Graded by Masters Royler and Rolker Gracie at the Gracie Academy in Brazil (AKA Gracie Humaitá)
Professor Paulo Tavares
The Founder of Our School
"My Mission in Life is to Empower the Community through the practice of Gracie Jiu Jitsu".
"There is no other feeling like Confidence".
"Being confident without being arrogant, being humble without being submissive".
"I am happy to share what I have learnt throughout my life. To help people to live better lives and to overcome any obstacle".
"On the sections bellow, I share my story.
Please forgive my grammar, english is my second language!".
Back in Time
It is impossible to speak about my story without referring to my father.
He is the one who started at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu tradition in my family.
Born in 1940, "Fiusa" (how he used to be called by his friends from Rio) started at the age of 8 (1948) having private classes at the Gracie Academy. His teacher was Carlson Gracie.
Back on those days the Gracie Family was still together and my father had a good relationship with some of the members like Reyson Gracie, Rorion Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Grandmaster Carlos Gracie and of course his teacher Carlson Gracie.
Jiu Jitsu in the state of Bahia
A 1960's Journey
Fiusa (my father) had fallen in love with Gracie Jiu jItsu at a young age. His friendship with the Gracies had great impact in his life.
First son of a wealthy family he had in 1960's the chance to go live in the land of the Samurai (Japan) and learn Judo at the Kodokan Dojo. He was then a black belt teacher, he had completed an instructor course with the most proficient (non-gracie) teacher from the Gracie Academy, Pedro Hemetério in São Paulo, by referral of his friend and teacher Reyson Gracie.
In Japan he had a chance to visit Kimura's Dojo and also made friends with Judokas from the Iron Courtin. What granted him free pass to go visit and train in the countries of Russia, Poland and Eastern Germany.
Back to Brazil, he then was granted permission by Grandmasters Helio and Carlos Gracie to open a Gracie jiu jitsu academy at his family's original state of Bahia, in Salvador (capital city). That's when I was Born.
From The Cot to The Dojo
First Steps on the Tatami (jiu jitsu mats)
It was 15 of august, 1972. It was my father's birthday when I decided to come to this world.
Fiusa had already established his school, on the living room of one of his family's colonial houses in the suburb of Graça, Salvador. He was there for 7 years already.
This house was the place he also was living when I was born.
I remember watching the classes from a "dog's" gate that kept me out of the room.
On those mats I literally learnt how to craw and later, to walk. My father used to leave me over there with a bottle of water and some toys. When my mom complaint about it he would say: "It is ok, he can't get hurt, if he falls he will learn to fall and stand up again on the mats."
Later my father went on to take over his family's business which was Cocoa Farming in the south of our State, we then moved to the city to Ilhéus (sounds like ee-le-eah-oos in english).
School of Hard Knocks
Training with my Father
I was around 6 years old when my father took me to learn the stand up of jiu jitsu, thats how he called Judo, and made me understand that jiu jitsu was the most complete form of self defense but because he was so busy at work during the week, would be good for me to start my training learning how to fall, how to trow, getting acquainted with the kimono (GI) so later on when I come to age I could move to Rio and train Jiu Jitsu at the Gracie Academy (called Gracie Humaitá nowadays).
My father made sure I also learned self defense, and he would teach me at the beach or at the farm during the weekends. The sessions was intense end besides the eventual cry from my side, I learn a lot and became much more aware of real life situations.
1996 - The Gracie Humaitá
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Immersion
Judo was part of my life until the age of 15 years old. I took then a year break and when I turned 16, Charles Gracie moved to Salvador (where we had moved back to) and I started training Jiu Jitsu with him. The passion was quick to grow and I could only dream about moving to Rio and starting training at the Gracie Humaitá.
That happened at 1996 when I finally had the opportunity to move to Rio and started training under Royler Gracie, Rolker Gracie and under the supervision of the late Grandmaster Helio Gracie.
