~ est. 1995 ~
I started my Martial Arts journey at very young age. Around 1979 when I started to watch the first Bruce Lee movies, that brought me into the very first Wing-Chun Kung-Fu school in my town. My teachers enthusiastic by my drive to learn, started to push me very hard and six years later I was one of the youngest assistants.
While in Madrid and reading “Cinturon Negro” (Spanish Black Belt) magazine an advertising about an upcoming seminar with Guro/Sifu Dan Inosanto in London caught my attention. That brought me not only in 1987 to London but also two year later to New York and Los Angeles, where everything started. In LA I was feeling like in a “Martial Arts supermarket”! You could meet people from around the world and train in hundreds of different Kung-Fu, Karate, Eskrima, Silat and other traditional or modern styles from Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil and so many more.
However, two great masters help me in those days very much, Ajarn Surachai (Chai) Sirisute and Guro/Sifu Dan Inosanto. Learning under Ajarn Chai I understood the importance of endurance and stamina in a real fight, and to appreciate the simple and efficiant techniques of Muay Thai (Thaiboxing). Guro/Sifu Dan Inosanto is a living Martial Arts library... there is no other man in this world that has so much deep understanding of so many different arts. From him and Sifu Paul Vunak (and later also from others teachers) my brother Demetrio and I learned alot about JKD, Kali-Eskrima and Silat.
Together with my brother and lifetime training partner, I started to build my teaching concepts. My aim was and is to learn and teach applied martial arts (self-defense for everyone).
I also understood, that many aspects in martial arts also applies in life (work, family, health, etc.). Everything for me in life is connected – all is one.
One of the very important systems that I learned for me in my life, is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the Way it was taught by the late Grandmasters Carlos and Hélio Gracie, which I learned from Grandmaster Pedro Hemetério.
However, because of my background in Muay Thai, Silat and Kali, I created my own teaching concept, known today as “Gracie Concepts”. We keep training, researching, refining and teaching, because this is the way that martial arts continues to evolve and goes to the next Generations.
Thank you so much for your interest and hopefully I will meet you one day on our Tatame.
Respectfully, Franco Vacirca