Does Kyra Gracie love Burt Bacharach songs?
The way she lives her life, it’s seems like she’s been listening.
Burt Bacharach is an American composer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, and singer. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, he is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the late 1950s through the 1980s, many with lyrics written by Hal David.
It would be challenging to listen to Mr. Bacharach’s songs and not be moved by them.
Perhaps we can try a test.
Please try and listen to the following songs and see how they affect you.
They were written by Burt Bacharach when music seemed to more about the heart than the chart.
The Gracie name in Martial Arts is legend.
She is one of the few Gracie women to achieve a black belt in BJJ and is the first Gracie female to actively compete in the sport. For several years she lived full-time in the United States, where she is associated with the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York and the Gracie Barra Academy in Lake Forest, California.
The respected MMA site bjjheroes.com shares, “Kyra Gracie is a jiu jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior and the first female member of the famous Gracie family to achieve worldwide notoriety as an accomplished grappler.
A true phenomenon inside the sport, Kyra Gracie was already considered one of the best jiu jitsu competitors in the world in her early 20’s, a status cemented by her wins at important tournaments such as the World Jiu Jitsu Championships, Pan American Jiu Jitsu Championships and the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club).”
Kyra is also one of the most televised jiu jitsu practitioners in the world with appearances in famous Brazilian TV shows such as Programa do Jo (with Jo Soares) and Sensei SporTv.
Of her many astonishing accomplishments, here are some important ones.
- 4x World BJJ Champion
- 5x Pan American BJJ Games Champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007)
- 5x Brazilian BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004)
- 5x New York State BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
- 3x ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) Submission Wrestling World Champion (2005, 2007, 2011) 1x Asiatic BJJ Champion (2006)
In 2010, Gracie, along with family members Rillion, Rolles, Roger, Igor, and Gregor began Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Adventure Camp. The purpose of the camp is to provide training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with access to the local tourism of the various host countries.
So much of Kyra’s values come from her close family ties. In an interview she related as soon as she started walking, her family had a mat at her house. At the early age of 10-11 years old, her mother started training and received a blue belt.
Something clicked in her mind. If her mother can do it, then so can she.
In watching a few of Kyra’s matches once she gets a lock on you, you’re finished. Her clutch is stronger than a pythons. Against Megumi Fuji she locked onto Megumi’s arm and wouldn’t let go eventually securing the hold with her leg, flipping Megumi over and made her instantly submit.
Adorned in stealth like black, when she met Alexis Davis in front of a large boisterous crowd, she kept her pinned to the mats and maintained complete control in her to secure the victory.
Born in Rio de Janeiro this warrior and mother is so exceptional that we could fill several pages with her accomplishments, credentials and stature.
There is something else that stands out perhaps above them all.
Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics—the first time a South American and Portuguese-speaking nation will host these events, and the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city.
This accurate description by tripadvisor.com is consistent with the Brazil that we all would love to see. “With its plentiful beaches, dramatic mountains, and backdrop of samba and bossa nova rhythms, it’s easy to fall in love with Rio de Janeiro. Made famous in song, Ipanema Beach is still the place to stroll, sunbathe, and be seen. The largest Art Deco statue in the world, Christ the Redeemer, beckons visitors to Corcovado Mountain.”
The population of the city of Rio de Janeiro, occupying an area of 1,182.3 square kilometers (456.5 sq. mi), is about 6,000,000. The population of the greater metropolitan area is estimated at 11–13.5 million. It was Brazil’s capital until 1960, when Brasília took its place.
Unfortunately side by side with this beauty are the massive favelas.
A favela is a slum in Brazil, within urban areas.
Even before the first favela came into being, poor citizens were pushed away from the city and forced to live in the far suburbs. However, most modern favelas appeared in the 1970s due to rural exodus, when many people left rural areas of Brazil and moved to cities. Unable to find places to live, many people ended up in favelas.
While there are Rio favelas which are still essentially ruled by drug traffickers or by organized crime groups called milicias (militias), all of the favelas in Rio’s South Zone and key favelas in the North Zone are now managed by Pacifying Police Units, known as UPPs.
After seeing the living conditions of 70 children living in one house with no parents and viewing the extensive presence of the poor literally living across the street from and side by side with the more fortunate, Kyra wondered what she could do to make a difference in those children’s lives?
She created a program where many of these youngsters can spend their day learning the physical and more importantly mental disciplines of BJJ while their parents are at work. She just didn’t build a building and farm the teaching out to someone else.
She can be seen teaching there herself.
You can watch a moving video regarding her efforts. As of this writing it can be viewed online at: Kyra Gracie full film: “The Main Tournament of My Life” HD
One reader was so affected they commented, “Whenever I watch this, I feel the need to do something to help. My family is originally from Rio and whenever is see those kids training I get emotional and remember how I was when I first started. The mat can easily become their home and propagate a road that’s paved with happiness. I’d easily teach hours on end for absolutely no pay at all if I could.”
Kyra Gracie is clearly not done yet. Many hoped that she would make the transition to MMA Fighting but she has another goal in mind.
The popular sports site bleachreport.com prints, “In 2014, Gracie turned her eyes toward mixed martial arts. She retired from jiu-jitsu competition and began training boxing and wrestling. The UFC was interested in bringing Gracie on board, and all signs pointed toward her making her Octagon debut sooner rather than later.
But then she became pregnant and decided to put her new career plans on hold. Motherhood came first. Today, Gracie says that while you can never say never, she has no current plans to finish her transition into mixed martial arts. Instead, she is focusing her attention on raising her child and on her role as a UFC analyst for Globo, the broadcast network that airs UFC events in Brazil.”
We look forward to that.
There was another famous song that Burt Bacharach penned with lyrics that were timeless in speaking to the human experience. I sense that you’ve heard of it.
What’s it all about Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about
When you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if, if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
She’s absolutely gorgeous, well-traveled, a super star in her sport, comes from a widely respected well-loved family, is a caring mother, participates in television shows and though not obligated; personally helps the poor.
Even if she hadn’t heard Burt’s songs, in spirit, clearly she was listening.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.