|Born||August 13, 1932
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||February 1, 2006
|Fighting out of||Rio de Janeiro & Chicago, Illinois|
|Team||Carlson Gracie Team|
|Teacher(s)||Carlos Gracie, Helio Gracie|
|Rank||Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu9th degree red belt in|
|Notable students||Carlson Gracie Jr., Ricardo De La riva, Allan Goes, Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, Wallid Ismail, Pablo Popovitch, Andre Pederneiras, Ricardo Liborio, Marcelo Saporito, Julio "Foca" Fernandez, Rodrigo Medeiros, Vitor Belfort, Miguel Angel Torres, Stephan Bonnar, Javier Vazquez, Carlos "Carlão" Santos, Carlos Barreto|
Carlson Gracie, Sr. (August 13, 1933 – February 1, 2006) was a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was the eldest son of Carlos Gracie, founder of the system with his uncle Hélio Gracie, and learned the art from his uncle and his father. He was a member of the Gracie family.
Carlson Gracie would later split from Hélio Gracie's group. He founded one of top mixed martial arts teams, which spawned many champions. In 2000, following a financial dispute, many of Carlson Gracie's students would split from him to form another MMA team, the Brazilian Top Team.
Carlson fought a total of eighteen vale tudo fights, with only one loss to Euclides Pereira in a fight that was held in Bahia. His first fight was against Capoeira practitioner Luiz "Cirandinha" Aguiar in this March 17, 1953. Carlson won after over an hour of fighting. His second match was a draw against Wilson "Passarito" Oliveira in May 1953. Carlson had a rematch in March 1954 in the longest fight of his career, which he won in the fifth 30 minute round. Most notable are his four matches with Valdemar Santana, who had defeated his uncle Hélio Gracie in a fabled match in May 1955. He beat Santana in the first fight avenging his family. In October 1955 Carlson fought Santana to a draw in a Jiu-Jitsu match. In 1956 and 1957 Carlson won two fights and in 1959 they fought to a draw.
Carlson Gracie trained many top competitors such as Ricardo De La Riva, Allan Goes, Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, Wallid Ismail, Pablo Popovitch, Kevin Christopher, Andre Madiz, Andre Pederneiras, Julio Fernandez, Ricardo Liborio, Marcus Soares, Rodrigo Medeiros, Ricardo "Rey" Diogo, Marcelo Alonso and was also responsible for introducing and mastering Vitor Belfort into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Carlson Gracie also trained Stephan Bonnar, a finalist in the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter 1. He was in Bonnar's corner during his fight against eventual The Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin. He is the author of a book on the subject of Jiu Jitsu titled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: For Experts Only, which includes his student Julio "Foca" Fernandez.
The oldest son of Carlos Gracie, who founded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro during the 1920s, Carlson reigned as world champion for thirty years covering the '50s, '60s and '70s.
Carlson catapulted to fame at the age of 23 when he avenged the defeat of his uncle Helio Gracie. A former student of Helio's, Waldemar Santana, had defeated the much older Helio during a match in 1955. That match lasted four hours. Carlson's rematch with Santana in 1956 was a much shorter affair: four rounds of vicious vale-tudo combat came to draw.
After teaching at his uncle's academy for several years, he opened his own, where over the past thirty years many of the greatest names in Jiu-Jitsu and no-holds-barred fighters have trained as members of the famed Carlson Gracie Arrebentacao Team.
Carlson's influence on no-holds-barred fighting is extensive as well, for the style of Jiu-Jitsu he taught at his academy was distinct from that being taught by Helio. While Helio's brand of Jiu-Jitsu emphasized defensive techniques aiming to allow the smaller and weaker to defeat the stronger opponent, Carlson favored a much more active, 'warrior style' of Jiu-Jitsu that encouraged physical prowess and barraging your opponent with a series of attacks.
Carlson Gracie died on February 1, 2006, in Chicago, Illinois, of heart failure, apparently the result of complications of kidney stones (and possibly his pre-existing diabetes), following a hospitalisation of several days. At the time of his death he was a ninth degree red belt and was referred to as Grandmaster.
- Gracie Family Tree. URL accessed on November 1, 2009.
- Gracie Seminars >> Carlson Gracie Bio. URL accessed on November 1, 2009.
- Ratner, Dave (2005-03-29). "Gracie Family Tree". Bjj.org. Retrieved 2006-07-06.
- Venga, Gleidson; Gross, Josh (2006-02-01). "BJJ Forefather Carlson Gracie Sr. Passes Away". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2006-07-06.
- Carlson, Gracie; Fernandez, Julio (2004). Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: For Experts Only: Classic Jiu-Jitsu Techniques from the Master. Invisible Cities Press Llc. ISBN 1-931229-34-1.
- Kiai Magazine N. 4 ( 1994) Biopress
- "Helio Gracie, Promoter of Jiu-Jitsu, Dies at 95". The New York Times. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Gracie Family Tree. URL accessed on April 1, 2010.