Carley Gracie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Carley Gracie
Carley Gracie.JPG
BornMarch 11, 1950 (age: 71)
Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
ResidenceSan Francisco, California, United States
NationalityBrazilian & American
StyleBrazilian jiu-jitsu
Teacher(s)Carlos Gracie, Carlson Gracie[1]
Rank 9th degree red belt
Brazilian jiu-jitsu
under Carlos Gracie
Notable studentsClark Gracie Ralston Gracie

Carley Gracie is a Brazilian-born American martial artist, a prominent member of the Gracie family, and a jiu-jitsu grandmaster. His father is Carlos Gracie. Carley Gracie is one of an elite group to have been awarded the rank of red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2012

Early life and education[edit]

Carley was born at sea off the coast of Natal, Brazil in 1950 and was raised in Rio de Janeiro and Teresopolis.

The 11th child of Carlos Gracie, he was the last member of the Gracie family to be trained by his father, and is known to be one of the most technical members of the Gracie family.[2]


Carley was a champion in both jiu-jitsu and vale tudo.[citation needed] He received his jiu-jitsu black belt at the age of 22, and is currently certified a 9th degree Red-Belt by the jiu-jitsu Federation of Rio de Janeiro (the first certifying organization for the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu). Carley and his brothers Carlson Gracie and Rolls Gracie favored a much more active, 'warrior style' of jiu-jitsu that encouraged physical prowess and barraging your opponent with a series of attacks.[3]

The interest in sharing Gracie jiu-jitsu with the world inspired Carley to leave Brazil and establish his new home in the US and travel the world teaching the art. In 1972, Carley moved to the United States, where he fought challenge matches and trained students up and down the eastern seaboard. Carley was the first member of the Gracie family to teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the United States, and gave classes at locations in Virginia and Florida before moving to California in 1979. He opened the first Brazilian/Gracie jiu-jitsu school in San Francisco, California, where he currently teaches.[4]

Legal dispute[edit]

In 1994, Carley interceded on behalf of much of the Gracie Family in a dispute over use of the Gracie name in jiu-jitsu in the USA. His cousin Rorion Gracie had obtained a federal trademark registration for the term "Gracie jiu-jitsu" and was demanding that other members of the Gracie family stop using their surname (Gracie) in connection with jiu-jitsu instruction. Carley, who was the first Gracie to teach jiu-jitsu in the United States, challenged Rorion's registration and a lengthy legal battle followed. Carley ultimately won the lawsuit over the Gracie name, when the jury found that Rorion did not have a valid federal trademark registration for the name "Gracie jiu-jitsu." The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Carley's favor, affirmed his victory over the Gracie name and ordered the District Court Judge to cancel Rorion's federal trademark registration. The outcome of Carley winning the lawsuit was that all members of the Gracie family could use their name in association with Gracie jiu-jitsu. It is believed that the outcome of Carley's legal victory allowed Gracie/Brazilian jiu-jitsu to expand and grow across the USA and elsewhere in the world.[5]

Instructor lineage[edit]

Kano JigoroTomita TsunejiroMitsuyo "Count Koma" MaedaCarlos Gracie, Sr. → Carley Gracie

Personal life[edit]

Carley Gracie is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. In keeping with the Gracie family tradition his children are also active jiu-jitsu practitioners. His daughter Tanya Gracie and his sons (Clark Gracie[6][7][8] and Ralston Gracie [9][10]) all train in Gracie/Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As of January 2015, Ralston teaches at the Carley Gracie jiu-jitsu Academy. Clark operates his own Clark Gracie jiu-jitsu locations, including the headquarters, which is in Morena, San Diego and other locations Irvine, California, and San Francisco, California where he teaches.


  1. ^ >> The Rio Story Part 1 URL accessed on October 15, 2010.
  2. ^ CARLEY GRACIE The Combat Interview Combat Magazine, Paul Clifton, December 1997
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Carley Gracie Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed on June 4, 2009.
  5. ^ CARLEY GRACIE et al. v RORION GRACIE et al. - Docket Numbers 98-15672, 98-16386 Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  6. ^ Clark Gracie URL accessed on June 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Clark Gracie URL accessed on June 4, 2009.
  8. ^ Clark Gracie Archived 2009-06-23 at the Wayback Machine URL accessed on June 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Ralston Gracie Archived 2014-10-21 at the Wayback Machine URL accessed on October 12, 2014.
  10. ^ Ralston Gracie Archived 2014-10-29 at the Wayback Machine URL accessed on October 12, 2014.

External links[edit]