Rolls Gracie

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Rolls Gracie
Born(1951-03-28)March 28, 1951
DiedJune 6, 1982(1982-06-06) (aged 31)
Hang gliding accident
StyleGracie jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo, Wrestling,
Teacher(s)Helio Gracie, Georges Mehdi, Bob Anderson
Rank     9th deg. BJJ red belt
Notable studentsRickson Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr., Royler Gracie, Márcio Stambowsky, Mauricio Motta Gomes, Romero Cavalcanti
Medal record
Representing  Brazil
Men's sambo
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Diego -68 kg
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Diego Absolute
Bronze medal – third place 1980 San Diego -68 kg
Men's freestyle wrestling
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Diego -68 kg

Rolls Gracie (Portuguese: [ˈɡɾejsi]; 1951–1982) was a Brazilian martial artist. He was a prominent member of the Gracie family known for their founding of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and considered by some the family's best ever fighter.[1] He was teacher of Rickson Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr., Royler Gracie, Maurício "Maurição" Motta Gomes, Márcio "Macarrão" Stambowsky, Rigan Machado and Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti.[2][3] He died in a hang-gliding accident in 1982. He is the father of Rolles Gracie and Igor Gracie.

The Famous Five[edit]

The Famous Five was a nickname for the original five black belt students of Rolls Gracie, who were well-known for their fighting skills. Just prior to his untimely death, Rolls promoted a sixth black belt into the group. The established terminology persisted so that the following six men continued to be called "The Famous Five."[4]


  1. ^ Black Belt Vol. 35, No. 4 Apr 1997 - Page 68 "Rolls Gracie. This son of Carlos Gracie is considered by many the family's best fighter of all time, but his career was cut short when he died in a hang-gliding accident in Rio de Janeiro.
  2. ^ History of Jiu-Jitsu: The Tragedy of Rolls Gracie" 2011 "Rolls is called the father of modern jiu-jitsu and was the teacher of Rickson Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr., Royler Gracie and Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti. Just about every Gracie that practices the family art can remember where they were on June 6, 1982 when they heard that Rolls had died at the young age of 31.........Sadly, a hang-gliding accident claimed Rolls’ life in 1982, just as Rolls was in the early stages of teaching—only six men hold the high honor of being Rolls Gracie Black Belts. While he produced few black belts, Rolls touched many of his students and left a legacy that spans the entire martial art."
  3. ^ Thomas A. Green, Joseph R. Svinth - Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation 2010- Page 34 "... 1959–1960), while Rolls Gracie (1951–1982) began cross-training in judo, sambo, and international freestyle wrestling. During the oil crisis of 1973–1974, the Brazilian economy sagged, and thousands of educated Brazilians decided to ..."
  4. ^ Peterkin, Syl (January 28, 2015). "Rolls Gracie". Jiu-Jitsu Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved June 22, 2017. Rolls would promote six individuals to black belt who are ironically known as the Famous Five.