|Born||August 13, 1932|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||February 1, 2006 (aged 73)|
|Weight||67–72 kg (148–159 lb; 10 st 8 lb–11 st 5 lb)|
|Fighting out of||Rio de Janeiro Chicago, Illinois|
|Team||Carlson Gracie Team|
|Teacher(s)||Carlos Gracie, Helio Gracie|
|Rank||9th degree red belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu|
|Notable students||Carlson Gracie Jr., Marcus Soares, Ricardo De La riva, Marcelo Alonso, Ari Galo, Allan Goes, Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, Wallid Ismail, Andre Pederneiras, Ricardo Liborio, Marcelo Saporito, Julio "Foca" Fernandez, Rodrigo Medeiros, Vitor Belfort, Viktor Doria, Stephan Bonnar, Javier Vazquez, Suyan L Queiroz, Carlos "Carlão" Santos, Carlos Barreto, Marcos da Matta, Amauri Bitteti, Daniel Souto Wanderley|
Carlson Gracie (August 13, 1932 – February 1, 2006) was a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A member of the Gracie family, he was the eldest son of Carlos Gracie, and nephew to Hélio Gracie, founders of Gracie jiu-jitsu.
Carlson was an early pioneer in mixed martial arts, founding one of the most successful teams of the era, 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. These students were called creontes by Carlson Gracie because of perceived lack of loyalty.
Carlson fought a total of eighteen vale tudo fights, with only one loss to Luta Livre fighter Euclides Pereira in a fight that was held in Bahia. His first fight was on March 17, 1953 against capoeira practitioner Luiz "Cirandinha" Aguiar, apprentice of Mestre Sinhozinho. Carlson won by submission due to mounted strikes after a tough fight. His second match was a draw against another capoeirista, Wilson "Passarito" Oliveira, in May 1953. Carlson had a rematch with Passarito 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 Anselmo Montenegro, Cássio Cardoso, Ricardo De La Riva, Allan Goes, Murilo Bustamante, Henrique Nogueira (Chocolate), Mario Sperry, Wallid Ismail, Pablo Popovitch, Vauvenargues "Marinho" Vicentini, Kevin Christopher, Andre Madiz, Andre Pederneiras, Julio Fernandez, Ricardo Liborio, Marcus Soares, Rodrigo Medeiros, Ricardo "Rey" Diogo, Marcelo Alonso, Mario Sukata and was also responsible for introducing Vitor Belfort to Gracie jiu-jitsu. Carlson Gracie 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 Gracie 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 Mixed Martial Arts 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 and his brothers Carley 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.
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 hospitalization of several days. At the time of his death he was a ninth degree red belt and was referred to as Grandmaster.
A bronze statue was installed next to his gym in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2019.
There's a controversial story that Geo Omori had trained Carlos Gracie.
Carlson had 3 children; Rosane, Karen & Carlson Gracie Jr. and two grandchildren. Julia by Karen, and Carlson III by Carlson Jr. Gracie was a close friend of fellow martial artist and Wing Chun Grandmaster Samuel Kwok. The two often touring and holding seminars together before his passing.
- 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. Archived from the original on 2006-07-15. Retrieved 2006-07-06.
- Grant, T. P. (January 2, 2012). "MMA Origins: Carlson Gracie Changes Vale Tudo". Bloodyelbow. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- 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.
- "Brazil versus Brazil, MMA's most intense rivalry". Espn.com. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- "GRACIE UNIVERSITY: Global Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instruction – Straight From The Source". Gracieuniversity.com. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-11. Retrieved 2014-10-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Guilherme Cruz (April 18, 2019). "Legend Carlson Gracie to be honored with statue in Rio de Janeiro". mmafighting.com.
- 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 Archived September 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed on April 1, 2010.