A Memoir of 9th Degree legendary Red Belt Master Armando Wriedt

A Memoir of 9th Degree legendary Red Belt Master Armando Wriedt

1. Armando Wriedt’s Details

Rodolfo Vieira BJJ Details
Given Name Armando Wriedt
Nickname Dedinho
Born Brazil
Date of birth 17 October, 1924
Date of Death 29 August, 2019
Nationality Brazilian
Last Fight N/A
Weight Class N/A
Weight 187.3lb
Height 5’8”
Reach N/A
Career Disclosed Earnings N/A
Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Foundational style Gracie Jiu Jitsu
FavoriteTechnique Footlocks
Pro fighting Record 20-8-6
Rank 9th Degree Red Belt
Awarded By  Helio Gracie
Head Coach Helio Gracie
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Armando Wriedt
Team/Association Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Academia Gracie

2. Armando Wriedt’s  Biography

2.1. Who is Armando Wriedt?

Master Armando was born on 17 October 1925, his close friends called him “Dedinho” (little finger). This name was given to him because he lost his right thumb while cutting wood. Armando Wriedt is one of the early Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneers in history. Being one of Helio Gracie's first legendary black belts, he is one of the seven ( although the number seven is argued) masters who received a red belt from Master Helio Gracie.  Armando and Helio Gracie had common friends. At the age of 21, Armando met Helio Gracie and returned to the army with inspiration. At that time he was serving in the Army, which is why he had to come back to serve his country. But he has decided to devote his life to jiu Jitsu under the patronage of Helio Gracie. Whenever he got the chance he used to visit the Gracie Academy with his friends.

After completing his service in the military Armando joined the Gracie Academy and started training under the Gracie brotherhood. He devoted 8 years of his life to training jiu-jitsu at the Academy. Although, by nature he was not inclined to any martial art because of their violent nature.

After fishing training in the military Armando joined the Gracie academy and started training under the Gracies brotherhood. Armando was famous for his kindness and affability. Wreidt was an example of his own jiu jitsuka.. Wriedt always chooses to repel aggression with kindness.

Master Armando Wriedt said
“We have few friends. Because friends deprive you of your life. This is the one you should choose. And then we end up getting a little selfish”.

2.2. How did he meet Professor Helio Gracie?

Armando was famous for his incredible memory even in his last years, he never forgot the day when he met Helio Gracie. According to Wriedt, he was playing basketball and Helio was sitting in the crowd with his girlfriends and he was impressed by my play. Wriedt was the player who was full of energy during the play. Helio applauded his performance and met with him at halftime. Helio went out horse riding with Wriedt and during that ride he became friends with champion Helio Gracie.

2.3. Armando Wriedt’s Stance Against Violence

Armando was against violence because he followed the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi. He spent years of his life avoiding violence, but his inclinations always took him close to violence. Earlier he ended up in the military and now he decided to train in Jiu Jitsu. It was the true renaissance period of Jiu Jitsu. aBut despite being against the violence, why did he choose the Gracie jiu-jitsu Academy? Let’s find out together.

2.4. Why did Armando Choose Jiu Jitsu?

This was because he got an understanding of the real ideology of “The Gentle Art”. He chose jiu-jitsu because of the sync of two ideologies despite the violence in the apparent practices of jiu-jitsu, Armando was aligned with the far-fetched values of jiu-jitsu. He lived his entire life implementing the principles of jiu-jitsu and impacted thousands of minds with his teachings.

BJJ techniques and approaches refrain the practitioners from harming the rival in the fight. The essence of BJJ is focused on mutual respect, the science of body structure, patience, contemplating, tranquility, and peace of the mind, body, and spirit. These are the abstract values that resonated with Armando Wriedt.

Armando represented Gracie Academy three times and fought in Vale Tudo (no holds barred event) that later evolved into the  MMA sport. But Armando  came to the conclusion that he will never go to fight under such a violent set of rules that feeds on hurting the opponent. Due to his belief in non violence, he became an ardent advocate for peace and kindness.

2.5. Coaching Career Armando Wriedt

Wriedt was a specialist in foot locks. He even decided to open his own gym with his companion Helio. But after spending almost a decade with the Gracie family, Armando bid farewell to his master Helio and started coaching jiu Jitsu at the School of National Information Service (Escola de Serviço Nacional de Informação) (ESNI). Arando considered his training in jiu-jitsu as a religion. He used to teach students every Saturday at his farm in Paranoa near his residence.

Master Armando Wriedt says
“BJJ is a religion for me. I learned not to be violent and not to harm my fellow man. If I can't help, I won't get in the way. Gracie wanted school to prepare men for life. This is philosophy.”

3. Lessons of Master Armando Wriedt

In 2014, Master Armando Wriedt spoke about the essence of BJJ, its philosophy, and lessons of jiu jitsu:

3.1. How To Eat

It is reported that he was following the Gracie diet even in the last years of his life. He believed that BJJ training is about boosting physical and mental health. As a jiu-jitsu player, Armando has a sense of obligation to follow the Gracie diet. He considers this one of the best lessons in jiu-jitsu practices.