Training at The Gracie Humaitá
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Immersion
Training at the Gracie Humaitá was something awesome at the time. There was a great competition team with many world champions.
Royler Gracie was in his prime, and the constant visits of Grandmaster Helio on Tuesdays and Thursdays made those times somewhat very special.
Training at the Gracie Humaitá we had a chance to have classes with Rickson Gracie (founder of the school that later, gave it to his brothers Royler and Rolker), Relson Gracie, Helio Gracie, Rolker Gracie.
Becoming a Teacher
As life happens I moved to live in São Paulo in 2005, by Royler Gracie's referral I started training at Ryan Gracie's School. Over there I met Fabio Leopoldo. World Champion and already a renowned teacher.
Later that year (in june if I am not mistaking) Fabio invited me to teach self defense for ladies at his school, Gracie Morumbi. Which I promptly accepted. That was the start of my teaching carrear.
As a great friend and mentor, during a trip to Rio, Fabio met Royler and told him I was working with him.
During Christmas break, I was training at the Gracie Humaita when Royler offered me a position as an assistant instructor to him at the Gracie Humaita.
It was a practical course but besides working without a pay, I would do the formal Gracie Humaita instructors course and would be granted the rights to open a branch of the school overseas. Same as other students have.
That was the beginning of my formal "Teaching Course".
I completed the Instructor's course in September 2006.
Becoming a Gracie Jiu Jitsu Teacher
Little hint on the Apprenticeship
Being a student at the Gracie Humaita is already great. But when you are doing your apprenticeship over there, another dimension of knowledge opens to you.
As an apprentice you are allowed to watch all the private classes, assist with the kids, teenagers and adult group classes.
You will do a lot of cleaning, answering the phone, more cleaning, opening and closing the school, more cleaning but it worth a lifetime of experience.
Conducting a Gracie Humaita, the way Grandmaster Helio used to do at the original Gracie Academy is something else, you can only understanding by doing.
The level of commitment to perfection and discipline is not for everyone.
I am grateful for the opportunity.
It was 7pm, on a cloudy Sunday evening, 17th of September 2006 when I first arrive in Australia.
I first help a training partner to open his first full time school in sydney.
I had then to look for an opportunity to open my own school in a different city, as I had given my word to Royler I would not open another Gracie Humaita in Sydney to not compete with my training partner and also his student.
The opportunity came in a shape of a boxing facility in the central coast of NSW. Which rappidly evolved to two full time locations.
I lived there for about 4 years.
Taking Gracie Jiu Jitsu to Indonesia
As a loyal student of the Gracie academy and a disciple of the Gracie Family, I was always up for a new challenge. In this case it was to take Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the Gracie Humaita to Indonesia, more precisely the island of Bali.
The School was to be called Gracie Bali, a branch of the Gracie Humaitá.
The School went really well for 2 years but I had to return to Australia to be able to keep my residency.
Now I am a proud Australian Citizen.
Back to Australia
The Birth of the Australian Academy of Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Perth was the city that I always had my eyes on since I was in Brazil, choosing a place to establish myself in Australia.
I guess it took me a few years but I finally arrived where I was supposed to be.
Nowadays we have evolved and matured all the knowledge received at the Gracie Humaita, plus all the experience of teaching overseas in different countries since 2006.
We are now proud to offer the authentic Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Perth, at our school in Peppermint Grove. With the mission to empower the community with training focussed on self defense with is the most important side of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
PHD in Gracie Jiu Jitsu with Rickson Gracie
Following the Master
Master Rickson Gracie is widely known as the "Master of the Masters". A man that has pursued all his life on improving altogether mind, body and soul. They say "when the student is ready, the master will come..."
I was fortunate enough to meet Master Rickson on my early twenties in one of his visits to the Gracie Humaitá in Brazil where I was a regular blue belt.
Years later, now a black belt, I had the opportunity to join him and become one of his pupils.
It has been exciting times with eye opening conversations and amazing technical corrections and deep guidance.