Helio Moreira started practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 8 with Black Belt master Cirilo Azevedo and Elias Martins. Having fallen in love with this Martial Art at the age of 9, he was already a Brazilian Champion. At the age of 13, Helio moved to Rio De Janeiro and started to practice with the Gracie Club, now known as Barra Gracie, taught by the Machado Brothers, Ze Henrique Leao Teixeira and Renzo Gracie. Soneca, as he is known in the Martial Arts world, chose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his career totally dedicating himself to it. At the age of 22, he received from Master Carlos Gracie JR., the Black Belt he had been dreaming of; a prestige that few people had at that time.
Due to a few physical problems, he decided to dedicate himself to teaching. Helio Soneca is one of the major contributors to the successful development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu across the world. Soneca has trained several world champions in BJJ, GRAPPLING and NHB. Some of his most famous names include people like Vanderlei Silva, Alan Belcher, Michel Safi and many more. He left the mats several times over as a champion and fought incredible matches.
Soneca is currently a 5th Dan and known as one of the best fighters and Masters in the world. He is also one of the founders of Gracie Barra, currently the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the world
Soneca is currently participating in seminars throughout the U.S. and around the world. Soneca has associations in Brazil, Thailand and Turkey, he is President of the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of the state of Parana-Brasil (FJJP), and is Vice President and founder of the Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the state of Tennessee, USA (TBJJF).
Helio Soneca is one of the major contributors to the successful development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu across the world. Soneca has taught and coached several championship teams within the United States, Turkey, Thailand, Australia, Italy, France, Japan, Arabic Emirates and England."
Since his beginning in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 1981, Helio 'Soneca' Moreira has won several championships from his home country as well as around the world. This is just a short list of some of Helio 'Soneca' Moreira's championships:
- 1995 Pan-American Champion – California
- 1996 World Champion – Brazil
- 1997 Brazilian Champion – Brazil
- 1999 International Champion – Brazil
- 2001 NAGA - North American Grappling Association Champion – Miami
- 2002 World Fighting Championship (WFC) Champion – Texas
- 2003 COMBATE EXTREMO (NHB) – Mexico