Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oswaldo Fadda

Oswaldo Fadda's name may not be as instantly recognizable to BJJ practitioners as Helio and Carlos Gracie but he holds a unique place the arts history. Fadda, a native of Rio, learned jiujitsu from Mitsuyo Maeda and Luis Franca and in turn helped spread the art to the poor. This is a sharp contrast to the Gracie family who boasted a more influential clientele that could help publicize the Gracie name.
Fadda and his students focused on foot locks which were (and some would say still are) neglected in the Gracie academy. Fadda issued a team challenge to Helio Gracie and in the end Fadda's team came out ahead. The victory earned Fadda the respect of the Gracie patriarch who publicly acknowledged that the Gracie's were not the sole owner of jiujitsu. In time Helio would present Fadda with a 9th dan, a rare honor for a non-Gracie.

In 2005 Oswaldo Fadda passed away at the age of 84. His lineage lives on in team Nova Uniao.

In February 2012, Fadda was honored on a t-shirt by BJJ apparel company 31Fifty. The shirt had a limited run and sold out almost immediately. Luckily Aaron and I were able to order our shirts as soon as they went on sale. I am sure if enough people request it a second run of the design will be printed. 31fifty is one of a few new BJJ apparel companies that represent the art well. No skulls, dragons, flames or swords in their designs. The Jiujitsu Geeks respect these guys.


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