Montag, März 11, 2013

Oswaldo Fadda

Master Fadda was born in Bento Ribeiro, a suburb in the north of Rio de Janeiro to a family of Italian immigrants. At the age of seventeen, while in the Brazilian Marines, he began to study jiu jitsu under Luis França and a black belt under Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda was an expert judōka with direct lineage to the founder of judo, Kanō Jigorō, who had travelled around the world as a prize fighter while also teaching the locals his self-defence techniques. After settling in Belém in 1917, Maeda had continued to teach jiu jitsu to a select group of students (including França and Carlos Gracie).

By 1942, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was becoming well known in Brazil, although the price of tuition was too high for most residents of Rio. Master Fadda had received his own black belt from França and soon started teaching jiu jitsu free of charge in unorthodox locations such as public parks and beaches, often without the aid of crash mats, aiming to spread the art of jiu-jitsu to the poorer folk. Master Fadda also saw jiu-jitsu as a way to help people with physical or mental disabilities, especially the city's numerous polio victims. With no real income from his teaching he was forced to advertise in the obituary section of the local newspaper.

Despite being regarded by the Gracie family as an outcast, Master Fadda managed to open his own academy on the outskirts of Rio on January 27, 1950.[3] He and his students began specialising in the use of footlocks, an often ignored part of the jiu-jitsu curriculum. The next year, Master Fadda felt confident that his school was ready for the next step and issued a challenge to the Gracies through the media: "We wish to challenge the Gracies, we respect them as the formidable adversaries they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the challenge".

Hélio Gracie accepted the challenge and the two teams fought at Gracie's academy. Master Fadda's team emerged victorious, making good use of their knowledge of footlocks, in which the opposition was lacking. José Guimarães, one of Master Fadda's pupils, choked Gracie's "Leonidas" unconscious. Oswaldo himself became the first man to beat Hélio in competition. After the challenge, Master Fadda gave an interview for the "Revista do Esporte" (sport magazine) "We put an end to the Gracie tabu". Also Hélio Gracie in an interview with the newspaper said "All you need is one Master Fadda to show that Jiu-Jitsu is not the Gracie's privilege". The Gracies had previously derided the holds as a "suburban technique" but were quick to applaud Master Fadda's win as a sign that jiu jitsu was for everyone, not just the well off. The result of the challenge was well publicised across Brazil and many new students arrived at Master Fadda's school seeking tuition. The added notoriety of the win also attracted local hard man who wanted to challenge Master Fadda themselves. This was such a regular occurrence that time was set aside every week specifically for this purpose. A long standing belief is that Master Fadda and his students never lost a fight.

Master Fadda died aged 84 on April 1st 2005 for a bacterial pneumonia aggravated from Alzheimer's. Unlike the Gracie's, Master Fadda did not transform his family into an army of fighters, but his legacy lives on in his students in various academies all over Brazil and the world in Japan, Europe, Australia and the United States to name a few. These include some legends and champions such as Jacare, Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro, BJ Penn, Robson Moura, Leonardo Santos, Jose Aldo and world champion Rodolfo Vieira. Master Fadda Jiu-Jitsu gave birth to new well known Academy's such as Nova Uniao, Grappling Figthing Team (GFT) and Master Wilson Academy.

Source: Wikipedia, Fadda Jiu-Jitsu