70 Years and Counting

Words and Photo Credit:

Rob Norbutt


Starting at the Gracie Academy in 1947 under Helio and Carlos Gracie, Grand Master Flavio Behring has been practicing jiu-jitsu for close to 70 years. At almost 80 years old he is the oldest Red Belt still actively teaching seminars on a regular basis. In fact Grand Master Flavio travels around the world teaching on a schedule that would crush many instructors half his age. I was introduced to jiu-jitsu when asked to photograph one of his seminars at Absolute MMA in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was so impressed by how Grand Master moved that I had to give it a shot. I figured if he could do it, I could at least try. I started my own journey in jiu-jitsu at 35 years old, it has become a significant part of my life.

This photo was taken after the 2016 World Masters in Las Vegas. We went out to Red Rocks racing the fading light and a rainstorm. We lucked out getting this shot right as the sun went down just before a downpour. This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken of a man I truly look up to.

1-21-17 Grand Master Flavio Behring at Absolute MMA


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One Comment
  • TOm Callos
    9 October 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Thank you for this sweet little piece on GM Behring. It’s comforting to see someone with his experience, both on and off the mats, still out their influencing others.

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