japanese jiu-jitsu fighter ever Masahiko Kimura was going to be in Brazil.

Masahiko Kimura accepted Helio Gracie’s challenge with one condition: he would have to fight the second best Japanese jiu jitsu fighter ever, a fighter named Kato. On top of that, Helio needed to beat Kato as easily as Kimura would beat Katu.

After a fairly one-sided match, Helio ended up choking Kato out in 6 minutes. After that fight, Kimura had no choice but to accept the challenge from Helio Gracie.

The fight was held on October 23, 1951 at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with over 200,000 people in attendance. This historic event was the first time that a jiu jitsu championship would be fought outside of Japan.

The fight was scheduled for two ten minute rounds, but Kimura was so confident of victory that he told the newspapers that if Helio could last for three minutes that he should be declared the winner!

As the fight started, Kimura was throwing Helio Gracie around like a rag doll, but having a very hard time controlling or submitting Helio who was known for his defense.

Midway through the second round, Kimura finally caught Helio with a shoulder lock that later became known as the Kimura.

February 18, 2020