Sensei Georges Mehdi, judo red-belt, has passed at 84

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Sensei Georges Mehdi teaching at famous Mehdi Judô, Ipanema, RJ. Personal archive

A naturalized Brazilian citizen born in France, and one of the world’s most respected judo teachers, Georges Mehdi, the founder of Mehdi Judô in Rio de Janeiro, died this Tuesday, November 6th.

A ninth-dan red-belt in judo, Sensei Mehdi dedicated 75 years of his life to learning, refining and teaching the art of takedowns. He arrived in Brazil in his youth, had brief contact with the Gracie family in the 50s, and then traveled to study judo in Japan for ten years. Legendary names like Masahiko Kimura shared the mat with Mehdi throughout his journey.

Mehdi with Kimura in Japan. Personal archive

As a coach, he led Brazil’s national judo team in the 60s and 70s, with many titles won. Famous fighters, like Rickson Gracie, Sylvio Behring and Flávio Canto, had the opportunity to learn from the sensei.

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