The Valente Brothers
The Valente Brothers are three Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelts who currently run a popular BJJ academy in Miami, Florida. Along with their father Pedro Sr they each received their black belt from Grandmaster Hélio Gracie. Apart from the Gracies, the Valente family are the only family to have four black belts awarded directly by Grand Master Helio Gracie.
The Valentes and the Gracies
Carlos and his younger brother Heilo Gracie opened their first academy in Rio in 1952. In the beginning they only had a handful of students. Among their first students was the brothers Syllo and Eliezer Valente. The brothers had some exposure to Japanese martial arts through a friend who had taught them some self defense principles in the 1920’s. A year after joining Syllo registered his eldest son Pedro who was 14 at the time. Pedro had already been practicing Kōdōkan Judō under Sensei Cordeiro so quickly took to the new martial art of Jiu Jitsu.
Pedro Sr would go on to become a well known plastic surgeon in Brazil as well as a close friend and medical doctor to both Grandmasters Carlos and Heilo.
The Next Generation
Pedro Valente Sr has three sons, Pedro Jr, Joaquim and Guilherme Valente. The 3 brothers were all introduced to BJJ before they could walk and all became students of Heilo Gracie. Pedro Snr believed in Jiu Jitsu as a complete fighting style and also introduced them to other combat sports and martial arts to compliment their Jiu Jitsu. At the age of 18 Pedro Jnr decided to move to the United States in order to attend the University of Miami School of Business Administration.
While in college Pedro founded a Jiu Jitsu club in the University of Miami where he taught Jiu Jitsu to students and faculty members. During this time he frequently traveled back to Brazil and was still regularly training with Grandmaster Heilo. Pedro continued to teach private lessons and group classes in the University ut also decided that the time was right to set up a full time academy. With the help of some friends he decided to set up the first Valente academy in Sunny Isles Florida.
Pedro was joined by his brother Gui in 1999 who moved to the USA to study at Barry University and also help his brother with the new academy. Within a number of years the academy developed in a popular BJJ school with a growing membership. In 2007 the third Valente brother Joaquim also moved to Miami in order to study criminology at Barry University
All three brothers would eventually receive their blackbelts and and title of Professor from Heilo Gracie. Pedro Jnr received his in 1999, Gui got his in 2001, with Joaquim receiving his in 2007. Today the Valente brothers academy is one of the most popular BJJ schools in Miami and is one of the few places where you can learn traditional BJJ as intended by Heilo and Carlos Gracie.
The 753 Code
The Valente Brothers developed their own martial arts code of honor which they name the 7 5 3 code. The code is similar to the Japanese Samurai Bushido which was the code of honor by which Samurai’s lived their life. The 753 code outlines the 7 Virtues of a Warrior , The 5 Keys to Health, and 3 States of Mind required. The Valente brothers claim that the code is a lifestyle and approach that helps us to live a more balanced life, physically, emotionally, and mentally. The brothers are currently working on publishing a book that explains how one can implement their code in daily life.
Read more about the 753 code here.
Self Defense approach
The Valente brothers view Jiu Jitsu in the same way that the Gracie family does. They see it as a practical martial art and maintain the link to the self defense principles that Carlos and Heilo taught.
The Valente family have provided numerous training programs and sessions for law enforcement and military personal. They have taught their own own brand of Jiu Jitsu as a dynamic self-defense system to government agencies such as the FBI, Customs, secret service, first responders, and local and federal police personnel.