Valdemar Santana

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Waldemar Santana (Portuguese pronunciation: [vawdeˈmaʁ sɐ̃ˈtɐ̃nɐ]), born 1929 [1]- 1984 . [2]sometimes known as Adema Santa, was a Brazilian martial artist, who trained in Capoeira under Mestre Bimba and also in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Helio Gracie. He was additionally trained in Luta Livre and Boxing.[3]


He is famous for fighting his former master Hélio Gracie in 1955, in a 3 hour 40 minute long match.[4] Valdemar had fought for the original Gracie Academy for many years, but had a falling out with Hélio. Gracie and Santana decided to settle their differences in a Vale Tudo (no holds barred) match. After nearly four hours of combat, Santana knocked out Gracie with a soccer kick to the head.[5]

After his fight with Hélio, Santana was challenged by Carlson Gracie, Hélio's nephew. Carlson and Santana had, according to Carlson Gracie, six fights, with Carlson winning two, and the other four being declared a draw.

He also fought Masahiko Kimura 1959. [6] Kimura won the first match and the re-match was a draw.

Kimura vs. Valdemar Santana[edit]

Kimura went to Brazil again in 1959 to conduct his last Professional Judo/Wrestling tour. He was challenged by Valdemar Santana to a "real" (not choreographed) submission match. Santana was a champion in Gracie Jiujitsu and Capoeira. He was 27 years old, 6 feet tall, and weighed 205 lb. Santana had once fought Hélio Gracie and won, the fight lasting more 3 hours 45 minutes. Kimura threw Santana with seoinage, hanegoshi, and osotogari. He then applied his famous reverse ude-garami (entangled armlock), winning the match.

Santana requested a rematch under vale tudo rules—the first fight was apparently grappling only—and this time, the result was a draw after 40 minutes in a bout in which both competitors reportedly drew blood. Kimura fought this match despite having an injured knee, and was pressured by the promoter and police to fight against his doctors orders.[7]

Career highlights[edit]

  • 1955: Won over Hélio Gracie by KO
  • 1955: Drew with Carlson Gracie
  • 1956: Lost to Carlson Gracie by TKO
  • 1957: Lost to Carlson Gracie by decision
  • 1957: Drew with Carlson Gracie
  • 1957: Drew with Carlson Gracie
  • 1957: Drew with Carlson Gracie
  • 1959: Lost to Masahiko Kimura by submission
  • 1959: Drew with Masahiko Kimura
  • 1962: Drew with Ivan Gomes
  • 1968: Lost to Euclides Pereira by retirement
  • 1970: Drew with Carlson Gracie
  • 197?: Drew with Euclides Pereira
  • 1972: Lost to Ivan Gomes by submission