3.2. Social and Psychological conduct of life

According to Armando Wriedt, the second best lesson from Gracie academy is how to conduct himself before society. It was amazing to learn about the confidence boost through jiu Jitsu practices. Armando was already against violence, and a kind-hearted person, he also learned how to overcome challenging situations in life. Wriedt believed that the right attitude towards work is carrying yourself with a calm mind and it is a key to success.  Master Wriedt believed that he has mastered all the elements of jiu Jitsu which are prerequisites for happiness and success in life. He has lived his whole life according to the principles and guidelines of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu school of teaching.

3.3. Self Defense with Low Violence to Other

Wriedt believed that:

“BJJ taught me a variety of lessons. The first was how to eat. Then How to conduct himself before society. The biggest one, however, I believe was to always be affable and sincere in my treatment of others. Even with those belligerent individuals who might attack us sometimes. The good BJJ practitioner must always be ready to counterattack against evil, indeed that is, to punish that bad sentiment that manifested in that moment but never to punish the individual themselves, who, like anybody, can short-circuit and lose their mind and good sense once in a while”.

4. Armando Wriedt’s Accomplishments

4.1. Certificate of 9-degree red belt

On 10 December 2018, Armando Wriedt was awarded a certificate of the 9th-degree red belt from the Brazilian Professional Jiu-Jitsu Confederation.  

4.2. Main Achievements

Being active in a time when no-hold-barred flights were the way to showcase Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Armando fought 3 fights and won all of them by first-round submission.

Main Achievements

Photo credit: @bjjheroes

5. Relationship with Gracie Brothers

Armando spent his early life in military service and devoted his charming years to basketball. When he met Helio Gracie, he  heard about jiu Jitsu for the first time. Although, the military rulers marginalized the Gracies and their jiu Jitsu in 1964, and military standards adopted judo as the martial arts of choice parallel with jiu jitsu. After his meeting with Helio, they became friends and Wriedt used to visit Gracie's farm whenever he got the chance. When Armando finished his obligatory military service, he gave his full time and dedication to jiu-jitsu. Armando had a great relationship with the Gracie brothers.

Although competition and fights were not in his nature, however, to please his master and friend Helio, he fought three bouts and finished each fight with quick first-round submission. After devotion to Gracie academy, he left the academy with the permission of his master Helio and spent the rest of his life traveling and coaching jiu-jitsu at his farm.

6. George Mehdi and Armando Wriedt

Armando Wriedt talked about George Mehdi in his interview. Armando tells the story of how George Mehdi and Gracie academy worked together when Wriedt was a student there. History tends to record the wretched  and to remember the vain. This interview and words for George Mehdi showed how kind and affable Armando was. Furthermore, He added that it is ironic that the man who was the rival of the Gracie brothers, and such a stout supporter of judo sport would have had such an impact on the growth of the art. Despite Mehidi’s rivalry with Gracie's brother, Armando praised his talent and skills in BJJ and Judo, this described that Armando was a true legend.

7. Armando Died but His Legacy Will Always be with us

Armando Wriedt started his life as an ordinary person with firm belief on his fundamental values which he continued to hold close to his heart in his entire life. His life will never be the same after being exposed to the jiu jitsu school of thoughts. The awe-inspiring element of his life as a martial art Master is his concrete faith in the real essence of the jiu jitsu teachings. He could have been inspired by the physical superiority that comes with jiu jitsu training. But he was enlightened by the philosophical approach of “The Gentle Art”.

He was a man of firm resolve, once he chose the patronage of Gracie family, he never looked back and lived his whole life according to the principles of jiu-jitsu. Despite his hesitation to partake in the bouts, Gracie never pushed him to fight. Regardless of the fact that every master wants to see his top adherent to compete in the fights and make him proud. But Gracie brothers not only appreciated and accepted his approach but also pushed his rank in the recognition of his sublime philosophy about jiu-jitsu. That gave him all the confidence and support. Late Master Armando also talked about the confidence that he gained from the teachings of jiu-jitsu.

Master Armando Wriedt was loved by all the community. In his last decade his physical movement was restricted but he never refused to teach one or two moves to any visitor. His dozens of videos are available in which he was teaching jiu-jitsu moves to the different coaches and even novice fighters. He has lived a life which can always be remembered by the whole jiu jitsu community.

Grandmaster Armando Wriedt died on Thursday, August 29, 2019. Grandmaster Wriedt who would turn 95 in October passed away at age of 94. Even with the limitation of old body function, he was always seen on the mat with his trusty cane, pointing out details and offering advice to students who visit him in Brasilia.

The martial art world is a deprived place without this legendary figure, regarded by those who lived during his prime, to be one of the most prestigious coaches at the Gracie Academy during the 1960s. Master Armando in his last years coaching athletes with his technique.

8. Armando Wriedt’s Top Videos

Grand Mestre Armando Wriedt 93

Armando Fight 1989 and 1998

Photo credit: @MestreArmandoWriedt

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