Franco de Camargo's words...

From his website:

"The burgeoning popularity of our sport never ceases to amaze me. By teaching Judo and traditional Jiu Jitsu to Carlos Gracie Sr., Maeda ignited a martial-arts revolution that would ultimately take the world by storm. The collective efforts of Carlos SR, Helio, Carlson, and more contemporary protagonists of this revolution such as Royce and Rickson, have laid a strong foundation for the exponential group of BJJ and MMA, and I firmly intend on carrying on their vision and follow in their footsteps.

In Jiu Jitsu many have said for years that the acid test for Martial Arts should be “effectiveness.” But I sometimes wonder whether this approach is one-dimensional, neglecting as it does the importance of simultaneously inculcating ethics and broader life-skills.

Effective fighting by itself will not build communities, which is, or should be, the ultimate objective of the Martial Arts. As professional teachers, we have the opportunity—indeed we have the obligation—to instill the qualities in our students which lead to that greater goal.

My conviction is that we need a holistic approach to teaching that takes into consideration all of the students’ needs: mental, physical, and spiritual. If we see only the physical man, a student may become a better fighter yet lack the virtue necessary to exercise restraint. A concomitant emphasis on character development thus allows the student to balance out his physical and technical abilities with a proportionate level of social responsibility.

I have been teaching BJJ in Orange County for fourteen years and have drawn upon my many years of experience in the practice and pedagogy of Gracie BJJ to produce a school which has become a beacon in the community. The message that I have consistently conveyed to students over the years is that carrying a black belt is more than just being able to demonstrate proper BJJ technique; wearing a black belt means you have also demonstrated the character and integrity appropriate to a black belt."

Very well said.


RIP Franco de Camargo 12/24/1961 – 09/15/2008