Carlos Gracie

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Carlos Gracie
Born (1902-09-14)September 14, 1902
Belém do Pará, Brazil
Died October 7, 1994(1994-10-07) (aged 92)
Petrópolis, Brazil
Style Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo
Teacher(s) Mitsuyo Maeda
Rank      10th Degree Red Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu [1]

Carlos Gracie (September 14, 1902 – October 7, 1994) along with Luis Franca and Oswaldo Fadda are credited as being the primary developer of modern Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil. Modern Jiu-Jitsu is based on knowledge from Mitsuyo Maeda. He is the patriarch of the Gracie Family. With his acquired knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu, that he learned in Belem during thre to four years under some Maeda students, and a few classes with Maesda himself, he began training and teaching his brothers. He created a martial arts family with assistance primarily from his brother Hélio Gracie; other members of the Gracie family provided key contributions.

Judo and Brazilian/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu[edit]

Gracie Jiu Jitsu was created in Brazil in the early 1900s by Carlos Gracie, who studied Judo as a teenager under the great Japanese champion, Mitsuyo Maeda (known in Brazil as Conde Koma—the "Count of Combat"). Maeda was taught by Jigoro Kano, the creator of Judo, and fought hundreds of victorious challenge matches against practitioners of other styles using his Judo techniques to overcome them. Maeda had become a champion Judoka in Japan and was so highly revered by Kano he was sent around the world to spread Judo.

Young Carlos Gracie continued his master's tradition, testing and refining his system by claiming to constantly fight in matches which were open to all skill levels, and that he continuously worked hard to make Jiu Jitsu more effective. At one point, a myth was developed that says he advertised in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents upon whom to practice and further refine his art, but not documented records of this exist.. He claimed to have fought anyone and everyone who was willing, regardless of size, weight or fighting style. Even though he was a mere 135 pounds, his style was so effective that Carlos Gracie was never defeated, because he never fought, and became a legend in Brazil. His brother Jorge Gracie, a real fighter, gave his opinion concerning Carlos stating "My brother Carlos is nothing when it comes to fighting. Carlos does not have the authority nor the competence to speak about Jiu Jitsu… Who created the sporting tradition of my family if not me, in all honesty, with my career?" [1]

This tradition of open challenge is a part of the heritage of Gracie style of Jiu Jitsu. Carlos Gracie taught his style of Jiu Jitsu to his four younger brothers (Oswaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and Helio) and to his older sons (including Carlson and Carley), and they in turn taught their brothers, sons, nephews, and cousins. After Carlos retired from the ring, he managed the fight careers of his brothers and sons, continuing to challenge fighters of all styles throughout the world. This tradition of open challenge is continued by his sons, grandsons, brothers, nephews, and students.


In 2009, Carlos' daughter Reila Gracie (mother of Roger Gracie-Gomes) published a book detailing the life and times of Carlos Gracie. The book entitled "Carlos Gracie – O Criador De Uma Dinastia" (Carlos Gracie – The Creator of a Dynasty) is currently only available in Portuguese[2] but the English translation could be finished in 2011.[3]


Carlos had 21 children,[4] 13 of whom earned the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. When he died, Gracie had twenty-one children, one hundred six grandchildren, and one hundred twenty-eight great-grandchildren.[5]

Gracie Diet[edit]

Carlos Gracie copied and adapted a nutritional regimen, from the Argentinean/French naturist Juan Esteve Dulin, and is now marketed as the Gracie Diet. Following the Hippocratean maxim "Let your food be your remedy", Carlos aimed this pseudoscientific diet to a system that would primarily prevent illness on days of competition.[6] The basic principle of the Gracie Diet is to keep blood pH level neutral by consuming only compatible nutrients at each meal.[6][7] Gracie Diet is flexible but it definitely prohibits consumption of pork and its derivatives and adopts abstinence from alcohol and tobacco.[6]

See also[edit]